Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey

Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
Author
Pigiron
Double Chili Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 1384
  • Joined: 2005/05/11 17:51:00
  • Location: Bergen County, NJ
  • Status: offline
2012/11/20 10:17:43 (permalink)

Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey

This is my first attempt at a dry brine for poultry.  A.B. claims that it turns out similar to Peking Duck- moist meat with crisp skin.  I'm a little leery about leaving a raw 15 pound turkey in my fridge for 4 days, but it's all in the name of food science! I'll post after Thanksgiving with a report.
 
 

#1

36 Replies Related Threads

    brisketboy
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1117
    • Joined: 2007/06/11 08:48:00
    • Location: Austin, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 10:21:02 (permalink)
    This very thing was in yesterday's Food and Life section of the paper and we've been brining our turkeys for the last several years and this caught my attention so w're also going to attempt it.  That whole wet brine thing always resulted in a big mess.
    #2
    ScreamingChicken
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5143
    • Joined: 2004/11/05 14:36:00
    • Location: Stoughton, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 10:54:24 (permalink)
    I did a dry brine last year and the turkey turned out very good - I think you'll both like the results.
    #3
    pnwchef
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2454
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 12:12:29 (permalink)
    I'm not sure I buy the hype on a dry brine, I am sold on a wet brine for my chickens. The dry brine is put on the outside skin, how far would you think the salty dry brine would penetrate into the Turkey ???????The wet brine adds to the yield of the cooked bird, does the dry brine seal in the juices ?????? because it can't add moisture..........I wonder why this method wouldn't be perceived more as dry aging or drying out the turkey. You would think the salt would act in a method of drawing out moisture....................I never had a bad turkey at Thanksgiving, even when it was cooked by non cooks, of course, it helps having a good  homemade gravy..........pnwc
    #4
    Root-Beer Man
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 389
    • Joined: 2006/01/09 00:14:00
    • Location: Noblesville, IN
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 12:14:08 (permalink)
    Not planning on dry brining my bird, but I am going to spatchcock it. Looking forward to seeing the cooking results.
    #5
    Pigiron
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1384
    • Joined: 2005/05/11 17:51:00
    • Location: Bergen County, NJ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 13:25:35 (permalink)
    pnwchef

    I'm not sure I buy the hype on a dry brine, I am sold on a wet brine for my chickens. The dry brine is put on the outside skin, how far would you think the salty dry brine would penetrate into the Turkey ???????The wet brine adds to the yield of the cooked bird, does the dry brine seal in the juices ?????? because it can't add moisture..........I wonder why this method wouldn't be perceived more as dry aging or drying out the turkey. You would think the salt would act in a method of drawing out moisture....................I never had a bad turkey at Thanksgiving, even when it was cooked by non cooks, of course, it helps having a good  homemade gravy..........pnwc

     
    PNW, hopefully I will be able to answer all of these questions after Thursday!  I'm skeptical too, but I've never been let down by an Alton Brown cooking method yet.  
    #6
    brisketboy
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1117
    • Joined: 2007/06/11 08:48:00
    • Location: Austin, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 13:30:16 (permalink)
    I'm kinda holding my breath as well. While I did not see Alton Brown's method, this was in yeaterdays food section and the wife thought it might be interesting. Just to be on the safe side I'm going to smoke one and roast the other.
    #7
    pnwchef
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2454
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 13:33:41 (permalink)
    Pigiron

    pnwchef

    I'm not sure I buy the hype on a dry brine, I am sold on a wet brine for my chickens. The dry brine is put on the outside skin, how far would you think the salty dry brine would penetrate into the Turkey ???????The wet brine adds to the yield of the cooked bird, does the dry brine seal in the juices ?????? because it can't add moisture..........I wonder why this method wouldn't be perceived more as dry aging or drying out the turkey. You would think the salt would act in a method of drawing out moisture....................I never had a bad turkey at Thanksgiving, even when it was cooked by non cooks, of course, it helps having a good  homemade gravy..........pnwc


    PNW, hopefully I will be able to answer all of these questions after Thursday!  I'm skeptical too, but I've never been let down by an Alton Brown cooking method yet.  


    Pigiron, I hope it turns out great, I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving............pnwc
    #8
    ScreamingChicken
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5143
    • Joined: 2004/11/05 14:36:00
    • Location: Stoughton, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 13:57:53 (permalink)
    pnwchef

    I'm not sure I buy the hype on a dry brine, I am sold on a wet brine for my chickens. The dry brine is put on the outside skin, how far would you think the salty dry brine would penetrate into the Turkey ??????
    The dry brine (or even just salt) goes under the skin, not on it.
     
    The scientific explanation is that when the salt draws out the moisture it eventually dissolves and forms a wet brine, which then tries to reach equilibrium with the moisture in the meat.  Or something like that.  Chris Kimball and Guy Crosby discussed it on an episode of America's Test Kitchen, and Michael Ruhlman probably has an explanation as well.
     
    I've become a fan of salting meat well in advance of cooking whenever possible.
    #9
    brisketboy
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1117
    • Joined: 2007/06/11 08:48:00
    • Location: Austin, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 14:16:15 (permalink)
    I'm no rocket scientist but in some weird way that almost makes sense. My question would then be since this is done several days in advance of the cooking, can one use the drippings for gravy or would this make it too salty?
    #10
    pnwchef
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2454
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 14:41:28 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken

    pnwchef

    I'm not sure I buy the hype on a dry brine, I am sold on a wet brine for my chickens. The dry brine is put on the outside skin, how far would you think the salty dry brine would penetrate into the Turkey ??????
    The dry brine (or even just salt) goes under the skin, not on it.

    The scientific explanation is that when the salt draws out the moisture it eventually dissolves and forms a wet brine, which then tries to reach equilibrium with the moisture in the meat.  Or something like that.  Chris Kimball and Guy Crosby discussed it on an episode of America's Test Kitchen, and Michael Ruhlman probably has an explanation as well.

    I've become a fan of salting meat well in advance of cooking whenever possible.

    SC, have you seen when you dry rub meat and then refrigerate, you get a wet look to the rub
     as it draws out the moisture in the meat. I do, as you do on Ribs and tougher cuts of meat. If I have a tender cut of meat I season just before grilling or roasting. I do dry rub Beef tenderloins, and Pork Tenderloins and let sit for a few hrs. I really like wet brining dbl cut pork chops i a apple juice based brine and then grilling. I bet we all use different methods with our turkeys this year, I also bet we all eat to much...............pnwc
    #11
    Pigiron
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1384
    • Joined: 2005/05/11 17:51:00
    • Location: Bergen County, NJ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 15:38:17 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken
    The dry brine (or even just salt) goes under the skin, not on it.

     
    Actually, not in this recipe.  AB just applies the dry brine to the outside.  I was surprised at this.
     
    He also cooks the turkey right on the grate of the oven, and lets the juices and fat drip down into the panzanella below.  I'm not going to do that.  Too messy, too fatty.  Plus, there would be no pan drippings that way.  
     
    Watch:
    http://www.foodnetwork.co...nella/video/index.html
     
    #12
    ScreamingChicken
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5143
    • Joined: 2004/11/05 14:36:00
    • Location: Stoughton, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 19:48:01 (permalink)
    brisketboy

    I'm no rocket scientist but in some weird way that almost makes sense. My question would then be since this is done several days in advance of the cooking, can one use the drippings for gravy or would this make it too salty?
    I haven't had a problem with it being too salty.  Last year I cooked the turkey in a vertical smoker and put the drip pan on the lower rack, and the pan was filled with stock, celery, onion, carrot (mirepoix), and the turkey neck, heart, and gizzard.  Of course, we might have different ideas of what too salty is, too.
     
    Pigiron
    ScreamingChicken
    The dry brine (or even just salt) goes under the skin, not on it.
    Actually, not in this recipe.  AB just applies the dry brine to the outside.  I was surprised at this.
    That is a surprise and I apologize for making the assumption that he brined under the skin.  I picked up the idea from Sara Moulton and she goes under the skin and on the meat.
     
    PNWC, I guess there's not only more than 1 way to skin a cat but to salt one, too.
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2012/11/20 20:00:30
    #13
    Foodbme
    Porterhouse
    • Total Posts : 10326
    • Joined: 2006/09/01 14:56:00
    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 21:43:38 (permalink)
    What once was a very simple process has now become an adventure!
    Who's gonna write the book, "A 1000 and 1 Ways to Cook a Turkey" ?????
    #14
    ann peeples
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 8488
    • Joined: 2006/05/21 06:45:00
    • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/20 21:51:58 (permalink)
    I dont brine..frankly dont need to. However, love to see everyone's opinions and results!I am very old fashioned..I boil the giblets with celery leaves, a chunk of onion and some salt and pepper.That is what I use to baste my turkey.( and for the base of my gravy) I also save all the ends of bread through the year for my stuffing......My freezer is thankful as it is now empty....Mom taught me all that, and it is good enough for me....
    #15
    rebeltruce
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 702
    • Joined: 2006/09/08 12:31:00
    • Location: Culpeper, VA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/24 08:25:33 (permalink)
    I used to wet brine.....no more.
     
    Dry Brining to me is much better. I do rub the bird (whatever bird I am doing, could be chicken, turkey, or whatever) all over and under the skin, everywhere I can reach. You have to be very careful not to rip the skin apart.... If your careful you can get the salt everywhere even on the back of the bird.
     
    I did learn very quickly that you have to measure out the salt.......I use about 3-4T for a large turkey, about 2-2 1/2T for a roasting chicken.....it can become way to salty if you aren't careful.
     
    I've let chickens sit for as little as four or five hours and have had excellent results.....
     
    Wet brining does offer a chance to add additional flavors and spices....but honestly I never really picked up on them when the time came to enjoy the bird. I haven't experimented yet with actaully adding anything but salt to the initial seasoning. I do add herbs and spices to the skin before roasting on putting the bird on the Rotisserie.
    #16
    ann peeples
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 8488
    • Joined: 2006/05/21 06:45:00
    • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/24 10:20:47 (permalink)
    Now, I like the idea of dry brining! Thanks rebeltruce.....
    #17
    mayor al
    Fire Safety Admin
    • Total Posts : 15303
    • Joined: 2002/08/20 22:32:00
    • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/24 11:53:43 (permalink)
    Sitting here at the computer, waiting to read the field-test report from Pigiron !!!
     
    #18
    pnwchef
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2454
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/24 11:55:35 (permalink)
    Pigiron, this is your show, we saw the rehearsal now its time for the final performance.........How was it...................pnwc
    #19
    plb
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1036
    • Joined: 2004/01/13 15:02:00
    • Location: Plano, TX
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/24 17:07:56 (permalink)
    I have some Mexican Poultry Rub I use for beer can chicken, now I'm wondering how it would work for turkey.  Maybe next year.
    #20
    Sundancer7
    Fire Safety Admin
    • Total Posts : 13522
    • Joined: 2001/07/18 14:10:00
    • Location: Knoxville, TN,
    • Status: online
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/24 18:56:59 (permalink)
    My neigbor was going to brine and inject our turkey and then fry it. He is a young dentist and has a serious issue with cancer and  unfortunately he got extremely ill and may not make it.  I had to make last minute plans and I just baked my Butterball which I oiled down and used salt and pepper and stuffed it and baked it at 325F for nearly four hours.  Juicy and tender which surprised me and my guest really liked it.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #21
    rebeltruce
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 702
    • Joined: 2006/09/08 12:31:00
    • Location: Culpeper, VA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/24 19:31:13 (permalink)
    Reading through the thread, I didn't see this anywhere...so I thought I'd mention it.
     
    You don't want to do any kind of brining to a bird that has been injected with anything...example being a Butterball, or any Kosher Bird.....they are already essentially brined. So for a dry or wet brined bird it's best to have a 100% 'natural' nothing added bird. Easy to check the package to see whether or not anything has been injected....
    #22
    Root-Beer Man
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 389
    • Joined: 2006/01/09 00:14:00
    • Location: Noblesville, IN
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/24 20:00:24 (permalink)
    My spatchcocking experiment was a resounding success! The entire bird was done in about 70 minutes (at 400) and it was the moistest bird I've ever done, even without brining. This is going to be my new go to way of cooking a turkey. I've done it lots with chicken (in the oven and on the grill), but never a bird as big as a turkey. I'm very pleased with the results and so was the family.
    #23
    pnwchef
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 2454
    • Joined: 2011/03/16 14:15:00
    • Location: Kennewick, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/24 20:47:09 (permalink)
     This is one I want to try next..........looks like a fun method
     
     
    INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent went on a mission to make the best Thanksgiving turkey ever. Famed chef Todd English told INSIDE EDITION he's up for the challenge.

    Trent met English at his Manhattan restaurant Cava.

    “Turkey, as simple as it is, it is as difficult as it is because it's a bird that dries out in the breast, and is hard to cook,” English said.

    So, here's the number one tip to making a great turkey, and it's something you've probably never thought of, butterfly the bird. Just remove the backbone and splay it open with a meat cleaver.

    “I would recommend you have your butcher do this. We don't want anybody losing fingers over this,” said English.

    With this technique, the turkey cooks faster and more evenly.

    Todd also says that when it comes to your turkey, bigger isn't always better.

    “I like them a little bit smaller, because the breast to thigh ratio is a little better. I like 16-18 pounds,” said English.

    This Thanksgiving, English decided to try an Asian-inspired turkey.

    “I’m going to do a Peking-style roast turkey," said English.

    The marinade is a red chili paste with the following ingredients: soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil.

    “We’re going to let this marinate overnight,” said English.

    As for the traditional side dishes, try pureeing your sweet potatoes, then top it off with caramelized bananas and shredded coconut. It's a nice and healthy alternative to marshmallows.

    “Geez that's beautiful,” Trent said of the side dishes.

    Then there was the big moment.

    “Peking turkey, here it is! We are going to reveal this. Viola!" said English.

    Trent said, "It looks moist and juicy, and it's such a different presentation than we're used to. And it smells divine.".

    Then it was time to taste the bird.

    "That is a flavorful turkey! You may have risen to the challenge," said Trent.
    A Thanksgiving masterpiece!

    Try Todd English’s Thanksgiving Peking Turkey:

    1pc 16-18 pound Organic turkey, back bone removed

    For the marinade:
    2 package Char Siew powder
    1 qt. water
    1cup Brown sugar
    ½ cup Soy sauce
    ¼ cup Sesame oil
    1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder

    Method:

    Lay the turkey in a deep roasting pan, skin side down. Blend all of the marinade ingredients together, pour over the bird covering all surfaces. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to marinade in the refrigerator overnight.

    Pre heat a conventional oven to 285 degrees. Remove the bird from the marinade and rest it skin side up on a flat roasting rack. Put the marinade in a small sauce pot and reduce it until it becomes a thickened glaze.

    Cook the turkey in the oven for approximately 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the bird. As the bird is cooking, re-apply the glaze several times, using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon.


    © Todd English 201

    #24
    Pigiron
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1384
    • Joined: 2005/05/11 17:51:00
    • Location: Bergen County, NJ
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/26 13:20:29 (permalink)
    OK, here's the finished product:
     


     
    The turkey was absolutely fantastic.  I cooked it at 425 for about 30 minutes to crisp up the skin, then dropped it to 350 until the thickest part of the breast was at about 155 (maybe a few ticks under)- probably about an hour.  Then rested on the counter for a full 30 minutes.  It was probably the most flavorful turkey I've ever had.  The dry brine rub penetrated though the skin all the way through the meat.  The normally rubbery and inedible skin was crisp, yet a tad chewy- very much like Peking Duck.  The meat itself was super moist and, for lack of a better term, turkeyish.  Most breast meat tastes like nothing- this tasted like turkey.  The thigh- my favorite part- was similarly moist and tasty.  The wings and legs were a tad overdone, but not dry- just a bit chewy.  Still fantastic.  
     
    One thing was odd: there were no drippings at all.  There was perhaps 2 tablespoons of grease in the pan, but no juices.  I guess the dry brining helped the meat retain the liquids? That's probably why AB made giblet gravy in that episode.  
     
    My conclusion: this is my new go-to method for turkey, if I have the requisite 4 days notice to dry brine.  
     
     
    #25
    ScreamingChicken
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 5143
    • Joined: 2004/11/05 14:36:00
    • Location: Stoughton, WI
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/26 13:59:52 (permalink)
    Glad to hear it turned out!  I'm going to keep this in mind for the future...perhaps a smaller turkey grilled sometime next spring or summer.
    #26
    mar52
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 8075
    • Joined: 2005/04/17 18:50:00
    • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/26 14:21:37 (permalink)
    It looks beautiful.
     
    I have never cooked a turkey.
     
    If the situation ever occurs where I have to, I would spatchcock without hesitation.  That's how I do my chickens.
    #27
    iluvcfood
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 488
    • Joined: 2012/06/13 13:20:00
    • Location: Sunny, CA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/26 15:35:41 (permalink)
    With all your years of "cooking experience" you have never cooked a Turkey??
     
    #28
    mar52
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 8075
    • Joined: 2005/04/17 18:50:00
    • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/26 16:08:18 (permalink)
    Nope, never.
     
    That was my father's joy and now it's done by my brother.
    #29
    iluvcfood
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 488
    • Joined: 2012/06/13 13:20:00
    • Location: Sunny, CA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Alton Brown's Dry-Brined Spatchckocked Turkey 2012/11/26 17:42:07 (permalink)
    We had a rather "smallish" Turkey this year (13 lbs.) and this is what's left over...
    Chances are 90% that most everything you see here will get tossed minus enough perhaps for a sandwich or two!?  
    I refuse to eat dark meat so that part for sure will get tossed!
    With both of us being sick as hell on that day our appetites werent the best! :-(
     

    #30
    Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1