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Smoking wings. Does brine time matter?

jay porter

Fire Starter
Joined Aug 10, 2015
Last week I smoked 3 pounds of split wings for the tailgate party. I had the wings a few days early and decided to throw them in a simple brine of salt, garlic, and dill. After 48 hours in the brine, they got 2.5 hours of smoke, then a few minutes under the broiler to crisp the skin. They were incredible! Great flavor, moist, and fall off the bone. Dry or with sauce, they were gone within 10 minutes at the tailgate.

Now my question. I never brine poultry this long. Did I just get lucky with the smoke, or did an extended brine time make a difference? 


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
Longer brine times are beneficial...no luck involved. Shorter brine times don't really utilize the full potential of brining, IMHO. It takes quite a while for lower salt concentrations to soak into the skin and meat. I've used weaker solutions before, and given enough time, they work quite well to impart more flavor while they carry the herb/spice components through the process of osmosis.

Your post reminds me of an experiment I did years ago with a bunch of wings...think it's in my signature line...Wild Wings. I used TenderQuick as the salt component and soaked for a several hours. I gave a partial cure, but added a lot of flavor, even though it wasn't a full-strength cure solution. The regular wings were basted in butter about half-way through smoking, and the hot recipe was basted in 50/50 butter/tobasco sauce and more hot rub. The hot recipe was hot enough to boost the dairy industry...great flavor with a wicked kick...not just heat.


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