Brining Time - Plus and minuses of length.

Discussion in 'Grilling Chicken' started by scottfitz1, Mar 3, 2015.

  1.    Good wintry morning, Ladies and Gentlemen from Southern Illinois and my newer MES 40.  I have brined birds around a dozen times now, whole, pieces and leg quarters.  I am curious of the pluses and minuses of the length of time recipes call for.  I see  lengths as long as 18-24 hours and as short as 3-ish hours.  I was wondering what happens to the product the longer or shorter that it is submerged.  Does it become too moist and will tend to fall apart or take on too much sodium.  Will it become tougher the longer??  Chicken is where I am needing to practice.

      I am truly interested in the opinions of one and all of you and what you have learned with experimentation.  I am smoking 4 hour brined leg quarters right now and am also doing marinated only smoked chicken sticks and a pan of red skin potatoes and corn on the cob with it.  As another experiment I am doing a second batch of the bacon wrapped chicken sticks using the same brine technique with Jeff's Rub added.  Please and Thank You in advance so much.
  2. graco

    graco Smoke Blower

    Thats a tricky subject. I read that only the salt penetrates the meat (in poultry and beef), the other ingredients stay on the surface. I've only done 2 birds, one brined the other one wasn't; both tasted great and were moist, I do use a Kamado though which preserves moisture pretty good, so do the MES.

    I think injecting is better than brining. Also, in the case of smaller cuts, I use the FoodSaver marinating container and that does penetrate.
  3. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    i brine chicken at least overnight. any less doesn't work for me. i have brined for 24 hours with good results.

    it takes time for salt to migrate inward.

    it never comes out too salty, even with a long brine.

    only salt goes in deep. all other spices stay on the surface.

    if you can find a whole chicken that hasn't been brined or injected, try 24 hours n see if you like it.

    i do.
  4. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    The brine time depends on the piece. Smaller cuts will brine in a few hours while whole birds need more time. I usually brine overnight with good results. I also make sure to not add any salt after the brine since I don't care for salty food. If you let something brine for too long (say 48 hours on a whole chicken) the salt will start to break down the meat. Some people describe this as having a "mushy" texture. I have never let chicken go long enough for that to happen.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  6. I agree with bmaddox...thighs and quarters I get good results with 4-6 hours and whole birds I let go overnight...only time I have had issue with "too salty" is when I had the wrong ratio in the brine, nothing to do with the time.  However, when I have had smaller pieces in the brine too long (bone-in breasts) the started to break down and get a mushy texture.
  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    ^^^^^^ yeah, that...

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