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Can boneless, skinless chicken breasts be brined for too long?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I plan on smoking chicken breasts tomorrow (my first ever attempt at smoking meat).

I'm smoking boneless, skinless breasts.

My real question, can it be in brine for too long?

Can I set the chicken in the brine and then go to work? The breasts will be brining for about 10 hours if I do.
post #2 of 11
I would say 4 hours tops for a brine, low acid marinade maybe 10 hours.
post #3 of 11
It depends on your brine but boneless skinless breasts would not be my choice for a smoke and a long brine with a lot of salt in it could leave them mushy - I would smoke thighs and not brine for more than a couple of hours - the breasts will be completely dried out by the time they reach temp in my opinion. Breast meat tends to dry out very quickly
post #4 of 11
I've read that breasts should only be in the brine for an hour. I'm doing some tomorrow, too, and people have suggested to smoke them at a high temp 275-300. I'm also wrapping them in bacon to help prevent them from drying out.
post #5 of 11
In my experiences, the longer in the brine the more change in texture and taste. I don't care for hammy chicken. Just my observations.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone.

@Mythmaster...I remember now, you said we had the same menu in Roll Coll ;)
I'm going to make the brine according to the article you referenced. What type of wood will you be using? I figured I'd try hickory but a coworker said that hickory can be bitter. He recommended pecan. I don't know. I'm just going to start trying different things and see what I end up with.

I'll try the bacon idea, and put the chicken towards the top rack; heat rises right, so I figure the top rack will be hotter even though the heating element (using electric smoker Bradley Original) is on the bottom. Am I right in figuring as much.
post #7 of 11
Too long and it can break down too much and become mushy.
For boneless breasts I like to do about 3 hours.
post #8 of 11
I'm actually going to use Mesquite even though it's strong. I figure it'll be ok because the breasts will cook fast plus they'll be wrapped. Also, I already have that brine mixed up, and it's hanging out in the fridge. :)

I think that it's hotter towards the element, but I haven't really checked. I'll put mine in the middle.

Hopefully we'll both be enjoying some tasty, not-too-dry chicken breasts tomorrow. Don't forget to post Q-view!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, I'm happy (despite the 75MPH winds that broke the Temperature Heat Control Switch!)....

I used Jeff's Rib Rub and it was fantastic!

post #10 of 11
Oh no that bird is haunting me I just it alittle while ago. Now yes you can brine a bird to long. You don't want it to get to soft and mushy unless you are making soap or something.
post #11 of 11
That looks yummy!
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