To brine or not to brine?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by mcmuffin, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Yup

    0 vote(s)
  2. Nope

    0 vote(s)
  1. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Absolutely right, Richtee! I marinade chicken in a Fireman's Field day recipe of oil, vinegar (acid), salt pepper, eggs and poultry seasoning, parsley, and italian seasoning.
    I grew up smoking meat that had been brined in a salt/sugar/nitrite concoction made by Aula Ingr. Co., added to 55 gal of water, soaked bellies in it and pumped and soaked hams in it, plus did chicken, turkeys, all forms of pork (ribs, loins, shoulders, butts, etc.) in it. A variation with an extra 10lbs. of salt we used to brine heifferette seamed-out rounds for dried beef (double-smoked and cooked). We'd toss in leftover boned and rolled rib and rump roasts into a brine barrel for corned beef, too. Most all soaked for 30 days except poultry, those were a week. We used plastic 5 gal. jugs filled with water to hold the meat below the surface (and USDA ok'd using them too). Our brining cooler held 50 55gal. drums and most the time those were all full!
  2. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey, their both liquids. [​IMG]
    probably the reason I don't do it.....salt is not good for me.
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ahhh...well, now ya tell us! That makes great sense then... prolly not good for most of us, seeing as we typically get enough without adding any to our diets.
  4. norrell6

    norrell6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Hey McMuffin!!!! When I see your sreen name all I can think about is "SuperBad" when they are on the bus on the way to the party......What a GREAT movie. Anyways, I have never brined but with all the positive responses, I think I will give it a try. Pretty much the only reason I haven't is because I really dont have anything big enough to completely submerge a whole chicken in. I am going to get something. Any suggestions as what to use for a container?
  5. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Stop by any restaurant and see if they'll give(or sell)you a food grade bucket. Things like pickles come in them.

    As far as brining goes I don't as I've always been pleased with the results. I also prefer dark meat on poultry and that has prolly the least to gain from a brine. I do however marinade on occasion.
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I seem to remember Alton Brown addressing this issue.

    He is a great believer in brining.

    His contention was that many marinades contain salt. But it is the acid which separates the marinade from the true brine.

    He is also not a believer that marinades will do much to tenderize larger pieces of meat because the acid does not penetrate deep enough.

    Some marinades can turn delicate pieces to mush by "cooking" them, tho.
  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Exactly, then we got the skin we are not suppose to eat either [​IMG]
  8. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks like I am late to stumble on to this one.

    I put yes for the answer to the poll question, but it is probably 50/50. Usually when I do chicken at home it is one of those short notice figure out something to eat things where there would not really be time to brine. I rarely "plan" to eat chicken, but when I do I brine.

    For contest, I brine %100 of the time.
  9. drakkar

    drakkar Fire Starter

    Maybe you should have added a 'sometimes' selection in there. I don't always brine, just depends on how much extra time I have. I marked 'yup' though. =o)
  10. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Catering, depends how the customer wants it cooked, smoked or grilled. better or your wasting your time!
  11. cman95

    cman95 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have not as of yet but..............
  12. motorhedd

    motorhedd Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I have seen the light!Brining is the way to go!
  13. I've tried both ways, and found that brining definitely adds more flavor and moisture to the meat. IMO of course.
  14. crewcab4x4

    crewcab4x4 Smoking Fanatic

    I inject the meat. It adds tons of flavor.

  15. I use a variety of spices and buttermilk/ice for turkey - for chicken buttermilk and spices but keep it in a bag in the fridge with no ice. Works great if the wife is gonna fry it as well too![​IMG]
  16. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm a big believer in brining chicken or turkey for smoking. Using a brine you can both flavor the meat and insure it will serve moist, especially white meat. Currently every piece of fowl that has went into my MES has been brined. I have either finished off the pieces on the weber gas or charcoal kettle, or served direct from the MES after removing the skin and brushing with BBQ sauce and putting back in MES to get that glazed appearance before serving.

    On a side note, I have always been amazed when eating a dish with shrimp at most Chinese restaurants the shrimp has so much flavor. However when eating at American restaurants and eating shrimp there isn't much flavor. (Decent American seafood restaurants generally are the exception). I had the opportunity to talk to a talented Chinese chef about this, and he told me that generally most Asian restaurants brine the shrimp. Most restaurants get frozen shrimp, and even though great care has been made to preserve flavor, shrimp is so delicate that flavor is lost when frozen. Brining brings out that flavor if done properly.

    So it goes without saying I brine all my shrimp, and my family and guests will tell you there is a big improvement. If delicate shrimp can be enhanced by a brine, so to that fowl stuff going into the smoker.
  17. raceyb

    raceyb Smoking Fanatic

    I brine my chicken for several reasons. Flavor, juiciness, and allows the meat to cook longer without burning or drying out. Flavor is my number one reason.
  18. autoferret

    autoferret Meat Mopper

    i'm with alot of the people here. sometime i do some times i dont. if i'm not butterflying the bird then i brine. But i can say that EVERY of my friends loves a hole bird brined. i usally just use the poltry brine/sprizer that you can find if u search this site.
  19. We eat a lot of the bonless, skinless chicken breasts that come frozen in the 3-5 lb. bags.

    There is a huge difference in brined and not brined with these - brined come out juicy, tender and have a better flavor. Usually smoke a whole bag or two and freeze for later.
  20. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I always brine now, whole or parts. Mostly because it adds so much moisture. I normally dont buy breasts because they dry out, not so with brining. JMHO

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