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Saltless brine?? Max Max?? Anyone??

willrevwillrev Posts: 80
edited 9:29AM in EggHead Forum
I keep reading about over salted turkey. Just pulled mine and looked. It has a 3% solution. So I am trying to figure out whether or not to do a "salt-less" brine. Saw a recipe for 1 cup salt, 1 cup brown sugar, 6 sprigs thyme. 6 sage leaves, 10 peppercorns, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 2 lemons quartered, 2 oranges quartered, and 2 gals water. I have a 20 pound bird. Worried it may not thaw in time so soaking it in the fridge in the brine my help. If I do this, should I use the salt or not since it has the 3% solution already?


  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 7,969
    I don't brine however this site seems to have a lot of great info on the subject. Happy Holidays!
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    The heavy salt brine is what causes the flavors you're hoping to impart to flow into your bird... skip the salt you might as well just rub it
    Kent Madison MS
  • Ok. I think I have read enough to see that the Mad Max method is the best way to go. The heck with brining the dang bird. I just have to figure out how to get it to thaw in the refrigerator by Thursday morning!!! I feel good about the Mad Max way even though this will be my first bird on the Egg.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Great link...
    Kent Madison MS
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    It's all scientific..either trust the brine theory or dont do brined birds never come out salty..if you dont have salt in the aint brining...
  • It can take a few days for a fully frozen bird to thaw in the fridge. The safest way to "quickly" thaw the bird is to put it in a large bowl (or even a 5 gallon bucket you get at a hardware store) and put a light stream of cold running water over it. It will thaw in 5-7 hours and be ready to go. As to your brining dilemma, I would advise reducing the salt content from 1 cup to 3/4 or 2/3 of a cup. 3% solution is relatively light, some birds go all they way up to 16%. I do use the mad max method and also brine using an alton brown brine method I got off of, but buy fresh birds with no added salt solutions.
  • Personally...
    I think the problem with a salty taste after a brining process is the result of not doing a soak out and a rest.
    We need to slow down and let everything get to an equilibrium of sorts..... :whistle:
    I realize "turkey day" is just around the corner, but...For a whole , large bird:
    Brine in the fridge. for at least 12 hrs. in a 6% brine.
    Rinse and soak out in ice cold water for about 4 (or more) hours with a change of water, twice.
    Rest in the fridge.for at least 8 hours.
    Now you're ready to EGG!
    Just my 2 cents worth!! ;)
  • Well....Maybe it's a salt flavor that willrev is looking for, but I think not, as he wonders about a salty taste.
    In my mind, the reason to brine is to guarantee a moist bird...
    Or a moist bird, with a flavor brine as a seasoning.
    Rubbing salt is a good thing, but it is not a brining process that will assure moisture.
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