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Can I brine chicken wings in Prague Powder #1

bradmecca021

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I’m new to the whole wet brine game so I wanted to start off with something simple. I’ve read on here that pops calls for 1 TSP to a gallon of cold water for the brine. My question is tho is it even worth do that to chicken wings? I have 5 pounds of all flat wings I wanted to smoke tonight.
 

chopsaw

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I've soaked wings in Pop's brine . Comes out good .
1 TBLS of cure 1 to a gallon of water . I think that's what you meant , but just making sure . To me tsp is teaspoon .
I use 1 gallon water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
1 tablespoon cure 1 .
 

bradmecca021

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Awesome thanks for the reply. Also how long do you bring for? I plan of putting them on the smoker in about 10 hours from now
 

chopsaw

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I've done all different times . I have even injected them and soaked . You're not going for a full cure , so make sure you smoking temp to time of completion is correct .
I would say put them in now , or as soon as you can . Pull them out , rinse and dry a couple hours before smoking . Put back in fridge on a rack to dry the skin as much as you can . I grill mine for the most part . A little baking powder mixed in with your rub will help crisp the skin .
 

thirdeye

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If you poke a few holes in the skin it will help crisp it up. I use my sausage pricker tool, but the tip of a fillet knife will work too. Also, the cure will give the meat a pink tint and make it moister, so don't assume it's underdone based on that.
 

SmokinAl

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Yep you sure can. I almost always put some cure #1 in most of my brines. It gives it a better flavor.
Al
 

bradmecca021

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Thanks for the response. Is there a specific time range that they should brine for? I usually do 4 or 5 pounds of chicken wings a few times a month and just wanted to get a better understanding. I also smoke while chickens as well that are around 5 or 6 pounds as well.
 

chopsaw

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I think That one I did 48 hours . I've done 24 . I started doing " overnight " on whole birds . I like that the best . I always do mine hot and fast . I spent maybe a month or longer doing brine cured chicken cooks . Different methods and length of time in the brine . You'll just have to find what you like . See what you think of this batch of wings and go from there . Whole bird , I use pop's brine with a 1/2 tsp of lemon extract to the gallon ( that's max for me ) injected and soaked over night .
Pulled and rinsed . Then another night uncovered in the fridge to dry the skin .
That's just how I do it . All kinds of great methods on here .
 

tallbm

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Thanks for the response. Is there a specific time range that they should brine for? I usually do 4 or 5 pounds of chicken wings a few times a month and just wanted to get a better understanding. I also smoke while chickens as well that are around 5 or 6 pounds as well.
Hi there and welcome!

I think the guys have you pretty much covered but as you start talking about whole birds or bigger cuts and timings it is best to understand what an Equilibrium Brine is so you always get your brine right!

In short an Equilibrium Brine is a method that distributes salt and cure evenly between the meat and the liquid of your brine and when measured properly you can never over salt your meat!!!

Any easy way to describe how it works is: You take the weight of your meat plus the weight of your liquid/water (use grams or ounces, never pounds).
Then you multiply that weight number by a certain percentage to give you the amount of salt you want to use. I like 2% - 2.25% depending on the meat.

So in practice if I have 3000gm of whole chicken and I measure and it is going to take 2000gm of water to submerge the chicken i would do the salt math as total weight x 2.25%,....
so (3000 + 2000) x .0225 = 112.5 gm of salt to dissolve in that water!

Salt and cure penetrate at like 1/4 inch every 24 hrs according to what super knowledgeable people here report so you can wait that many days for full penetration or you can take a meat syringe and inject the brine deep into the meat to speed things up.
On whole chickens u can get full penetration with injection in 24 hours. If doing a raw/green ham u MUST inject to get the cure that deep in and u MUST wait the proper amount of time to fully cure the ham.

Doing this equilibrium brine means that after a certain amount of time the salt will distribute evenly between the meat and the water AND never be any saltier than the 2% in my example. Find YOUR preferred salt % you just use that and know that u may have a range like I do for when you do thin fish or wings vs a whole chicken or turkey since the thin pieces of meat absorb salt easily and it may taste more salty than a thicker piece of meat.

Cure is measured the same way so you can add to your brine and since it is a salt you may decrease your salt % slightly to adjust.

When it comes to other seasonings for your brine you just add them as you like as they are all different. If wanting to do sugar I like 1% sugar.

Honestly I do more of a straight salt + water brine and cure when I'm curing then I just season the meat with the other seasonings and flavor i want. If i want to add flavor to make a seasoned brine I just eyeball oinion, garlic, and black pepper and then again season properly when I pull the meat out.

I hope this info helps so you understand how to approach brining, curing, and timings :)
 

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