Brining Chicken ~ Foamheart

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RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
Original poster
OTBS Member
The original reason I came to this site was to learn digital smoking, I had worn out 3 analogs and smoked on nearly everything else but a RF. I found the site was a wealth of knowledge about brining and curing, two things I had never done but always wanted to try. So after a couple a years I enjoy both now thanks to all those knowledgable folks around here.

Step by step

You must have some idea of what you want to brine or cure and how you want it to taste. You pick your spices and herbs accordingly.

its really not that complex. You have brown and white sugar, canning salt (dissolves easier), garlic & onion, Poultry seasoning Sage, rosemary and thyme, Some tiger sauce & Crystal hot sauce, some maple extract and Da #1 cure.

Everything but the last two is added to a pan and brought to a boil, then steeped 30 mins. Extract is alcohol and will evaporate while the cure degrades in high heat.

You need a brining container, ziploc, or trashbags or tupperware all work but it needs to be non-reactive if medal. My choice is a 1 gallon tupperware pitcher with a looking lid. The semi hot brining liquid is added to the bottom, BTW it equals 2 cups of water because thats what I used to make it. I want it cold soooooo.....

What better to cool that off but two cups of ice.

Its cooled down now. So I added the extract and the cure.

I throw in a little extra spring water and swish......

Add a 6 lb bird. here a great place to pint out the container/pitcher. Note the ring around the inside. That is how far the compression lid can go down. By doing so it gets the ends of the legs and the piece that went under the fence last under the brine.

Everything is nearly submerged.

The button on top releases the side tension to allow the top to be removed or put on and when below that ring (lipped edge) locked in place by friction.

Everything is under the brine, locked in place, can't spill or drip and ready for...........

The reefer for the night, we'll start again tomorrow evening.

Brine recipe, remember it takes a lot to brine. OR a long time curing.


2 C Spring water is a sauce pan

1 tsp Garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/2 tsp sage

2 Tbsp Crystal Hot sauce

1 Tbsp Tiger Sauce

1/4 C brown sugar

1/4 C white sugar

3 Tbsp canning salt.

Later add

1 tsp maple extract

1/4 tsp #1 cure

2 C Crystallized Spring water 

Tomorrow all.......

pc farmer

Epic Pitmaster
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Feb 17, 2013
Central Pa
Along for the ride.  


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Feb 7, 2015
New Orleans LA
  I'm in Foam.  I just brined some turkey legs a couple of weeks ago for my first time.  I wasn't happy.  Looking forward to your input.



Epic Pitmaster
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Group Lead
Jun 11, 2015
Maryland Eastern Shore
looks like foam will be eating good tonight. i just did jeff's drunken chicken legs in a brine and they turned out great. Have brine turkey in the past which also worked great meat much more moist.


RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
Original poster
OTBS Member
Thread starter
LOL.... how anti-climatic.

I opened the special brining container, looked at the bird and the aroma, yes an aroma from cold fluid, was great!

I pulled it out and rinsed it off patted it dry

I put a blanket on it so it wouldn't turn blue in the reefer and said good night.

The outer skin will be dehydrating so you must pay attention to the legs which has the least amount of fat in the skin. I left a towek in the cavity to help absorb in those channel or pockets where fluids can be trapped.



Smoking Guru
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Feb 3, 2013
DFW North Texas
Yo... Brother. What going on with that cake with the ladyfinger crust?  Got some Community Coffee .  Be over in an hour. 

You gonna smoke this bird or just keep it in the spa and then give it a pedicure? 



RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
Original poster
OTBS Member
Thread starter
Impatience Grasshopper! To which he'll reply, "Patience Hell, I wanta smoke something!"

Its been a long day, You turn your back for just a min and those darn kids......LOL

So I removed the bird the knees were dry too. Besides his knees looked like he'd been playing football with the other chickens the day before , well he had bad knees. LOL  I set it under the fan to form a better pellicle which I hope to show.

I then set about checking the equipment. 

I preheat the smoker to 275 degrees.

Todays smoke will be over real pecan, pecan shells no pellets for me today.

Check the box to ensure heating is started, not just indicated. and make sure there is a drip pan

Back to the kitchen, pellicle is starting to form, on both sides. 

See the yellow color? That's the fat in the skin, the skin is tacky , see it in the wing tips. Thats pellicle.

Same on the breast side (not the owie on the knee). Wings tucked for stability, and legs tied to there can be no fooling around with other chickens in the smoker.

Ok, my normal rubs. Kitchen Bouquet, oil, and dust with Tony's. The Tonys is only for those that eat the skin.  I rub the KB, then to oil to smooth out the blemishes, I didn't use the Tony's today.

Look at how well defined the feather holes are in the skin, also all those skin imperfections will disappear.

Into the smoker, I dropped the temp this time to 200, then thought better and raised it to my normal 220 cruising temp. I have tried the 275 blow and go smoked chickens and they are good, but the after dehydrating over night, forming a pellicle, and low and slow    6lb bird takes maybe 4 hours smoking.

I allow it to rest till it drops 15 to 20 degrees to slice and even then I loose juices.

Aint it purdy?

At about 145 I cut it! 

Dark meat?

White meat?

Can you se any juices on the cutting board? Note the skin is absent on those breast slices. Thats not becuse they are rubbery, thats because that's the Chef's share unless I share. LOL I don't know if its the pellicle formations, the dehydration or the low and slow but I never have a skin problem. Its not crispy, but my Mom never made it that way either. But its not rubbery.

Ok, the Bear view....... Fresh salad with summer pickles, fresh green beans with taters and Chicken.

Some one peppered my chicken without thinking. Didn't have that problem with the dark meat, but it was also deboned.

Of while it was all happening, I got a couple of more jars loaded......... !!

Notes to all, I did a rookie mistake this trip. If a little is good, a lot is better, right? Wrong! The chicken was outstanding but I added that "herbs de provence" ( thyme, rosemary, sage). The chicken didn't need it, at all. Stick with the basics. Sugar, salt, cured, a little maple, a little cure. Its all it needs.

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