Can boneless, skinless chicken breasts be brined for too long?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bsmoked, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. bsmoked

    bsmoked Newbie

    I plan on smoking chicken breasts tomorrow (my first ever attempt at smoking meat).

    I'm smoking boneless, skinless breasts.

    My real question, can it be in brine for too long?

    Can I set the chicken in the brine and then go to work? The breasts will be brining for about 10 hours if I do.
  2. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would say 4 hours tops for a brine, low acid marinade maybe 10 hours.
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It depends on your brine but boneless skinless breasts would not be my choice for a smoke and a long brine with a lot of salt in it could leave them mushy - I would smoke thighs and not brine for more than a couple of hours - the breasts will be completely dried out by the time they reach temp in my opinion. Breast meat tends to dry out very quickly
  4. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I've read that breasts should only be in the brine for an hour. I'm doing some tomorrow, too, and people have suggested to smoke them at a high temp 275-300. I'm also wrapping them in bacon to help prevent them from drying out.
  5. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In my experiences, the longer in the brine the more change in texture and taste. I don't care for hammy chicken. Just my observations.
  6. bsmoked

    bsmoked Newbie

    Thanks everyone.

    @Mythmaster...I remember now, you said we had the same menu in Roll Coll ;)
    I'm going to make the brine according to the article you referenced. What type of wood will you be using? I figured I'd try hickory but a coworker said that hickory can be bitter. He recommended pecan. I don't know. I'm just going to start trying different things and see what I end up with.

    I'll try the bacon idea, and put the chicken towards the top rack; heat rises right, so I figure the top rack will be hotter even though the heating element (using electric smoker Bradley Original) is on the bottom. Am I right in figuring as much.
  7. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Too long and it can break down too much and become mushy.
    For boneless breasts I like to do about 3 hours.
  8. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I'm actually going to use Mesquite even though it's strong. I figure it'll be ok because the breasts will cook fast plus they'll be wrapped. Also, I already have that brine mixed up, and it's hanging out in the fridge. :)

    I think that it's hotter towards the element, but I haven't really checked. I'll put mine in the middle.

    Hopefully we'll both be enjoying some tasty, not-too-dry chicken breasts tomorrow. Don't forget to post Q-view!
  9. bsmoked

    bsmoked Newbie

    Oh yeah, I'm happy (despite the 75MPH winds that broke the Temperature Heat Control Switch!)....

    I used Jeff's Rib Rub and it was fantastic!
  10. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh no that bird is haunting me I just it alittle while ago. Now yes you can brine a bird to long. You don't want it to get to soft and mushy unless you are making soap or something.
  11. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    That looks yummy!

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