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question on preparing a brine

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by preston897, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. im planning on doing a chicken tomorrow with the slaughterhouse brine. i did some searching and could not find the answer to my question. when you prepare your brine do you use a smaller amount of water and head it up prior to putting your ingredients in so it all dissolves well? or do you just throw it all in the gallon of water and mix it up till it looks mostly dissolved?  
  2. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    I just use a little hot tap water... dissolve all ingredients.. add a bunch of ice and cool it off... keep adding water and ice to make a gallon... always want your brine "pre cooled" before adding any meat....
  3. What exactly does the brine do to help keep meat moist? Just cause the meat to take on excess water?
  4. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    pretty much.. plus the spices you put in it....
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A brine only effects the flavor profile, Meat is juicy with or without it. Its the same with injections and rubs also.

    The brine using a dehydrate causes and osmosis effect with the meat causing the outside flavors to be absorbed into the inside meats. Be very careful because the salt (which is the usual dehydration medium), can become over powering is not tempered with wisdom. Use a light hand with it.

    You will also see a slight change in the meats density due too the cell breakdown in the osmosis process. If you don't brine too long its not too noticeable, a long brine like 2 days can give great flavor by really changes the density.

    Wow you're from Smurfs home town!

     I am sure there are those who will say it makes a difference, but remember brining works by replacing what is there, not adding new, It can't get in if nothing comes out. But everyone has their own believes about smoking, you just have to decide which ones you believe.

    BTW if its your first smoke, I highly recommend you smoke it nekkid. No not you nekkid, the bird. That way you can see what a good base line is for future endeavors. Can't know what to change if you don't know where ya started, right?

    Whatever ya do, enjoy it. No stress is allowed. Take notes so you can recalled the next time what you did, why, what the result was, and what you'd like to change the next time. It really helps.

    Hope ya like whatever you do, and remember to enjoy the smoke!
  6. You are right about just doing the bird naked. Ill do that. Also for future recerance when i do try a brine does it matter if i use table salt? Or should it be sea or kosher salt? Also im not sure who smurf is? Haha the little blue people from the cartoon?
  7. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Smurf is in the Rodeo Bull Fighter Hall of Fame. When I met him he was past his party animal years, mostly LOL, but you could tell he earned every war scar he carried. Family is from Mineral Wells, NM, and W.Texas, loads of PRCA in the group. Smurf was one seriously awesome rodeo clown, painted himself blue and started the the split blue jean shorts that looked like a woman mini skirt crazy for clowns.

    People shy away from standard sea salt because of the iodine (its for either gout or gouders but we only need like a gazillionth of a gram to prevent it, if it does in fact effect it), also if you use canning salt its a finer grind making it disolve faster and easier. It could be that Salt is bad for you, hardening of the arteries or fluid retintion etc., but what do doctors know, right?

    Again everyone has an opinion, mine is fancy salts go on the table, not in the pan. Kosher salt is flaked so it will stick more easily to the exterior surfaces. Sea salts are fine but can be pricy. Northern Caspian Sea salt winter of 1883. Its hard enough for me to get wine without a twist off top, now I need to worry about salt? I am an old country boy, my taste buds are near wore out anyway.

    Its like the nekkid ckicken, try it, if you like it great. You are the only one that knows your taste bud's abilities.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  8. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Did you mean "standard table salt" ... I didn't know there was iodine in sea salt ? ... not only because table salt has iodine but it is also much denser... a half of cup of table salt will equal approximately a cup of kosher salt (which I use )...

    "fluid retention"... exactly what the purpose of brining is....
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, standard table salt was what I meant, Thanks for catching that.

    You must understand the process of osmosis to understand brining. I can be wrong, but its my understanding that osmosis requires you to have something to replace what you take out. The salt dehydrates the meat much like a person sweating which allows that fluid loss to be replaced with the flavored water. During the process some cells are broke/destroyed and others supercharged causing the difference in density in the meat. So yes it does take on some additions water, but not its not enough to use it as a purpose. Its purpose is to replace the cells current hydration medium with the new flavored medium to increase the flavor of the meat. Basically the water changes the equilibrium within the muscular fibers allowing a changing of the guard.

    I am not a physicist, this is what I remember from school in the service. The O2 generators use omossis to separate O2 and H2 from sea water. I have never read anything about cooking but I assumed it would be the same type process.

    If I am wrong I do apologize. Its just the way I have pretty much seen in my cookings, LOL but I am no Chef or properly trained.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  10. So basically try differant salts and see what you like. Im a sea salt fan so ill do that when i try a brine. Im just to excited to try out the uds!
  11. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Table salt is available both with and without iodine added. 

    As noted, salt is best weighed, as different types of salt will yield more or less actual salt when measured on a volume basis.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  12. i guess ill have to get a scale to add to the arsenal of things i want for smoking!
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After your first smoke they'll need a dozen lasso's to hold you back. The reason its all so much fun is because of all the different things you can try to find your perfect bird, and all the great meals you'll get looking for it. Don't forget to start a snipers kill book of your cooks. Believe me you'll never remember 'em all. Different types smoke, brines, marinades, rubs, injections, temperatures, temperatures, etc etc etc..... Its loads of fun and loads of GOOD groceries for you and all those you'll feed. A smile in every bite.

    Here's some ideas for your smoke log:


    Most important is no stress, relax have a cool one and let the pit do its thing, its ok to take credit the pit doesn't care as long as you use it.

    Have fun and enjoy the smoke.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013