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To brine or not to brine?

Poll Results: Do you brine your chickens?

  • 67% (203)
  • 32% (96)
299 Total Votes  
post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
What's the consensus on brining chickens? Do you need to?
post #2 of 65
Potential stirring a pot here... I brine, but many do not. I think it gives a big kick of flavor.
post #3 of 65
Thread Starter 
If by yard bird, you mean whole chickens, then yes!
post #4 of 65
Here's a thought that came to me recently on the subject of brine and chicken, actually was thinking about turkey when it came to me.

My grandmother and her twin sister were likely the very best cooks I have ever known. Not fancy meals but great every day meals like fried chicken.

To the point... Both of them always cut up whole chickens and soaked them in salt water before they fried. Always came out perfect for them and I try to do the same (but I sure don't take the time to cut up whole chickens to fry).

I make some really good fried chicken gravy but it doesn't stand up to what those two ladies could made back in the day.

My opinion: Yes brine, even if it's just a little table salt and cold water for a few minutes no matter how you are cooking the chicken.

post #5 of 65
Brine it. You'll get more compliments on your bird if you brine it.
post #6 of 65
I sometimes do, sometimes don't. Depends on the chicken, and the dish.

BUT... I would like to dissuade folks from using plain table salt as a brining ingredient. Use Kosher or canning salt whenever possible.
post #7 of 65
I have done them both ways and they always are delicious. Recently did some birds in ny MBES and did not brine them. They came out perfecetly done and very moist. I cooked an extra bird so we could make some smoked chicken salad. Delicious! Brining chickens is a personal preference.

post #8 of 65
I am brining chix thighs today but for grilling on the gas grill. I will most likely toss in a smoke bomb though.
SMOKE BOMB.., A foil pouch containing wood chips sealed tightly perferated slightly.
post #9 of 65
I'll brine whole chics and all parts except Thighs... IMO Thighs do not need to be brined, there is enough fat in them to keep them super moist and pick up some great smoke flavor..
post #10 of 65
Grandpa grew up in an age where ya smoked er canned yer meat ta preserve it, he always brined chicken er fowl, Learned from him so I brine, great way to add extra flavor to yer birds. Do ya have ta? No, but then again we don't have ta smoke our meat either. There are so many ways to learn an use this craft, it boils down ta what yall like. That be the neat thin bout it, I prefer old school traditional smokin, there are folks here pushin the edge of the envelope, that is great, gotta have diversity ta survive.
post #11 of 65
massive flavor if you brine and lots and lots of comps on juicyness.
post #12 of 65
But it sure does add to the flavor.
post #13 of 65
he he, you said boils. I learned alot from gramps and his stories, he grew up in minn. and in the winter would catch pike ice fishing and had to salt them down in a box out on the porch to keep them. plus would cut ice from lakes and put it in the ice box covered with sawdust. ahh the good ol days
post #14 of 65

Brined Chickens

Hi all,
I am a newbie to smoking, in my second season. I used the brine mentioned on the web page, and my family went crazy!!! It was the most flavorful and juicest chicken ever!!! Brined using salt, white wine, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, fresh rosmary and thyme. Left in brind over night. Smoked in gas smoker with maple wood to an internal temp of 160. It was not only delious and juicy but they were a beautiful molasses brown when finished. I am a brine convert!!! Thanks for the tips and information here.
Cathy Rowe
Canton MI
post #15 of 65
Hmm sounds like my typical recipe... cept I'd have some celery powder/salt in there. Careful on the temps tho 165's a min..but it prolly got there during the rest.

LAke Orion here...welcome to SMF :{)
post #16 of 65
I too am a recent convert to the brining process...the osmosis is a very interesting process and I am continually fascinated by how much flavor is imparted into the brid with the brine...its amazing!
post #17 of 65
I have brined before and it does add flavor, but IMHO..I perfer injection always get juicy compliments (pun intended)
post #18 of 65
Lee, that is why it is so important ta keep passin on the knowledge a the craft, the oldtimers er gettin fewer every year, we need ta learn as much from them as we can. Pass that information onta a younger generation, there be folks round here who wonder what goes on at my place with smoke an smells they have never experienced before.

Well, nough that, we done hijacked this here fellers thread. Sorry yall.
post #19 of 65
I really didn't notice much difference so I don't.
Remember Marinade=Brining or atleast in my book it does.

Looks moist to me. PDT_Armataz_01_28.gif
post #20 of 65
Marinade is NOT brining.



Quite a bit of difference. Some marinades "cook" the food... notably the seafood dishes from Mexico... brine is a saline solution, where a marinade is an acid one.
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