Turkey - To Brine or Not to Brine. That is the Question!

In the General Sous Vide Questions Forum
I've always roasted my turkeys without brine them. Does it make a big difference to brine when SV, or can I get away w/o brine?


3 Replies So Far

There's probably more than a single answer to this one. I would suggest thinking about your complete SV cooking process for your turkey. I've seen very different approaches. I don't think that brining (what's the correct spelling?) will make much difference when you are cooking the turkey SV. But once that is done, some recipes have your put the bird under the broiler to crisp the skin... Others crisp the skin separate from the bird. When you heat the bird at termperatures above those in the sous vide range, brining may be beneficial, but still may not be necessary. If you've roasted turkeys without brine and enjoyed the results, I think you will be able to cook it sous vide with enjoyable results.
Brining can help SV by adding additional flavours into the protein via the brine and also helping the protein to retain more 'juiciness' but the extent of the benefits of the latter will probably depend on the cooking temperature.
FYI: The turkey was a hit. No brine, w/duck fat, butter, S&P and herbs. The white meat 18 hrs. (Wanted 12 but needed to keep then in) at 147*F. I separated the thighs from the drumsticks and de-boned them and bagged them all separately and seasoned them the same as the breasts. Cooked them for 8 hours, ice bathed, refrigerated, and then re-thermed to serve. Next time I might de-bone the drumsticks too.


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