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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a large homemade wood smoker. I usually smoke big meats but I'm needing to smoke some chicken breast for a wedding. How should I do this so they don't dry out. She's going to shred them when they're done. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks Mike
post #2 of 7

Personally I'd recommend brining the chicken breasts for 24 hours.  I've gone 48 hours with no problems.  The salt denatures the protein in the meat, giving a more solid, moist, and less stringy texture.  Brining also helps the breast be more tolerant of overcooking.

 

You can do a simple brine of water and salt, or get fancy.  Here is the fancier brine recipe I use for poultry (chicken and turkey).  I've had people say it is the best chicken they've ever tasted. 

 

You don't have to inject the breasts of you are doing a large group.  Also, this is not meant as a "cure," but the small amount of curing salt adds a very slight ham flavor that complements the smoked meat.  Keeping the meat cold (32°-38°F) during the brining hours is essential for safety.

 

Orange Juice Poultry Brine - PERFECTION!

This was a brine I used for injecting the breast meat prior to brining.  It was a takeoff of Alton Brown's OJ brine.  The results were AMAZING!  More than once I've heard people say "this is the best chicken I've eaten in my life." 

 

Note:  I initially warmed the ingredients to dissolve the solids.  What I found that works better is blending the brine a large capacity blender.  Blending worked MUCH better than putting it on the stove.

 

Ziplock "Large" 3 gallon storage bags, which are food safe, are great to use as brining bags and will easily hold two 6 lbs chickens or one 12-14 lb turkey and the brine.  Be sure to double bag in case the inner bag leaks.  Discard the bags after use.

 

Brine
1/2 tsp Prague #1 Pink Salt
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 Tbs onion powder
1  Tbs garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup dark brown sugar or inexpensive maple syrup
1 quart orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 quart water
1 quart ice 
1 quart water (this second quart is added last)

 

Additional ice as necessary to keep cold.

 

Directions

1. In a large capacity blender mix all the brine ingredients except the ice and the last quart of water.  Blend until well blended and the solids have dissolved.  Pour into a large Dutch Oven then add the ice and last quart of water.  The brine should be cold before adding chicken.  If you don't want to use a blender, just mix the ingredients in the Dutch Oven, stir over low heat until well blended, then add the ice.

2. Place fresh or thawed poultry in the Dutch Oven.  Inject the breast meat while sitting in the brine then move to your brining bag.  If doing this as a one person operation put the brining bag in another large stock pot or Dutch oven.  Open it.  Grab the chicken with one hand by the legs, hold and let drain, then put in the brining bag breast down.  This recipe make enough for two 6 to 6.5 lbs chickens.  Pour the remaining brine and last quart of water over the poultry, seal and store for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator or a cooler packed with ice jugs.  Brining for more than 24 hours is not recommended but I've done it up to 48 hours with no adverse effects. This process will produce a tender, juicy final product because the salt in the brine changes the protein structure of the meat.

3. After brining, drain the pan or brining bag really well and discard the brine. Rinse the poultry again then prep for smoking.

 

 

 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

That sounds awesome.  I never thought about brining.  I'll give it a try! 

Thanks for the advice

Mike

post #4 of 7

ITS BRINE TIME! it works great and the meat take on the brine seasoning very well.Also it will be super moist to taste.

post #5 of 7
I think I am going to try this recipe the next to.e I brine chicken. This should work for whole or half chicken as well I assume
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesherry28 View Post

I think I am going to try this recipe the next to.e I brine chicken. This should work for whole or half chicken as well I assume

 

It works for up to 12-14 lbs of whole chicken, turkey, or parts of either.

post #7 of 7

hello! WElcome to forums! Im from USA. YOU?

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