Brining question?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bigboy, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. I have a couple 6lb chickens I want to smoke on Sunday for dinner. I'm fairley new to brining and I'm not sure about all the rules. Can I put them in brine tonight or is that too long?
  2. If they're whole you can. *I believe* if they're parts the cuts will allow too much brine and they'll be inedible.

    edit: added *I believe* ...though I considered it understood that posts were opinions based on experience.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're good to go... to east the chore a bit, I (IMHO) would Spatchcock them and flaten the Keel , and cook at 300*F. Just sayin'.

  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Brine away. If it's not done already, you will need to pull them out early AM and go in front of a fan 1 hour before smoking to dry the skin. If you don't want to eat the skin just skip the drying process...JJ

    @Bama...If your parts are inedible after an all night brine...Your brine is too salty. Cut back to 1/2C Kosher Salt per Gallon and there will be no issues...
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
  5. For more consistent results and less guesswork, use an equilibrium brine.
    I wouldn't use any more that 1% salt to prevent the funky cured texture that some folks complain about.
    Most importantly, don't put the chickens in anything less than very cold water/brine.


  6. ballagh

    ballagh Smoking Fanatic

    I brine mine Myron mixon style. In seasoned chicken broth over nite. Turns out amaZing.

    Sent from my Sony Xperia Z
  7. I don't think so -- I've been doing this long enough to know I don't like pieces brined overnight is all.  A few hours is enough for us.  Allow me to show you my brine "recipe": 

    4 pounds Bone-In Chicken Pieces

    Cold Water: 2 quarts

    Table Salt*: ½ cup

    Time**: ½ to 1 hour

    * The large clusters of crystals in kosher salt dissolve quickly in water, making this salt a good option for brining. Each brand has a different crystal size (unlike table salt, which has a standard crystal size). To use Morton kosher salt, increase amounts in this chart by 50 percent. To use Diamond Crystal kosher salt, double amounts in this chart. It is possible to add sugar (in equal amounts to salt) to brines for chicken and pork to promote browning.

    ** Do not brine longer than recommended or foods will become overly salty.

    ( I cut and pasted this "recipe" from The Editors at America's Test Kitchen (2012-10-12). The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen (Cook's Illustrated Cookbooks). Boston Common Press. Kindle Edition. )

    All my posts are based on my research, opinions, and experience.  Your opinions and experience may vary widely.  Fat cap up, fat cap down, charcoal, elec, propane, stick burner, etc...  To each is own my friend.  In the future I guess I'll cite my sources.

    Incidentally, I do like the equilibrium brine calculations.  I watched those sous vide videos last week and got some pretty good ideas from them.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    It was not my intent to dismiss your technique or recipe.  Brine recipes vary and the recipe I use of 1/2C Morton Kosher per 1 Gallon of water has no detrimental affect on the saltiness or the texture of even boneless skinless breasts with an over night soak or even 4 days with Leg Quarters or Whole Birds. The brine you chose to use has 3X the Salt in Half the Water...It most definitely will give a VERY Salty meat with a Mushy texture " if " you were to brine overnight as I stated. I have used that recipe when the Mrs. brings home chicken parts to be eaten that night. With a couple hours soak it gives great results. Sorry if there was a misunderstanding...JJ
  9. I stand corrected sir. I see your point. The brine I use is the reason I recommended not to use it overnight.

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