Need input on Poultry with solution added. Is there any reason to brine?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by rbranstner, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ok I have brined several chickens, turkey's etc and they always come out great and juicy. Well I was over at a buddies house lastnight and told him I needed to head home so I could get my brine going for the turkey my neighbor dropped off to smoke for him. He was explaining that he was told if the bird has solution already added at the factory that there is no point to brine the bird as it will not take on any more of the brine because there is already a brine type solution added to the bird. I have never paid attention to the other birds I have done to see if it said anything on the package. Well I got home and checked and sure enough on the bottom it said something about a solution being added. Do they all have solution added or can you get them without? Also is there any truth to his info saying it will not take on any more brine?

    He was trying to say that the bird takes on the brine because of a lack of salt in the bird and the salt in the brine reacts and pulls it into the bird and when it has already been added at the factory that it won't pull in any more of your brine. That just doesn't seem right to me so I have to see what the experts say on here.
  2. gregzee

    gregzee Smoke Blower

    You can get them Fresh, without the sodium solution.  I still brine them regardless of whether its fresh or not, because sometimes its not easy to find a fresh one.  They seems much more moist when brining. 

    Its taken me way to long to type that out, Need more coffee today.
  3. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    Your friend is right. the reason the brine sucks into the chicken is due to osmosis. If your brine contains too much salt then it would actually dehydrate(not to dry obviously) the chicken. 

    Take a hotdog for example. A hotdog has alot of salt in it. Thats why when you boil them in water they plump and can even bust open. the casing around the hotdog acts as a semipermeable membrane allowing water to move through it. the salty hotdog sucks up the water and eventually will bust open if its left in for too long. The same thing goes on with a brine. Too much salt will draw the water out of the chicken and into the brine. But with that solution already added to the bird, it basically makes the brine and solution neutral(isotonic) to one another and no transfer takes place. 
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  4. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I do not brine but do inject my turkeys and IMHO you should not add any more liquid to them because it makes very wet and ruins the texture of the cooked meat. I no longer inject if the bird has already been "enhanced" at the factory. You would think that the presence of the injected solution would inhibit your brine from penetrating as it normally would.  
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    But if your brine was mixed with a higher salt concentration than the solution that was added to the bird wouldn't some type of brining take place? Just trying to understand this whole process.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  6. gregzee

    gregzee Smoke Blower

    I did 2 turkeys last november in brine.  One was fresh and one was enhanced.  Each brine had 1 cup of kosher salt and 1 cup of sugar per gallon of water along with a bunch of other spices.  Both turkeys were wonderfully juicy, but the fresh one was better imo.  The Enhanced one did have some rubbery meat i think do to the brining but it was still great.  Fast forward 2 weeks later for Thanksgiving.  Cooked another enhanced bird without a brine.  It was nothing special, just turkey.    I would say if you want to brine an enhanced solution bird, dont make the brine overly salty and dont exceed 12 hours for a 12 pound turkey. 

    If you are brining chicken, then i would say, wth, they are cheap and leftovers are awesome.  Do 2 enhanced, one with brine, and one without, and then find a fresh one and brine it.  See which you like more and see if the price difference for Fresh is worth it to you.

    Just my opinions, 

    Wish i was your neighbor when you are smoking them, because any smoked bird right now sounds wonderful.
  7. fftwarren

    fftwarren Smoking Fanatic

    yes it could, But actually if your brine had higher salt, it would draw the injected solution out. you would have to make it less salty than the injected solution. but also keep in mind that its only going to absorb so much. so if it is injected it may have reached capacity
  8. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    rbranster... your friend is correct and you are correct about the brine with higher salt level... lets take this a step further though. i dont live that far from you and minnesota is a huge poultry producing state. i am questioning why one would buy an enhaced bird to begin with... first off, the additional water weight goes into the cost of your product. and second i personally would rather have control of what is in the bird. i am sure it would not be as chemical free as the brine you would prepare at home. i dont know if i just live in a lucky area or what but have seen discussions on enhanced chicken, turkey, pork, but i dont see it at the markets, just fresh non-enhanced products.
  9. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The only meats I ever brine anymore are fresh pork butts/ribs, or fresh whole chickens. I've found that fresh pork in particular will benefit from a brine. When I did a brine with fresh chicken, I have noticed some difference in finished product, mainly in retained moisture content. It's part of the osmosis, as mentioned above. Water follows salt, so it stands to reason that a meat with an elevated interior salt content will retain more moisture when cooked.

    I tried brining enhanced birds a couple of times and saw no reason in doing so, as there was no difference in the outcome.

    BTW, I have opted out of injecting anything recently, now that I know more about the safety issues. Getting a meat's exterior 1/2" above 138* in 4 hours is easy...getting the entire cut above 138* in 4 hrs requires much too high of chamber temps, canceling the true benefits behind low & slow cooking.

  10. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just brine it, it will make a difference.  I can hardly ever get a bird round here what ain't been inhanced an I still brine them. 
  11. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Since I have been brining turkeys "Enhanced" it does make them a lot more moist. Why I couldn't tell you. I also inject mine. Yard birds I can buy either way, I just like the moistness that I achieve with brining. [​IMG]
  12. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am smoking this for my neighbor she found it in her freezer when she was cleaning it out. I decided not to brine it for a couple of reasons one I was out too late lastnight at a friends and I was just plain too lazy and the second reason I figured I would just inject it and they will love it and third they never get good smoked food so when they do get it they love it no matter what it is like. Thanks for the info guys it helped me out a lot.
  13. I always thought osmosis was a two way street? I'm not sure what is in the enhanced solution, but I know I put other flavorings in my brine besides salt. Once the salt content levels out between the bird and the brine going either way, the fluids are free to pass back and forth thru the cell walls. This equilibrium is what I thought carried the flavors into the bird. Maybe I am a little confused?
  14. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

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