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To brine or not to brine? - Page 3

Poll Results: Do you brine your chickens?

  • 67% (203)
  • 32% (96)
299 Total Votes  
post #41 of 65
My first smoke was this week on 2 birds.
Rubbed down with spices etc.

Smoke flavor was good, but I found the meat to be generally bland, except the smoke. Bird was plenty moist, but I sure wish I had either brined or injected.

I guess I was used to doing birds in parts on the grill, not whole birds. You get a lot more seasoning coverage on those bird parts.
post #42 of 65
I rarely cook yardbird or any poultry without brining it first...about the only time I don't is if I just didn't plan ahead!

The advantages:
1. Brining adds a tremendous amount of flavor. during the osmosis process (fancy scientific term for salt solutions tendancy to want to equalize with a non-salt solution, in this case the natural liquids in the bird) the cells in the meat take in and retain that brine...the cool thing is that during the process any flavorings (ie spices, herbs, rub, citrus etc.) goes into the meat as well.

2. Cooking process will be much more forgiving; because your bird is now "super-moist", or saturated with brine, if you should go over your target temp a few degrees, the meat will still be moist and delicious (to a point!).

3. it just tastes better!

4. people think you are amazing!

My poultry brine recipe:
for every gallon of water add;
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (you can play around with this and try brown sugar etc.)
1 lemon - squeeze the juice then toss in the whole rind
1 onion roughly cut up
a couple garlic cloves smashed
1 T sage

you can replace a portion of the sugar with mollasses for a bird that will come out progressively darker as you replace more of the sugar with the mollasses.

for a whole chicken brine about 8 hrs
for a 12-15 Lbs turkey brine for 24 hours
If you have time, after the brine, drain, rinse and rest it in the fridge for a few hours.
post #43 of 65
I never Brined or injected a turkey till 2 weekends ago. I had two 13lb turkeys, which I injected, and brined with 6.25 cure a.k.a instacure and Legg's butter and garlic marinade. The meat will get pink/red due to the cure, but it is a safe way to go.
I had my wifes kids and grandkids there, a
post #44 of 65
about 15 of us. I even had one of the wifes who doesn't eat Turkey, cause it's too dry. Well needless to say she eats turkey now, and everyone agreed that it was the most moist and best turkey they ever had. I don't know about that, but it sure went fast. I even had thier inlaws call me, and wanted to know if I would make them some for Christmas. Wont make it without the cure though, not taking any chances
post #45 of 65
badfrog got it................there is a science behind it. things in life like to be equal.......in this case moisture. if you did not put salt in the water the chicken would still pick up the water, however when you cooked it the water would leave. now that you added salt to the solution the salty water has now flavored the meat and with the addition of salt the meat also retains more of the moisture than with out the salt.......hence juicy chicken. i'm not saying you can't have moist chicken if you don't brine......ya just need to cook it RIGHT.
post #46 of 65
I brine all poultry.
Simple salt and sugar equal parts. Or just salt. It works.
I brined chicken wings last night.
I think it helps to firm the meat also.
post #47 of 65
I always brine my turkeys and whole chickens. I hadn't thought of brining cut up chickens though, I'll have to try that.
post #48 of 65
I have been soaking wings in brine overnight before a smoke. They are always great and everyone loves them. I use 1 cup salt/gal. water. I think they are too salty, should I cut the salt or not soak 8+ hours?
post #49 of 65
you can do either.......i would cut the salt to 3/4 to 1/2 cup depending on your likes......i prefer 1/2 c. for that long of soak.
post #50 of 65
You certainly don't need to but it makes it so juicy and also adds flavor. Brining also makes the meat fall off the bone good! I always brine if I can, even parts & wings get brined.
post #51 of 65
Brine? You betcha, but that's just my way. Previous brine's were kinda slap-dash, throw together BUT THEN I saw Badfrogs Brine. I've used it three times, 2 whole and 1 cutup Chickens, and SWMBO even noticed the improvement. I think for the most part, if it's poultry and it's been frozen, it gets brined, for me anyway. I remember reading somewhere amongst all these SMF pages, it helped restore the flavor. I'll have to do a comparison test on the next batch of chicken thighs (Costco, skinless/boneless) to see if there's a difference.

BADFROG: If you're still reading this thread, THANKS for the brine.
post #52 of 65
post #53 of 65
I like to brine these with just a pinch of pink salt/insta-cure in the brine...gives those wally world frozen pucks a nice texture and a hint of pink color to the finished meat (which ALWAYS leads my wife to thinks its not cooked enough leaving an extra piece for me!!!!... she likes the veges better anyway!)
post #54 of 65
post #55 of 65
I wish you would have put the option of "sometimes" in your poll. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. it all depends on what kind of time I have to prep before cooking. There are weeks when I can plan it out, spend the kind of time I really like to spend and brine the birds before cooking, and there are times I have to get the food on the smoker NOW because the family's hungry NOW. LOL

When I can't brine, I will usually sprinkle a little of my rub on the birds, and lay a few strips of bacon across the breasts to help keep the juices in. Seems to work really well.
post #56 of 65


I always brine my chickens and put whatever spices i want in the brine.
post #57 of 65
I brine turkeys but not chickens-the Bride has even asked me this question. I think the reason I don't is because of the short brining time involved with chickens (3-4 hours) vs. that of turkeys (8-10 hours/overnight).
post #58 of 65
Cuz my momma did, and her momma did, and her momma did.......

I have tried it both ways: with brining and without brining. Brining certainly seems to add more flavor and the chicken definitely stays moister.

In fact we always brined our poultry (Tx farm girl here), whether it was that scrawny hen that stopped laying or a live turkey fattened for Thanksgiving (it was always hard to keep that critter in the bucket 'til he drowned).

I definitely brine chicken before frying, and I do know how to get a good crisp on a chicken. Cuz my momma did, and her momma did, and her momma did....icon_smile.gif
post #59 of 65
I've never brined chicken, but I may give it a try.
post #60 of 65
I used this brine on boneless, skinless chicken breasts for one hour, smoked them with mesquite, and the flavor was simply incredible. They were very juicy, too, even when reheated.

1 gallon water
3/4 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon each of dried tarragon, thyme, black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Start by boiling the water and then adding the salt and sugar, so that it will dissolve easier. Then add the spices to the hot liquid so that the flavors are extracted. Cool the brine solution.

I cooled it in the fridge overnight then brined the breasts for one hour. You might want to reverse sear the breasts so they brown, but either way, they taste sooooooooooooooo gooooooooooood!!!!!!!!!! smile.gif

Here's the thread: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...threadid=91807
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