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Need a Good Brine for Chicken

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm gonna do a 3.5 lb chicken for the first time in my smoker and was wondering if anyone could recommend what to brine it with.
post #2 of 20
Well, I'm not sure what others will say, but I just finished smoking and eating a chicken that I brined starting yesterday afternoon. I put enough water to cover the bird, added 1 cup of white sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of rosemary, and 1 tablespoon of black pepper. As of right now, there are several people sitting around with smiles on their faces and commenting on how tastey and moist the chicken was. I cooked it over hickory. My temps ran about 300 to 350 during the cook. You'll want to run your temps higher than normal too for chicken. Please keep us posted on how it goes. We'd love to pictures during your smoke.
post #3 of 20
I have lots of brines in an ebook on my site in the smoking meat section

post #4 of 20
Here is my basic brine for poultry

1 gallon water
1/2 c kosher salt
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c orange juice
freshly cracked black pepper
1 cut up orange
post #5 of 20
Probably a bit overkill for a small bird. Here are a couple of good brines that I have used for roasting and smoking. I added notes from my notebook as well. For poultry it is important to keep the bird below 40F while brining. In the winter this is easy. During the summer I use blocks of ice both under and over the bird.

Basic Brine (+ notes)
1 Cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
1 Cup white granulated sugar (Bakers sugar seems to work better)
1/2 Cup shoyu (Huli Huli, or fresh teriyaki also work well)
1 Cup real apple cider vinegar (avoid flavored)
1 Gallon clean water (or apple juice)

From my notes:
Good for pork and poultry. Not good on fish (esp salmons).
Also good for injection.
Huli Huli is a good substitute on pork. Doesn't seem to make a difference on poultry
Fresh liqud teriyaki sauce is nearly impossible to get on the mainland.
Aloha shoyu works better than Kikkoman.

Poultry brine
1 Cup non-iodized salt (NOT kosher)
1 Cup dark brown sugar (dark gives better flavor than light)
2 oranges
2 lemons (Meirs if you can get them)
6 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs Rosemary
2 gallons clean cold water
To scale -- +1/2C salt, +1/2 brown sugar per gallon of water

From the notebook
Works great on large birds.
Not a good injection
Warm up a couple cups of the water to dissolve the sugar & salt.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the replys! I'll snap some pics during the process and learn how to post pics.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've got a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker and the highest it goes is 275 so thats what I'll set it to.
post #8 of 20
I've got an MES too. When I did a turkey I smoked it at about 230 then pulled it out with about 10 degrees to go and put it in the oven at 375 to finish it so the skin would crisp up. That seemed to work fairly well.
post #9 of 20
Rub mayo on the outside of the skin before you put any spice rubs on it. The mayo helps the skin crisp up. Especially if you can run around 275.
post #10 of 20
I like to do both, brine and inject.

Here is a brine I have used the last few times.
1 Gal Water
1/3 Cup Kosher Salt
1 Veggie Bouillon Cube
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
1 Tsp Granulated Garlic
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Cajun Spice Blend
1 Tsp Rosemary (fresh ground)
1 Tsp Sage

Here is the injection I have used along with the above brine.
1 Cube Butter or Margarine
½ Tsp Granulated Garlic
½ Tsp Onion Powder
½ Tsp Cajun Spice Mix
½ Tsp Rosemary (fresh ground)
½ Tsp Sage

post #11 of 20
Yanno, Ron..in only 1 of the recipes did I see onion, and none a bit of celery seed/powder. You might wanna try adding those into a brine. Onion especially!
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
It turned out excellent! I brined it in 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of kosher salt, 1 cup of brown sugar, tossed in some seasoned pepper, thyme, poultry seasoning, worchester sauce. Smoked it at 275 for about 3 1/2 hours with apple chips and a little bit of hickory. Injected it with a butter mixture: 1 stick of butter, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp cajun season. Rubbed a little butter on the skin and seasoned with Gourmet House seasoning. Very tender, juicy, and flavorful!
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
And it didn't take long for it to disappear. icon_smile.gif Good stuff!
post #14 of 20
Nice looking bird!
post #15 of 20
Ole, you done good, my man! Beautiful looking.

Went fast, hey!!

Thats a 'good thing'.

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! Pescadero, I'm gonna be using that injection from now on. Next time I'll do 2 chickens and maybe toss in some other goodies.
post #17 of 20
Nice SmokePDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

Also some nice input on brines and injections... I need to take some notes for my next yard bird... PDT_Armataz_01_34.gifPDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #18 of 20

How long do you smoke your bird

post #19 of 20

Till the internal temp at the breast er thigh hits 165°.

post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by OleOlson View Post

I've got a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker and the highest it goes is 275 so thats what I'll set it to.

My MES runs about 15 degrees higher than the the temp it is set at. So 275 is really 290+. Have you checked yours with a temp probe on the grate?

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