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Dry brining vs wet for turkey

Have y’all found much of a difference one way or the other? 

Thanks!

Comments

  • StillH2OEggerStillH2OEgger Posts: 2,472
    I am also interested in thoughts on this from those who've tried both.
    Stillwater, MN
  • scdafscdaf Posts: 89
    I actually prefer the dry brine.  I don't think anything in a wet brine, aside from the salt, has much impact.  I dry brine overnight, then rub a compound butter made with prosciutto, rosemary, thyme, lemon zest, sage and pepper under and over the skin.  Nobody complains...
  • GregWGregW Posts: 1,988
    I have done both. One year I did Alton Brown's brine recipe. It was very good.
    After many years of experimentation, I have started to notice a brined bird of any type is certainly moist, however I have noticed that the additional moisture imparted by the brine, also dilutes the flavor of the meat. It can also lead to a sponginess in the meat. A brined bird tends to have a less than desirable skin. Without care, it will be a rubbery mess. Allow allowing the bird to dry uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours will really help the skin.

    I think I will go with a dry brine this year. When I dry brine, I separate the skin from the meat with my fingers, and work the salt mixture under the skin. 

    Dry brining promotes natural moisture retention and good texture. Not to mention a better skin.

    At the end of the day, whatever method you choose, will yield a excellent meal.
    Birmingham, AL
  • danv23danv23 Posts: 869
    If you wet brine a bird that already has a solution injected into the breast meat you will get spongy meat.  You can only wet brine an untouched, virgin bird.  Dry brine a previously injected bird and you'll be happy. 

    The Dude: This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head. Luckily I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber.

    Walter Sobchak: Nihilists! *uck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos. 

    Cumming, GA

    Eggs - XL, L, Small

    Gasser - Weber Summit 6 Burner

  • Philly35Philly35 Posts: 818
    I’m in the dry brine camp. Much easier than a wet brine and It doesn’t take up as much room in the fridge IMO. 
    NW IOWA
  • Another vote for dry brining.  Went to that method a few years ago and have never looked back.   For me flavors are great and much less mess than wet brining.  Texture wise very happy with the results as well.   Dry brined and then Mad Max has been very successful.
  • I'm in the wet brine realm.  I personally have never noticed a spongy texture on a butterball post wet brine.  My bird has always come out a fan favorite.

    With that said, I've never tried a virgin bird to truly see the difference.  Add it to the to-cook list.
    Lakeville, MN
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,361
    had way more flavor with last years dry brine than any wet brine ive ever done. used duck fat instead of butter as well
  • GregW said:
    I have done both. One year I did Alton Brown's brine recipe. It was very good.
    After many years of experimentation, I have started to notice a brined bird of any type is certainly moist, however I have noticed that the additional moisture imparted by the brine, also dilutes the flavor of the meat. It can also lead to a sponginess in the meat. A brined bird tends to have a less than desirable skin. Without care, it will be a rubbery mess. Allow allowing the bird to dry uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours will really help the skin.

    I think I will go with a dry brine this year. When I dry brine, I separate the skin from the meat with my fingers, and work the salt mixture under the skin. 

    Dry brining promotes natural moisture retention and good texture. Not to mention a better skin.

    At the end of the day, whatever method you choose, will yield a excellent meal.
    I came here to say this. Have nothing to add. I’m all dry brine on birds
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • I actually do have one thing to add- Buttermilk brine is awesome. If you are going to use a wet brine, I highly recommend trying buttermilk brine over water based.

    carry on
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 9,988
    That would be a lot of buttermilk for a turkey !
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,361
    wonder if you could use buttermilk powder as a dry brine
  • Legume said:
    That would be a lot of buttermilk for a turkey !
    It is. but worth every drop
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • wonder if you could use buttermilk powder as a dry brine
    I don't know about that but I recently had some fried okra with buttermilk powder in the batter and it was fantastic.

    Not sure how the acids would behave as a powder vs liquid in a brine but I think I'm going to some experimentin' and see for myself

    Cool idea- thanks!

    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,361
    wonder if you could use buttermilk powder as a dry brine
    I don't know about that but I recently had some fried okra with buttermilk powder in the batter and it was fantastic.

    Not sure how the acids would behave as a powder vs liquid in a brine but I think I'm going to some experimentin' and see for myself

    Cool idea- thanks!

    im thinking keep the buttermilk powder, salt, herb brine shorter in time than a regular dry brine.  turkey is cheap right now anyways
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 9,988
    Why not just go straight to hidden valley ranch powder.  You know you want to.
  • DawgtiredDawgtired Posts: 374
    Legume said:
    That would be a lot of buttermilk for a turkey !

    I’m either Spatchcocking or cutting the bird into four pieces. That would certainly cut down on the buttermilk. 

  • LegumeLegume Posts: 9,988
    Dawgtired said:
    Legume said:
    That would be a lot of buttermilk for a turkey !

    I’m either Spatchcocking or cutting the bird into four pieces. That would certainly cut down on the buttermilk. 

    I’m frying this year, so bucket of buttermilk and bucket of peanut oil.  Works for fried chicken, I’m all over it.
  • I buy the Butterball turkeys.  Prebrined, so all I do is rub butter/spice mixture under skin, spatchcock, and throw on XL.  Everyone raves how moist my turkeys are.  Easy-peasy!  They all want my to know my “secret”, but it’s the quality of the bird and the BGE.

    Land of OZ-Hays Kansas

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++2 Weber Kettles

  • LDRLDR Posts: 393
    Seem to be getting a lot of votes for dry brining, but are you all using similar techniques/brines, or is there a great variety of them?
  • TeefusTeefus Posts: 875
    I go wet using two NSF Food Grade five gallon buckets. After submerging the bird in the brine I top the bucket off with ice and put the lid on. I then place it inside another bucket. The air space between the two acts as an insulator. There is still plenty of ice left 12-18 hours later so no refrigerator space is used. The bird turned out great.


    Michiana, South of the border.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,361
    LDR said:
    Seem to be getting a lot of votes for dry brining, but are you all using similar techniques/brines, or is there a great variety of them?
    this is the one ive been using, it takes a few days


  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,339
    Legume said:
    Why not just go straight to hidden valley ranch powder.  You know you want to.
    MSGenius!
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