Turkey brines - any secrets to your favorites?

'Next" is antepenultimate. :wink:

Sounds tasty! Still, that’s hours, not days. The 72 hours, the re-absorption, and the change in the texture of the meat is what makes it different for me, and I find exploring the science of it interesting. To the internet’s credit, it potentially allows the sharing of knowledge as it evolves.

Now I’m wondering why we don’t call macerating fruit a “rub”! :wink:

ETA I don’t recall having any experience with “steak” during my childhood, unless you count “London broil”, and I remember one of my very first Gourmet magazine projects involving “marinating” with that bottled organge stuff I thought of as "French salad dressing ". When I compare the ingredients to what I now think of as French dressing, it could have made the difference between what I think of as a marinade and a brine.

For the record I have not given the specof the various solutions much serious thought.

Well the volume of meat is different. Whole 15-25lb bird vs a piece of steak? Used meat can be even less time. A whole chicken needs less days than a whole turkey. Chicken parts need less time than a whole chicken. It’s all pretty proportional.

When I was making gravlax / cured salmon, the curing time in recipes varied from 12h to
3 days. There’s preference and habit, too.

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That is a great example! Curing salmon involves releasing liquid and changing texture! I don’t usually use as much salt: weight, and time with beef, but I’ve gone at least 48 hours, and it seems different. When I am doing poultry parts , I tend not to concern myself with keeping the released liquid in contact with the meat, and mostly concern myself with the skin has time to dry.

A local newscaster described some festival, which has continued to grow and improve (not always the same thing!) every year, as “the penultimate” festival. I turned to Mrs. ricepad and said, “Looks like next year will be the last chance if we’re going to go.”


also @ricepad

Sometimes when I hear someone use “penultimate” incorrectly, I’ll slap a stupid-innocent look on my face and ask them what is the antepenultimate.

Also ~ 30 years ago used to do that when people used “ultimate” incorrectly, I’d ask “ok, but what’s the penultimate”, but now the use of “ultimate” to mean “bestest ever” is so ingrained in culture and advertising that I eventually just gave up on that one.

What is your “most unique” word usage pet peeve? Apart from people tacking modifiers onto absolutes, that is.


I’ve been following Alton Brown’s brine recipe for a long time, with some twists. He called for a TBS kosher salt per cup of liquid but I’ve backed that down a bit. Otherwise, brown sugar (at 1 TBS/cup), and herbs/spices.

The herbs/spices are bay leaves, rosemary, thyme along with lightly smashed peppercorns, allspice berries and garlic cloves. I boil these and let them steep for a long time to make an evil smelling (and tasting) sort of “tea”.

Strain and add to the sugar/salt solution and toss in thinly sliced onions (easy enough to pick off the bird later) and let it go 18-24 hours.

I have not tried the citrus but it sounds like a nice addition.

So I guess the “tea” thing is a bit of a secret method, so I’m not having to chase bits of allspice berries or rosemary around the bird and its cavity.

Great idea for a new thread!

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CUBED meat

Well, you’re not curing the poultry to preserve, so a bit apples and oranges

I don’t know about apples and oranges. Maybe apples and quince or pears. Different, but not completely different (both “pomes” I think)

I agree the goal is not to preserve. OTOH, many of us cure things because of the way it changes the texture and flavor now; not because we don’t have refrigeration.

I’m wondering if a dry brine changes poultry proteins in the same way that salt and sugar change fish proteins.

I found this;

Cure is a method of preparing meats or fish for preservation by salting. When most people refer to curing food they are referring to a “dry-cure”, in opposition to a “wet-cure”, that is in fact a brine.”

"Brining is often compared to marinating. This is a fairly accurate comparison, except that brines rely on salt to drive fluid exchange across and into the meat tissue, while marinades use acid to break down meat tissue

Not my words

Maybe that is what @kaleokahu wrote.

Maybe this one

Or … last one :innocent:

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I was wondering about that. I really don’t want to think about ways to prepare USED meat.


Me neither. I swear I typed “cubed” the first time. I do so hate autocorrect.

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Where to start? I mean, my current email signature block proudly declares, “Pedantry is my Superpower.”
Subject-verb agreement. An historic. Split infinitives. Passive voice. I could go on until I’m a quivering mass of goo.


I’d have to change my name to Donna Quixote if I were to continue my fruitless and consistent battle against the misuse of “me, myself, and I.”

How people get this wrong ALL the time drives me dangerously close to insanity, and I literally (yes, literally) yell at the TV* most every time it happens, much to my PIC’s amusement.

*Obviously, I don’t yell at people IRL – bc I’d never be able to stop. Plus it’s uncouth to correct adults in public ;-D


Like, “like”.

A close second is when someone refers to the numerosity of something, e.g., group of people, as an “amount” of them.

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Or any of the so-called “vocalized pauses” to include, “like”, “um”, others.

When I was in engineering school my college required 4 hours of composition, even if you’d gotten a 36 on the English part of the ACT. Problem was, the engineering curriculum was already 138 hours in 4 years, and the 4-hour EngComp requirement would have pushed us up toward 19 hours every semester, on average, which is a bit of a tough row to hoe (as if 138 weren’t already tough enough in 4 years).

The colleges of engineering and English reached a deal where the English department would grade our senior project reports for written English and attend also (and grade) our presentations of same, and we’d be granted the 4 hour EngComp requirement on that basis.

The English Prof had warned us that each one vocalized pause (“um”, “y’know”, “like” etc.) would cost each member of the presenting team 1% off their English portion of the grade.

So in practice, as each team member did his/her part, the other 3 of us were sitting there with rubber bands ready to thwack them in the face for each vocalized pause.

Our group came out of the oral presentation with zero deductions for that. But now, even decades later, I can’t stop mentally tick-marking speakers on their vocalized pauses.

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Not to go further than Alice beneath the Christchurch Oak, but there is much overlap twixt a cure and a rub (or a wet brine). Most modern foods aren’t cured for preservation, but for texture and flavor. Smoked salmon that has been brined or cured doesn’t last all that long without having a large % of its water driven out.

I think of “cure” in the sense of Prague Powders 1 & 2, the nitrites and nitrates that keep things like summer sausage safe(er) to keep unrefrigerated. But those powders, ordered up as “curing salt” are put in and on many foods as a seasoning and texture component.

But “dry curing” is a lesser misnomer than “dry brining”.

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Or very unique.