November 21, 2007

Brined Faith

Yesterday I received the shock of a lifetime. I learned something that is making me question my fundamental beliefs about life and the universe. A truth which I believed down to my core has been called into question:

Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking does not brine his turkey.

I discovered this yesterday in an interview with Harold McGee in the New York Times. Needless to say, I didn't sleep last night. My mind replayed all the times where I spread the gospel of brining high and low, like the Johnny Appleseed of tryptophan. Could it have been for nothing?

Now don't get me wrong, the brined turkeys I've had have been the best I've ever tasted. But could there be a tastier method out there?

More importantly, if McGee is right, what do I make of Alton Brown, my culinary hero? He's a McGee fan, but a briner nonetheless. Who is right and who is wrong? It's as if Santa and Jesus disagreed on the best way to wrap presents.

For now, perhaps foolishly, I'm going to continue brining my bird. It's what I know. And it's delicious.

For those that have asked, here's the recipe I'm using: Good Eats Roast Turkey.

And here's the episode (in a few parts) where Alton gives the bird its bath:

Posted by Kevin at November 21, 2007 09:23 AM

Blasphemy!!! What donít you consider becoming a scientologist while you are at it?

Posted by: JayBoz at November 22, 2007 01:28 PM

Kev, the brining saved me--I realized, when attempting to carve the bird, that I had grilled the aforementioned bird with the breast down. Tough to tell which side is up with a 22 pounder, I guess... Not to worry; despite likely being overcooked, the brining kept the turkey moist, and earned me stellar reviews.

Posted by: Joel at November 24, 2007 10:48 AM
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