Old 09-26-2010, 02:37 PM
GianniFocaccia's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Disneyland, CA
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Default Re: Turkey mistakes?

"They said that this was to sear the meat to keep the juices in, but I think part of it is that generations of cooks worked on declining temperature curves, just as in our brick ovens."

Harold McGee, in his book "On Food and Cooking" writes that the age-old myth that searing locks juices in lives on today, even among professional cooks. Even though this myth was disproved in the 1800's, it is still true that through chemical browning reactions searing makes for delicious meat.

Because higher temperatures result in higher moisture losses in meat, searing is most beneficial when reserved for the end of the cooking process, which, in the case of grilling, can add the all-too-attractive grill marks.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:09 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
Posts: 1,206
Default Re: Turkey mistakes?

Dmun, Interesting on the salt dry and wrap in plastic. This would sure make things easier. I liked the "Good Eats" use of a plastic chest cooler to brine the turkey in but I like the idea of salt and plastic wrap better.

On the cooking note after roasting, Turkey soup is a must. Whatever is a bit over cooked and whatever bones are left.. Soup them.

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Old 09-28-2010, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 89
Default Re: Turkey mistakes?

The dry salt brine (really a lite cure) and a brine kind of do the same thing. You'll get more moisture insurance with a wet brine, but you'll get more pure turkey flavor with a dry brine. The only things to watch with a cure are time and temperature; it's a trickier business than wet brining because it takes a little longer.

For a dry brine, you're looking at around 1TB of kosher salt/pound of turkey.

Personally, I like a wet brine in the plastic chest cooler from the Good Eats episode. I make a weaker brine and put the turkey in partially frozen. It thaws in the cooler over a few days and exchanges with the weaker brine. That way, I don't have a turkey taking up space in my refrigerator. I also like the wet brine for WFO simply because it tends to pump a little more moisture into the meat, and at 500+ degrees, I'll take any insurance I can get.

Either way, use a thermometer and pull when it's done. And shoot for the low side of done, because a turkey can carry-over almost 10 degrees.

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