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Brining


tommy
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Way to go Stone!  Are you going to wrap them in bacon too? :biggrin:

=R=

The wisdom here (from Klink, et al.) is that bacon wont do much for a butt. The butt has enough of its own fat to keep it moist, and 10 hours in the smoker will add enough flavor.

:biggrin: Oh....I was just cracking wise on the Atkins detail...you certainly won't need the bacon for flavor.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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  • 11 months later...

I resurrected this thread because I finally got a grill for my new abode (previous digs in a third floor apartment left no room for a grill). Have been using a smoker for several years and read the brinign threads and comment with interest but finally put it into practice last night.

Wow! Finally.... I can cook a split chicken on a propane grill until the skin is nicely caramelized, crunchy and golden brown yet the meat is still moist. I used the recommended ratio of 1/2 cup (70 grams) Diamond Kosher salt per quart of water but had to add just a bit more water at the end to get the chicken covered. I did add about two teaspoons of sugar as well. Left in the juice for three hours, set both burners on the grill to Low after preheating it to get an initial sear and cooked for about one hour, flipping once. I basted the birds with BBQ sauce about ten minutes before they were done cooking but it was superfluous. There was so much flavor in the skin and the meat that sauce was irrelevant.

There seem to be differing schools of thought around here on the value of brining (most in favor). Count me among the converted. I just thawed out some spareribs that I prepped, rubbed and froze a month ago (had too many for the initial event). They'll be completely defrosted tonight and I'm thinking that a quick 30 - 60 minute brine is in order before they the smoker. And it's time to buy some Cornish Hens.

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I just thawed out some spareribs that I prepped, rubbed and froze a month ago (had too many for the initial event). They'll be completely defrosted tonight and I'm thinking that a quick 30 - 60 minute brine is in order before they the smoker. And it's time to buy some Cornish Hens.

Make sure you peel the cellophane-like membrane off of the back side of the ribs before you start brining.

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These were ribs out of the freezer and had already been prepped and dry rubbed. I do a Kansas City style prep that includes removing all the extra exterior layers of meat and also the mebrane. I defrosted them in the fridge and brined about 25 minutes or so. Fantastic - the ribs from my smoker have always been good but these were the best by far.

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  • 1 month later...

I've just purchased a nice little (3 1/2 lb.) grass fed prime rib roast from the local farmers market. Unfortunately they can only sell frozen meat here so I've thawed it out in the fridge in preperation for Sunday dinner and of course there has been some "drip" or juice loss. I'm thinking I should brine overnight to restore some of the moisture/flavor.

Has anyone done this with a prime rib (the bone has been tied back on)?

I'm a big believer in Judy Rogers pre salting technique but I only have 24 hours or so to work with and a piece this size would need a couple of days (thus the need for full on brining).

Thanks

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  • 1 year later...

I made a brine today for a chicken: kosher salt, brown sugar, lemon juice and Frank's Chile and Lime hot sauce. Brined for 6 hrs in the coldest part of my fridge (ice cube didn't melt all the way). Dried , roasted and ate.

A very good chicken, with all of the bennies of brining ( a little saltiness, juicy, firm texture) but I found NONE of the flavors other than the salt were present !

No lemon, hot sauce, sugar.........

So what is the REAL deal? Is this all BS? Is the salt the only thing that permeates the chicken?

In other words, why bother with the rest?

:angry:

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As America's Test Kitchen explains it, salt denatures the proteins somewhat, allowing them to hold additional water. Brining is about increasing the water (and whatever flavors it contains I'd think) in meat.

Well, yeah................

just seems like the 'flavors' never make it in there. I'd love to hear someone else's experience where they DID .......and HOW !

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I made a brine today for a chicken: kosher salt, brown sugar, lemon juice and Frank's Chile and Lime hot sauce. Brined for 6 hrs in the coldest part of my fridge (ice cube didn't melt all the way). Dried , roasted and ate.

A very good chicken, with all of the bennies of brining ( a little saltiness, juicy, firm texture) but I found NONE of the flavors other than the salt were present !

No lemon, hot sauce, sugar.........

So what is the REAL deal? Is this all BS? Is the salt the only thing that permeates the chicken?

In other words, why bother with the rest?

:angry:

Think about the concentration of flavour you get in a typical marinade and how much flavour permeates the meat. Now imagine if you got that marinade and diluted it 30 times with salt water and how much flavour would then permeate the meat. It's the same sort of deal.

The solution is to use the minimal amount of brine possible to flavouring ingredients to maximise flavour concentration. This is tough for whole chicken as you have to deal with the cavity but for stuff like pork chops and chicken breasts, my favourite solution is to just make a really salty and slightly watery marinade to use a zip top bag. You get all the benifits of brining without diluting any of the marinade flavour. Usually, I prefer to use soy sauce or fish sauce or some other flavouring ingredient to bring in the salt.

For whole chickens, I don't bother with flavouring the brine since the flavouring wont permeate the meat enough to bother anywy. Instead, I just make up some flavoured butter and slip it under the skin.

PS: I am a guy.

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Think about the concentration of flavour you get in a typical marinade and how much flavour permeates the meat. Now imagine if you got that marinade and diluted it 30 times with salt water and how much flavour would then permeate the meat. It's the same sort of deal.

The solution is to use the minimal amount of brine possible to flavouring ingredients to maximise flavour concentration. This is tough for whole chicken as you have to deal with the cavity but for stuff like pork chops and chicken breasts, my favourite solution is to just make a really salty and slightly watery marinade to use a zip top bag. You get all the benifits of brining without diluting any of the marinade flavour. Usually, I prefer to use soy sauce or fish sauce or some other flavouring ingredient to bring in the salt.

For whole chickens, I don't bother with flavouring the brine since the flavouring wont permeate the meat enough to bother anywy. Instead, I just make up some flavoured butter and slip it under the skin.

Actually, with a whole chicken I just put it breast down in the brine, no need to brine the thighs/legs/back. Still am wondering about the other flavors, tho. I have no problem with the brining process itself....... I guess next time I'll up the other ingredients and see if it makes a diffference.

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Shrug, dunno............

Maybe you're not using enough of the flavor ingredients, or not bringing them to a boil............

Good thought, did it.........

I have visions of this chicken infused with this sweet/salty/spicy taste......... :sad:

I'll keep trying.......

You could inject the meat with a less salty version of your flavor ingredients.

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Heres another question of my own.

I have some semi-frozen (i.e about 1/3rd the way defrosted) pork chops and I'd love to try brining them, but only have enough time to do so if i were to put them in NOW.

Is it safe to brine semi frozen food that will be cooked the same day?

I cant think of a reason why not, but who knows.

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I have had a lot of success with brining whole chicken with just salt and dried shitake mushrooms. I don't boil the brine. I swear, the perfumey shitake flavor distributes throughout the chicken, even well into the breast meat. I have not had nearly as much success with dried herbs. Is there something special about the dried shitakes?

What is the effect of acid on a brine? I know that acids are used in marinades to tenderize the meat, so is it a good idea to use acids in brine?

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I believe there a previous discussion of this (in a roast chicken thread?) where the consensus was that adding acid to the brine made the protein "mushy".

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Had never brined before, but decided to experiment with brined pork belly from the St John cookbook. Had a complete disaster.

Prepared a brine (400g sugar, 600g salt, 4l water, juniper, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves), brought to boil, cooled, put belly into the pot and then left in the fridge for three days.

Took it out, rinsed under tap for a minute or so, patted dried, scored with knife and then roasted.

Looked great, smelt great, texture was great - but was utterly, inedibly, salty. Didn't matter so much for the crackling, but I couldn't have served the meat to my worst enemy.

What did I do wrong? Dodgy recipe? Did I miss a step? Insufficient rinsing? Or is it supposed to be this way?

Advice appreciated...

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