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Kitchen Notes: Brining
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Steve-O
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:34 am    Post subject: sugar Reply with quote

Dorothy: I brine my fish with 1/2 salt and 1/2 sugar to 2 quarts of water. It brines it, but not as salty. Fish is much more porous and the brine works faster. So it can get too salty very quick. The sugar reduces this risk. Never tried it with Turkey, but it should work.

Also consider injecting the meat to add juiciness if you don't like salt.
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Smillie - OzFire



Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 24
Location: South Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After brining, I usualy marinade for a few hours also, the brining open the meat up for aditional flaviours.

and before cooking, using a syringe I inject clarified butter, olive oil and or marinade... depending on the dish... Great prepearation for smoking..

For smoking try chinese green tea.... along with your woods Shock
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brubar
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:43 pm    Post subject: Brining Reply with quote

I brine chicken, turkey and pork chops routinely. In reply to the question above, I brine 3/4-inch-thick chops for two (sometimes 3) hours, season them with Emeril Legasse's BAM, and grill them over high heat resulting in the doneness we desire with no discernable salt flavor. Hmmmm...
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Rebus
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:02 am    Post subject: Salt does react with the protiens Reply with quote

I remember hearing about brining just a couple of months ago on the pbs show americas test Kitchen. The explanation that they gave was there was some sort or reaction or alteration the the salt did the the proteins. This sort of spread out the protiens and aloud water to wedge in between the protiens. According to them it will work with any meat. They also mentioned that it is very important to not let the temp of the brining solution to stay a room temp or bacteria will grow and nasty taste
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the_bleachman



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 15
Location: Republic of Panama

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been brining various meats for some time and the difference in taste is amazing. Two and a half to three pound chickens can be brined whole over night with great results, or if split for at least five or six hours.

A twelve pound turkey takes at least a day (24 hours) and longer doesn't hurt. Always rinse well inside and out to remove excess salt.

Pork chops take about three hours and if cooked slowly over a smokey fire will turn a beatiful pinkish color as they cook. Whole pork roasts can be brined like a turkey and cooked slowly.

I brine in a salt solution with a small amount of sugar added.
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Sarah
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the issue of raising the temp of the fridge with a large container of hot or warm water: there's no reason to heat up the entire amount of brining liquid. If the goal is to dissolve large amounts of salt, just warm a small portion of the water, dissolve the salt, etc., in it, and then add it to the larger amount of cold water. A gallon of cold water will stay pretty cold with only a cup or two of warm-to-hot brining liquid added to it. And time and energy saved all around.

Thanks for this great post on brining.
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the_bleachman



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 15
Location: Republic of Panama

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, well... one thing to keep in mind is that one never brines in hot or warm water. If you mix your brining solution hot, you must allow it to cool off before putting the meat in it, otherwise you will raise the temperature of the meat. If the solution were hot when you placed the meat in it you would actually start cooking the meat in the brining solution, a big no-no for several reasons.

1. It makes your prospective barbecue taste crappy!
2. The raising and subsequent lowering of the temp would facilitate the growth of some really skanky, nasty bacteria.

Always brine in cold brining solution. Not sure of the exact amount, but cold water should be able to hold a mixture of about 15% salt (by weight %) which is certainly sufficient to brine just about anything. (By the way, hot water will hold about 26 wt.% salt depending on water hardness and mineral content). If you mix in hot water, and then dilute that into cold water to lower the temp, you have just defeated the purpose for mixing salt in hot water to start with because not only are you lowering the temp, but also the concentration of salt. Therefore, it is more sensible, to mix as concentrated solution as possible in COLD water to start with and forget all about mixing in a hot solution.
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Neil - Australia
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 4:19 am    Post subject: Brining Solution Reply with quote

I would suggest adding salt to an ice-water mixture. The salt will help to melt the ice and simultaneously reduce the water temperature. I'm going to try brining the bird this Xmas, probably in a large plastic paint container (about $5 from the hardware store complete with a lid). Ice is cheap, but the fridge is small - the container will sit in the laundry sink, which will also be iced down - and the perfect receptacle for beer on Xmas Eve.
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Nick (Guest)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject: Brining Reply with quote

Hi,
I have brined birds of various sizes as follows with excellent results:

MAKE THE BRINE

I used a cup of salt, a cup of brown sugar, a few bay leaves a handfull of pepper corns and a few fat slices of orange and a lemon slice. I have not ever had to heat the brine to dissolve the sugar and salt, but if you do or you really want to just don't put the other stuff in (or use it) until it has cooled for obvious reasons. A little less than a gallon water is what I usually use.

BRINE THE BIRD

Once you have the chilled seasoned brine ready put the turkey in the brine, for an absolute minimum of 3-4 hours, and overnight is best. I have brined turkeys for up to 24 hours and it never has tasted the least bit over-salty. Make sure it is all covered with the brine. The brine should taste like salty sweet seasoned water, but not really intense.

LET IT CHILL & REST

One thing I didnt see is previously in this area is the resting phase. After you take the bird out of the brine rinse it very thoroughly and then pat-dry inside and out with extra strength paper towels. At this point you must let the bird "rest" with no covering at all, and no seasonings at all, in the fridge. This open air chilling and resting period should not be skipped, as it will taste much better if you do it. You should let it sit for at least 12 hours but 24 hours is fine, I wouldn't go much over 24 hours. Mop up any liquid present under the turkey once or twice during the resting period.


ROAST THE BIRD

Season to taste, prepare and roast as you would normally do, which is another story altogether and beyond the scope of this post.

This method of brining has produced some of the most tender succulent turkey I have ever tasted, and is never salty tasting. It is true there is a slight increase in the saltiness when you brine, because that is what it is, but it is not in any way a bad thing. I would think if you tripled the salt you might have a problem, but with this recipe I have never had anything other than delicious results.
I also liked the "Good Eats" show on turkey brining. It was, as always, a great show, and very detailed. Alton Brown covers the details of the method with info about what is really going on, on a chemical and cellular level and was very informative. I highly recommend watching it.

Nick
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Guest Eric
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: Brining and Jaccard Reply with quote

The Jaccard is for tenderizing meat. It pierces it with a bunch of sharp little blades. Would it be a good or a bad thing to do this before brining?
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foodscigeek



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver BC

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:21 pm    Post subject: Brining and Jaccard Reply with quote

It won't hurt to tenderize the meat before brining, and it may speed up the process a bit, but you still want to brine for a couple of hours (depending on the cut). Mechanically piercing the meat will get the brine deeper in the meat, but not infuse it consistently without some time. This is why injecting alone doesn't do it. In meat processing (where permitted), the meat is often injected with the brine, and tumbled with additional brine under vacuum. That really speeds up the process.
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russ
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:15 pm    Post subject: brining fluids Reply with quote

Does anyone have comments on using stock (vegtable) for
the brining solution as opposed to water? I've brined once
with stock and the results were amazing, but if water will
suffice, the cost will be reduced significantly.
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Ken
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:29 pm    Post subject: Brining With Stock Reply with quote

I've never used stock, but have brined poultry for years with excellent results. I use 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of suagr to a gallon of water and brine whole turkeys or chickens overnight. I also stuff with sliced lemon and poultry seasoning before roasting. I see no need to go through the expense of using broth.
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Byron
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:12 pm    Post subject: Osmosis Reply with quote

Perhaps I'm wrong, and simply misremember my chemistry, but regarding the way osmosis works: You mention that the solvent flows from an area of low solute (meat) to an area of high solute (salt water) to create equilibrium.

Doesn't it work the other way around? Doesn't the solvent move from high solute (salt water) to low solute (meat) so that both areas contain an equal concentration of solute, thus pulling water and salt into the meat to create an equilibrium?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Osmosis Reply with quote

Byron wrote:
Perhaps I'm wrong, and simply misremember my chemistry, but regarding the way osmosis works: You mention that the solvent flows from an area of low solute (meat) to an area of high solute (salt water) to create equilibrium.

Doesn't it work the other way around? Doesn't the solvent move from high solute (salt water) to low solute (meat) so that both areas contain an equal concentration of solute, thus pulling water and salt into the meat to create an equilibrium?

You're partially right. In the absense of a semi-permeable membrane, the solvent moves from the low solute region to the high solute region AND the solute moves from the high solute region into the low solute region until equilibrium is achieved (diffusion). However, if you have something stopping the solute from entering the low solute region, but allows the solvent to move freely (i.e., a semipermeable membrane such as cellular walls), then osmosis occurs. Solvent moves out of the low solute area to the high solute.
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