Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thinking About Brining Your Turkey This Year? Maybe You Shouldn't...

One of my favorite authors on the blog Serious Eats, Kenji Lopez-Alt writes a column called The Food Lab where he "unravels the mysteries of home cooking through science." In the spirit of Thanksgiving, he recently wrote an article on the practice of brining turkey.

Many people brine their turkeys in a salt solution in order to keep moisture in and add flavor. The logic is that through osmosis, water will move from the solution into the turkey where there is a higher concentration of solutes in the cells. But if this theory were true, wouldn't it be more effective to soak the turkey in pure unsalted water? In a thorough yet entertaining article, Kenji conducted an experiment that studied the effects of brining in different solutions in order to find out if the practice really is a logical thing to do to your Thanksgiving turkey. This article, and his column, is always an interesting thing to read if you want to understand why certain things happen when we cook. Read the article here and decide for yourself if you still want to brine your turkey.