am i confused

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by mics, May 19, 2010.

  1. mics

    mics Newbie

    I have been reading the threads and the more i read ,the more confused i get. so im sure theres help here.when folks talk about brining thier birds ,is this the same as saying putting the bird in marinade.or to smoke a bird do you have to put it in a cure brine first.I didnt think you had to brine a bird in order to smoke it.but as one whos learning,thats why we ask questions. thanks mic
  2. garyt

    garyt Smoking Fanatic

    Brineing a non enhanced (crap already added)bird can infuse flavor and make it more moist, no you don't have to brine, but if you have a minimally processed bird it can make a world of difference in flavor and texture.
  3. gregzee

    gregzee Smoke Blower

    You dont have to brine a bird to grill or smoke it. Most chicken imo doesnt need it. Just rub it and hot smoke it, but a Turkey is awesome brined. Brining is a salt water mix of spices that uses osmosis to penetrate the meat to make it more moist and to carry some of the flavor from the brine into the meat.

    If you are going to brine, try to find a bird that is fresh without the 8% sodium solution. If you cant find one, you can still brine it, but i would be lite on the salt. Just my experience.
  4. grampyskids

    grampyskids Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I have been brining chicken for over ten years now. I first learned about it from America's Test Kitchen. I never cook a bird without brining. A basic brine is 1/2 cup of kosher salt, 1/2 cup of sugar(light brown, dark brown or white) mixed in 4 cups of water. Put it in a gallon baggie and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. It will be so much moister.
  5. waysideranch

    waysideranch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brine if you have the time!! IMO.
  6. mics

    mics Newbie

    thanks everyone,if im following correctly , brinning a bird would be the same as marinadding say a steak ?you would brin a bird then add your rubs or seasoning and then into the smoker.
  7. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes and yo can add seasonings to the brine if ya wish. Personally I inject instead of brining but similar results.
  8. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    A brine mixture is typically made up with spices and kosher salt then the bird is submerged into the brine. The time it should be in the brine is directly related to how much salt is in the brine times are usually like 4-24 hours and needs to be done under refrigeration. After brining be sure to rinse the bird well to remove any excess brine/salt then pat dry and apply the rub. Some people say it will take in the salt mixture through osmosis and take in the spices as well adding another layer of flavor and making the bird moister. Some people say it doesn't make a bit of difference. Other people will inject the bird and others will do both. Then you have those that say the heck with all that and just apply the rub and smoke. Personally I would suggest trying different ways and figure out which you and your family prefer
  9. omahasmoker

    omahasmoker Smoke Blower

    you can brine all you want but i only brine turkeys. i use a electric smoker with digital controls and i always get a tender juicy bird.

    brining is good but is really slows down the process.
  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Chicken I don't bother with brining... to impatient [​IMG] lol.... But a turkey I will take the time to brine. I take low sodium chicken broth, apple juice, and my spices. I add very little salt since I use chicken broth.
  11. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do ya have ta brine a bird? NO.

    But I sell alotta chickens an I wouldn't smoke a bird without brinnin it first. A nice way ta add some flavour an inhance the flavour a the bird it's self. Make a nice juicy bird.

    It's a personal choice sorta thin. Do one with a brine (I brine mine over night with my slaughterhouse brine, it's lower in salt then many) then smoke my birds bout 275°-300° ta get a bit better skin. Then do one without a brine an see what one suits yall best.
  12. pops6927

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

    Ok, now I'll toss in my 2¢, lol! Brining a bird is adding flavor through salts, sugars and spices. Definitely a good idea, regardless if it's any kind of chicken or turkey.
    However, there's another process too.. taking it an extra step further and 'pickling' the bird! To your brine, you add a curing agent (sodium nitrite) in exact quantity (too much is bad!) and this 'cures' the meat with classic ham-type flavor, so you now produce a cured and smoked poultry product that is a delicasy! PM me for any specifics if this is something you'd like to try.
  13. mics

    mics Newbie

    once again all,thanks for the some of you said,i will try alot of different things and see what works for us. mic
  14. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    ...and you will be glad you did!
  15. Brining isn't a must, but once you give it a try it's hard to live without, especially if you notice your chicken ending up a little on the dry side. Brining is not the same as a soaking in marinade, as it's primarily used to enhance the moisture and natural flavor of the bird (while a marinade is to introduce new or bold flavors to the meat).

    The physics of it is pretty simple... when you have two separate items of varying sodium content, an attempt at equilibrium is made. Since the meat has a low concentration of sodium and the brine has a high concentration of sodium, there's only one way to acheive an equilibrium... and that's for meat to absorb the sodium. The beauty of it is that when it absorbs the sodium, it also absorbs the water/sugar/other flavors that are in the salty brine. By increasing the water content of the meat, you'll end up with moist meat after the cooking process. By also absorbing the sugar, salt and other flavors of the brine... your intensifying the natural flavor of the meat and adding additional flavors.

    I think if you give it a try, you'll notice the difference and be pleased with the results. Personally, I brine all turkey and all white meat chicken (as well as whole birds) that I smoke. If I'm grilling chicken, I'll go the marinade route... but the smoker is more apt to dry the poultry, so I brine.
  16. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am one of the "never brines" never had seen the need with the birds we get from the local stores. Even Leg quarters, just don't find it necessary and I have to take my birds up to 180º to 185º internal because my wife wants her Chicken DONE!!

    Looks moist to me [​IMG]
  17. joshs

    joshs Smoke Blower

    I don't like to brine. All it seemed to do was make the bird salty.
  18. herkysprings

    herkysprings Smoking Fanatic

    You got a lot of good answers but one thing not really clarified is:

    Brining is not the same as a marinade (salt vs acid). Both can product great flavor, but poultry really seems to benefit from a brine.

    As far as I can remember right now before my 2 cups of coffee, brines use salt and osmosis to enchance the texture and flavor of the meat, especially the outer edge which gets the most heat / temp change since you need internal temps to finish.

    Marinades use acid and osmosis to enchance flavor such that when eaten your body (mouth) interprets the chemicals being ingested and work some magic in your mouth to assist in the tenderizing of the meat when being eaten.

    I've got a beer brine chicken recipe, and a citrus chicken marinade. Both work great!
  19. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree with piney. Try two birds one with brine & one without on the smoker & then see which one you & your family prefer
  20. hernando

    hernando Smoke Blower

    Well said. The Marinade does work a bit different though. Marinadea are a chemical reaction as opposed to the osmosis you would get with brining. Marinades typical are an enzymatic breakdown of tissue fiber. Brining tends to penetrate deeper into the meat. Flat cuts of meat such as steaks and chicken breasts tend to benefit more from a marinade. If you were to use a marinade on a large cut of meat, especially one with a tenderizer in it, the outside of the cut will be some what musy where as the inside of that larger cut will be unaffected.

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