Chef Jimmy J ! Should I dry brine?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by jim beam, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. jim beam

    jim beam Newbie

    I'm hoping Chef Jimmy J will chime in here....

    I read an article by Kenji Alt-Lopez of serious eats, he is a food scientist.  He explained that brining doesn't actually add moisture to the turkey meat.  What it does is break some of the proteins in the meat so that it contracts less while cooking and therefore squeezes less moisture out as it cooks.  His opinion is that a wet-brined bird is more moist, but less flavorful.   According to Kenji, a dry-brined bird has more turkey flavor.  I'm tempted to try this for my Thanksgiving bird, but....

    I want to know what Chef Jimmy J thinks!

    (and the rest of you)  [​IMG]
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If he doesn't reply soon, send him a PM
  3. To make sure he will see this thread, include him with a @Chef JimmyJ. This way other members can also see his response.
  4. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hmm, I just learned something new!  So, using the @username  will provide a notification to said user?
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    DiggginDogFarm recommends dry brining for increased flavor.... I have tried it and find that's true... Also the meat stays more moist, when dry brining, versus no brining.... Wet brining can "add" flavor if spices, stocks are used in the wet brine... Wet brining can add moisture when supplemented with hygroscopic materials like salt and sugar... The salt and sugar remain in the meat fibers and "hold" onto the liquid solution....
  6. Yes sir. It will let that user know that they were mentioned in a post.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Dry Brines are fine for All Natural /Free Range birds but the Enhanced Turkey, so many of us get for free, all ready have quite a bit of salt in them. Add a Dry Brine and you got a Salt Lick, or at least that was my result when I tried it on a common grocery bird. A Wet Brine can be done to any bird because You control the salt. If using 1/2C Morton Kosher or less per gallon of water, the overall result is the Salinity of the brine regardless of what the factory did with their enhancement. 

    Dry Brining tenderizes the meat and adds salt with out added water so yes the natural flavor of the turkey stays more concentrated and upfront. As Dave pointed out Wet Brines let you add your flavors to the bird. Like any seasoning, if you KILL it with Garlic, Cumin or other spices, it will taste more of what you add and less like Turkey. Moderation is the key. Below is the Brine I use most often. My Turkey is flavorful but still taste like Turkey...JJ

    Families Favorite Brine

    1/2C Kosher Salt

    2T Paprika

    2T Gran. Garlic

    2T Gran. Onion

    2T Dry Thyme

    2T Black Pepper

    1C Vinegar (Any)

    1-11/2Gal Cold Water to cover bird.

    1/2C Brown Sugar, Optional

    1T Red Pepper Flake Optional

    Mix well and Soak the Bird over night or up to 24 Hours.

    Remove the bird, rinse if desired and pat dry with paper towels.

    Place in an open container in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours for the Skin to dry.

    This will give a crispier skin when Smokng or Roasting...
  8. Jimmy J, I've mulled over using that brine recipe of yours for some time - and now I've done it, with an 11# all-natural bird just coming out of a 24 hour soak.   At first I thought the ingredients looked a little strong for poultry, but once I mixed it up - mmmh, great aroma and the bird looks wonderful after coming out! [​IMG]    I included some red pepper flakes and the brown sugar, and also added 1T per gallon of curing salt so it will be a modified version, but I'm really looking forward to the results.  

    Should hit the MES30 tomorrow about 7AM with the AMPS going, and finish in the oven at 425 to crisp the skin.   May need a beer or two along the way . . . [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the good info and help you provide here.  
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We dry rub birds, and we brine them also. Tomorrows bird is going to be dry rubbed. It is an organic, non processed, non enhanced, GMO free, free range, blah blah blah bird. I'm not in charge of cooking it. I hope it turns out good, all the ones we've done in the past have!

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