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Interesting brine experiment qview

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I have been on a quest for a certain flavor with my chicken, and I decided that it must be with the brine. My latest experiment was with two VERY different brines and the results suprised me. The first brine was with water, kosher salt, soy sauce, hot sauce, garlic, and black pepper. The second was water, Kosher salt, and a Kroger "Olive oil and vinager salad dressing" I put two leg quarters in each brine overnight. I decided to smoke 1 of each in the BBGOSM, and 1 of each on the webber kettle so I can get a feel for the flavor changes. The first batch hit the GOSM this morning with apple chips and Mesquite Chunks at an avg temp of 300 - 325. Took about hour and 45 minutes to get to 170. The interesting thing to me is that there was almost NO difference in flavor! Skin had a slightly different flavor, but not enough for me to know which piece came out of which brine! Both were juicy and had a great flavor. Not what I am looking for, but dang tasty anyhow! The path to the goal is where the fun is at anyhow. I will post up what the results when I grill the next batch over lump coals this afternoon.

post #2 of 7
Thanks for the comparative post on the brines fourthwind.
Did you boil and then cool the brine before adding the chicken? Many ingredients like garlic and pepper need to be heated to activate their flavors in something like a brine.
Also with the oil and vinegar in your brine I would imagine the oil would separate and wouldn't penetrate the bird. Vinegar is a tricky ingredient when cooking if you would like to retain the flavors. For whatever reason, vinegar looses a lot of its flavor when you cook with it whether from evaporation or running off I don't know but this is why when you coat meat with mustard and rub it it doesn't have that "mustardy" flavor once done. The vinegar is what gives mustard its robust flavor.
What kind of taste are you trying for?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I did simmer the first sauce, but not the oil and vinager one. I had a friend tell me once that they marinated the chicken for a large groups event in italian dressing, and it was always pretty tasty. It certainly may be that I need more infusion of the flavors into the liquid and the only thing actually getting into the meat is the water and salt.

As for the flavor I am looking for. I used to go to a mom and pop BBQ joint on the west coast that served some of the finest chicken I ever had. never could convince the owner to relinquish the recipe. It was a smoked / roasted flavor throughout that was just simply awesome. He passed away holding his secret. I do know he brined and cooked in a large stick burner and finished it over the coals.
post #4 of 7
Excellent experiment, Fourth! Keep us posted, this is something many of us are interested in I'm sure.

Two questions- you wrote "both were juicy and had a great flavor" was this flavor from the brine or from the chicken itself and the smoke?

And, was the chicken clearly "jucier" than normal, or the same ?

Thanks for taking the time and effort to do the "study" PDT_Armataz_01_22.gif and post the results!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
In my opinion the quarters were far juicier than normal. I have been grilling just spiced Leg quarters for lots of years.

You could taste the salt from the brine in the meat, but not the soy or other ingrediants. perhaps I just needed more of the other ingrediants. That will come with time. There was a lot of flavor from the smoke. The mix of apple and mesquite was pretty distinctive. Perhaps that covered my other flavors.

The grilling tonight will tell me a lot about that. I will keep you posted.

I love this part of cooking. PDT_Armataz_01_22.gif

Of course the other part of this is I really need a stick burner (preferably on wheels). Keep trying to convince my wife that I need one of each type.
post #6 of 7


I don't do marinades but here's a thought. Soy sauce already has salt in it so adding more would logically make it more salty. And placing meat in any thing acidic will cook it so that be why the flavors didn't penetrate.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Salt will increase not decrease the PH from neutral. I do use low sodium Soy, but the PH bit is an interesting thought. Vinager is on the acidic side of neutral.

Tonight I grilled the other two leg quarters. I used my weber kettle with charcoal and some oak chunks. Thinking back to the guy out in CA it is highly likely that he used oak or fruit type woods. It's whats available out there. The results were as expected. There is not a profound difference between the brines, but you could at least taste a difference between the leg quarters when grilled. I actually prefered the water, salt and italian dressing better out of the two. I need to work with some smaller pieces of chicken though. I have had enough yard bird today icon_lol.gif

Here is what they looked like off the weber tonight
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