bath salts for turkeys

Dlpavatar A very happy, albeit jet-lagged Thanksgiving to you all.  Major apologies for not getting this up earlier, but it represents my first attempt at vlogging and the learning curve ended up being a little steeper than I anticipated.
I just returned from London last night (this morning?) and, after trying to figure out the correct encoding right up to the time I had to leave for the airport, I dragged the whole project with me to England, only to find out that my poor little underpowered laptop didn't have the horsepower to run Adobe Premiere Pro.  Thanks to a lack of Cornish game hens in the area, I'm making chicken and stuffing this holiday, which means I have a little more time this morning to get the video uploaded.
The video is a little on the long side, and I know there are some lighting problems – I am learning about that you can know all you want about optics, but it doesn't mean you know anything about lighting.  The vlog features the science behind – as Jennifer pointed out – why brining a turkey is the absolute best way to make Thanksgiving dinner.  Luckily for me (as it is probably a little late to start on your T-bird now), it's such an easy technique that I use it when we're barbecuing chicken, or basically anytime I am cooking fowl.

A couple additional links for more information.

  • If you're going to try brining, I recommend the original Martha Stewart recipe that got me started.  The ingredients sound a little odd, but believe me, they turn out a really tasty bird.  Pay attention to the concentration of salt and sugar in the water, though!
  • One hint I forgot to add in the video: It's really important to let the brine cool before you dunk in your birds, so I like to use about 1/4 of the water to heat and dissolve the salt/sugar in, and then make up the other 3/4 of the water with ice, so the liquid cools down and you can start with the brining faster.
  • I recommend the scanning electron micrograph images at the Internet Microscope for Schools site for looking at the different types of salt a little closer.
  • The Salt Institute, for everything else you ever wanted to know about salt

I'm still experimenting with the vlog format, so please be gentle with your comments about the strange blue cast of some of the scenes and a couple of awkward cuts! My big challenge now is translating the British recipe I brought home for sticky toffee pudding into U.S. measurement (and words!) Muscavato sugar anyone?

5 thoughts on “bath salts for turkeys”

  1. Great post, Diandra. I always learn something when reading your articles. I have never understood why a brine makes a turkey more moist until you explained it. Thanks.

  2. Great video! I am a college sophomore with a dual major in Physics and Mathematics @ University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. By the way, i came across these excellent physics flashcards. Its also a great initiative by the FunnelBrain team. Amazing!!!

  3. Fun and informative post. Another approach I tried out last week is dry-brining. It worked really well and no need to wash the bird off before roasting. You can also mix various herbs and spices in with the kosher salt.

  4. I loved the video but I just thought that it needed a few more pauses as it seemed as if you never took a breath.

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