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Marinade & Brine possible?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I've learned so much over the years through this forum so I thought it was time to sign up and see if someone could help with a new issue.  

I have not done a smoked chicken since I first started smoking many years ago and they were definitely not up to par with the BBQ I turnout these days. 

Where I am from, chicken is typically cooked over an open flame with one of NY's signature Marinades, which differer greatly depending on what part of the state you hail from.  

My food has become somewhat popular in my area and I am getting a lot of requests for smoked Chicken (Whole or Half Chickens)

I typically prefer brining but occasionally use marinades if doing Chicken Kabobs, and was curious if I could combine the two.  

I would like to be able to brine but still use one of the local marinades.  Here are my thoughts, and if anyone could give me some insight I would greatly appreciate it...

Brine and then Marinde

Turn the Marinade into a brine  

Dry Brine and then Marinade

Both the Marinades and my rubs are little to no salt.  

Thanks Guys!


post #2 of 2

I am a huge fan of brined or salt marinated chicken.  I love how it changes the texture of the meat.  I can only remember one time in the past several years that I grilled an unbrined, unmarinaded, non-Jaccard'ed chicken.  The taste was great but it was not an enjoyable chew, even though it was beautifully grilled.  I can no longer go back to just throwing some rubbed chicken on the smoker or grill.   


I either brine or marinade my chickens (whole, pieces, or boneless), but both my brines and marinades have a nice salt component.  The key in your explanation is that both your marinades and rubs are little to no salt.  The first issue with using both a brine and a marinade would be the salt factor.  Salt doesn't appear to be an issue. 


Next to consider would be what you are doing to the meat.  Brining denatures the protein structure of the meat, tenderizing it and allowing more liquid to be held in the meat.  If you are using a straight water/salt brine, not much of a flavor profile is being added more than the salt. 


Marinades can add both flavor and tenderize the meat depending on the ingredients (the acids in fruit juices and vinegar for example).  The issue of following a brine with a marinade is you could end up with mushy meat. 


Finally, the flavor profile.  If you are using flavoring ingredients in your brine too, which I always do, you have to consider how they will complement or clash with the flavor profile of the marinade.  I find that brines lightly flavor meat and while marinades add a heavier flavor profile.  I usually always add rub, sauce, or glaze to a brined chicken.  I never add anything to a marinated chicken. 


My first thought would be to turn the marinades into a brine by adding some salt. You could always glaze with a little unsalted marinade while smoking to add additional flavor.


By the way, welcome aboard!  Be sure to stop over at Roll Call and introduce yourself so folks can give you a proper welcome.       

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