The main logistical problem with brining is that you need a container that’s large enough to submerge your turkey in the brine, but will fit in your refrigerator or cooler.
The meat and brine solution must be kept below 40 degrees F. at all times. Since brining does not preserve meat, the turkey and brine must be kept refrigerated at all times.
* Using the Refrigerator:
If storing the poultry in the refrigerator during brining, check to make sure that the container will fit in your refrigerator! A container large enough to hold a whole turkey might be too big for your fridge.
* Using a Picnic Cooler:
First, choose a container that is large enough to keep the turkey completely submerged during the brining process. It is important to thoroughly clean and sanitize the cooler before and after use.
You must keep the poultry and brine cold without diluting the mixture when using a cooler. Put the meat and brine directly in the cooler, then place Ziploc bags filled with ice or reusable gel packs into the brine solution.
Another approach is to put the turkey and brine into a turkey oven roasting bag inside the cooler, and then pack ice or gel packs around the bag.
Monitor the temperature of the cooler to make sure it stays below 40 degrees F. at all times.
Finally, the last thing you would want to happen after taking all that trouble to brine your turkey is to cook it in a slapdash manner. Cover the breast of the bird with foil during the first half of roasting to ensure it doesn’t dry out. After that, remove the foil and baste it every half hour till the bird is done.
Cooking turkey is a real event because it’s not done very often. The size of the bird and work involved tend to discourage novices from trying it out, but the effort pays off in the end.
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