Non-corrosive containers for brining

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by benrias, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. benrias

    benrias

    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    With all this talk of brining, I have decided to try it myself. Our Turkey is about 18 lbs. and although some of the websites and recipes state that stock pots are fine for brining, I just want to verify with you all that my large stainless steel stock pot will not give off any metally flavor after containing such a large amount of salt for so long? Now i know that there will NOT be citrus or other acidic ingredient in the brine, but would the addition of chili flakes add any corrosive effect to the pot? I think it should be fine, but just need that little encouragment from those who have done this before.

    What about a medium sized ice chest or other plastice container?
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,395
    Likes Received:
    422
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    I've used a large stainless stockpot for brining in years past and will do so again this year. No off flavors.

    I've also used medium sized plastic coolers with success. Just be careful draining them.

    Phil
     
  3. markv

    markv

    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    10
    You don't need to worry about stainless steel or any other "non-reactive" metals for the brine.

    "non -reactive" means materials that will not chemically combine with acids, such as aluminum or copper.

    Feel free to add chile flakes and salt. Stainless steal will not create a "metal" flavoring.

    Mark
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,395
    Likes Received:
    422
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Mark rewrite your middle sentence for clarity. As writtern you've called aluminum and copper non-reactive. Either that or you called aluminum and copper acids.

    Phil
     
  5. jock

    jock

    Messages:
    1,310
    Likes Received:
    15
    Exp:
    At home cook
    If you don't have the convenience of a walk in box to keep a honking great container for brining it can be difficult in your home refrigerator. That's why I always use the cooler. I substitute some of the water for ice so as not to dilute the brine and it will keep cold and food safe overnight.

    Actually I brine it a day ahead and let it air dry in the fridge overnight. That lets the soggy skin dry out and crisp better in the oven.

    Stainless steel is non reactive but it isn't impervious to everything. High concentrations of salt will cause microscopic pitting in the steel and over time it may become obvious. I have no first hand knowledge of this because I don't put my stainless pots to the test. Just something to think about.

    Jock
     
  6. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

    Messages:
    9,204
    Likes Received:
    65
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    I'm going to use a cooler, but put the bird and the brine in one of those new extra large Ziplock bags. I called the company to confirm that they're safe for food, and they are. If you're worried about reactivity, try that.
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,395
    Likes Received:
    422
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    I saw a special zip-locking brining bag in the grocery store this week. That would be a good liner.

    Phil
     
  8. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

    Messages:
    9,204
    Likes Received:
    65
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    I just put the turkey in the brine. I put the bird, then the brine, in the bag and lowered it into my cooler. Didn't work for two reasons: the cooler was the wrong shape and so the bird wasn't immersed, and the bag had a hole in the bottom!

    Luckily, my husband had a clean 5-gallon pail leftover from a sale at Ace Hardware, so I repeated the process (with the bird breast-down in the bag-lined pail), and tossed in a few cups of ice. It fit perfectly.

    I had planned to store the brining turkey outside in the garage, but since it's going to be 20 degrees tonight, I was worried it would freeze out there. Then I remembered the small refrigerator I used to have in my classroom. The bucket o' bird fit perfectly! Now it's going to stay chilled just right.

    I really wish I'd figured this out better before I started the process. Next time I know I'll have exactly what I need to do it at home. If the turkey turns out well, I'll hang onto that fridge instead of selling it like I'd planned.
     
  9. blade55440

    blade55440

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    I used a small cooler large enough to fit the bird in (it had a plastic sleeve).

    I would think one of the best ways to do it would be in a clean 5 gallon bucket, if it floats, weigh it down with something.