Thanksgiving debate: To brine or not to brine

Thanksgiving debate: To brine or not to brine

Forget politics. The ongoing debate this week is to brine or not to brine (your turkey). Personally, I don’t. It seems like too much work.

It looks as if I’m not alone.

Three foodies reported their opinions in today’s Daily Briefing from “The New York Times.” Here’s what they said:

Food reporter, and Sam Sifton

Brining is a very wide tie, at this point in history, a dress out of fashion. I follow the teachings of Kim Severson (food reporter Atlanta) and use a salt cloak instead, what’s called a dry brine but which is hardly a brine at all. It’s salt and it delivers a taut, golden skin to my bird.”

Pete Wells, The Times’s chief restaurant critic

Brining is a pain unless you have a second refrigerator for your brine pail. It also ensures that your pan drippings will be too salty to use in gravy. Then again, if you’re making as much gravy as you should, the pan drippings won’t contribute much flavor. I’ve tasted turkeys that were ruined by over brining; the meat gets that springy, spongy texture of ham in a can. I’ve also tasted turkeys that benefited from brining, but on balance I think a dry rub (or dry cure; I refuse to call it a dry brine because it’s nonsensical) is more likely to give you a bird that’s just as good if not better, and is definitely less trouble.”

Food reporter Julia Moskin

“Never brined, never will.”


Happy Thanksgiving from Chicago Eats

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Filed under: Food holidays, Opinion

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