How Martha Stewart Ruined My @#!% Turkey


Everybody’s brining turkeys these days. That’s where you soak the bird in a solution -usually involving sugar, salt, and spices- which help make it more tender and delicious when cooked.

A couple of years ago I couldn’t figure out which brine formula to use, but when I came across the one from Martha Stewart Living magazine I figured, “Hey! If this recipe is from MARTHA STEWART it must be awesome.”

Yeah, it seemed strange that the recipe called for like five times the salt as every other recipe, but I thought, “It’s Martha Stewart for God’s sake! Of course it’s right! MARTHA STEWART wouldn’t steer me wrong.”

She did.

The turkey was moist and juicy as advertised but amazingly salty, as if it had been soaked in a solution containing six-and-a-half cups of salt —which it had been. The biggest problem was the drippings, which were so briny that you could have sprayed them on the front walk to melt ice.

I had a couple of jars of emergency store gravy handy and doctored it up to make it homemadey.

The next morning it was time to write the letter.

Dear Martha Stewart:
Thanks for ruining my @#!% turkey. The brine recipe in the November issue of your magazine was obviously wrong. Six-and-a-half cups of salt? If it had not been for my quick thinking and ingenuity Thanksgiving would have been completely spoiled. I think you should print an apology at your earliest convenience to those who TRUSTED YOU. I also think it might be a good idea if you paid for my turkey. A copy of the receipt is enclosed. And it would be nice if you sent my wife a free subscription to your stupid magazine.

They fixed the recipe for the online version so I feel somewhat vindicated —but I’m still waiting for a reply to my letter.

17 thoughts on “How Martha Stewart Ruined My @#!% Turkey

  1. Yeah, that sucked…but since all the other recipes called for substantially less salt you should have trusted your instincts and realized the recipe might be off. Not to be mean about it or anything.

    I still love a good brined turkey, although over on the food blog Steve posted an article about a dry brined turkey which sounds interesting. I suspect the skin on such a turkey gets a lot more crispy than wet brined which could be good.

  2. Forget the brine..Fry it!
    Better yet, try “The Big Easy” from Charbroil.
    Seems like a gimmick until you try it.
    Fantastic cooker.

  3. #4: Oh, yeah… I’ve had fried turkeys and they are amazing —especially if you inject some marinade. That sounds so dirty.

    My brother is king of the fried turkeys in my family and he has a whole kit for pumping stuff inside the bird with a big plastic syringe.

  4. I know guys that got their fried turkey marinade injectors from a local veternarian! Surgical quality. Best turkey I’ve had.

  5. BL, I’ve used the Alton Brown brine recipe. Works great.

    I’ve never had a fried turkey but there are some awful videos of what can go wrong when not done properly. I’m too chicken shit to attempt it.

  6. I love the way you use symbols for foul language. You’re so controversial. Just kidding but it is time to get back to your normal life. Let this blogging go.

  7. Too funny, every year I go to her website to try a new recipe for Thanksgiving, Martha has made me feel a bit uneasy when it comes to the holidays she is so “perfect” (not really but if you ever watched her holiday shows she uses that word quite frequently) I would have done the same how can you go wrong? Well I guess this is proof (other then her choice of ankle attire) that she is not so “perfect”

  8. You should try the corrected receipt again. I found it on Martha’s website a couple of years ago and it was great. Best turkey I ever roasted. I lost the receipt and went specifically looking for it when I saw your comments. I’m going to do it again this year. I think the magazine that printed it wrong should buy you another turkey, but don’t hold your breath.

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