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"Retained Water?"

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I picked up a couple of whole Tyson chickens on sale today to smoke this weekend.  I've only smoked chicken pieces before, and never used a brine, so I wanted to give a brine a try (using the Slaughterhouse Brine recipe) on the whole birds.

 

My question is about "enhanced" poultry. I've read cautions about brining poultry that is already enhanced because of the excess salt it will impart. The chickens I bought don't say "enhanced" anywhere on the package, and are labeled "minimally processed" and "natural."

 

But, in small print it says "6% retained water." Does that mean it's a 6% salt water solution added already? So, if that's the case, should I still try the brine or will it be salt overload?

post #2 of 6

Just Taste it, does it taste salty?  JUST KIDDING, PLEASE DONT DO THAT ?  Only a guess but id say it isnt added salt! or it would be sure to say salt added! But see what the experts here have to say to that.

post #3 of 6

They have to disclose if there is salt added. If you do not see it anywhere then I would assume that its not added.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokintheSMC View Post

Just Taste it, does it taste salty?  JUST KIDDING, PLEASE DONT DO THAT ?  Only a guess but id say it isnt added salt! or it would be sure to say salt added! But see what the experts here have to say to that.


Ha! That made me laugh  

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Did a little googling and I think you guys are right. From http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Water_in_Meats/index.asp.  Time to get my brine ready!

 

Quote:


Retained Water in Raw Poultry Products
Poultry is not injected with water, but some water is absorbed during cooling in a "chill-tank," a large vat of cold, moving water. The chill-tank lowers the temperature of the slaughtered birds and their giblets (hearts, livers, gizzards, etc). During this water chilling process, turkeys and chickens will absorb some of the water, and this amount must be prominently declared on the label. It is not unusual for poultry to declare 8 to 12% retained water on the label.

post #6 of 6

thanks for the info, interesting.

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