Brine question.

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by kb69co, Apr 29, 2013.

  1.       I am new to this and want to try smoking some chickens. A friend told me when Brining poultry it is very important to make sure the whole Chicken/Turkey is submerged in the brine. He said that if any part of the bird is sticking out of the brine you will end up with Botulism. I have looked at various YT videos on doing poultry and they put it in a big pot and then put it in the fridge. They don't use anything to weight it down and keep it 100% submerged.

          Is it true that it needs to be 100% submerged or can it float?
  2. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    To obtain the best results from the brine completely submerge the bird.  I am not sure about Botulism as long as it is kept cold the parts not submerged will dry out however.
  3. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    I totally agree with the keeping the bird fully submerged.  I use a plastic bag for pieces, but for whole birds I use a plastic tub; and then placed a zip*loc bag filled with the brine as a top weight to insure it is submerged.  If the bag opens it doesn't dilute the brine.  works pretty good.

    Good luck with it!!!
  4. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You can use a one gallon zip bag just push the air out before zipping then place in a pot in case of a leaker and refrigerate.

  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your friend is confusing brining with curing. You'll want to have it submerged simply for best results, but it won't be any more of a botulism threat than if it was sitting in the fridge for 24-36 hours.

    If meat is improperly CURED and then treated as if it were properly cured, THAT's a botulism risk. But curing is a whole different thing, and should not be attempted by anyone who has the slightest doubt that they know exactly what they're doing.

    Just follow good food safety practices while brining and you'll be fine. In other words, never let it get above 40˚ and avoid cross contamination.
  6. Thanks guys.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I could not have explained this better myself...Considering the Highest risk of any food containing Clostridium Botulinum Bacteria or Spores comes from Potatoes, Onions and Garlic...Is there a higher risk of getting Botulism from these ground vegetables sitting on a shelf at room temp for days or weeks at a time? NO...CB Bacteria is like any other. Proper Handling and Cooking as well as proper Curing and Canning and the risk of Food Poisoning is small...Your buddy is just mixing up some concepts, no big deal...JJ
  8. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Plus, botulism is anaerobic so being exposed to air would rarely make it an issue.  Other bugs, yes, botulism, no.

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