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Whole Chicken Brine

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by pigsmoke, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Hey all,

    I hope I'm not beating a dead horse here, but I have a question regarding whole chickens and brining them. I'm planning on smoking two spatchcocked chickens this coming Sunday and I was wondering; Is it 100% necessary to brine these birds first? If I don't, what are the potential risks I will be facing?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. u don't need to do anything to the chicken,u can just cook it.
    brining, seasoning or smoking them just adds flavour..
    JC in GB likes this.

    5GRILLZNTN Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You're going to get a lot of opinions on this one, and none of them will be wrong. It's going to boil down to personal preference. I don't brine whole birds for the simple fact I don't have the space in my refer to store them while brining. I simply inject mine with creole butter, put a rub on it, and throw it on the smoker. It comes out great every time.
    JC in GB likes this.
  4. I really appreciate the response. I have a WSM 18" as well, which is what I'll be using to smoke these birds. Injecting with creole butter sounds like a pretty good idea. Have a recipe you'd like to share?
    JC in GB likes this.
  5. I dont brine at all. I do marinade them in buttermilk overnight however. Buttermilk is an old southern thing that helps tenderize, moisturize and helps crisp the skin. For a whole splatchcock chicken overnight will do. You dont want to overdo it as buttermilk is mildly acidic so will make it mushy if you over do it.
    My procedure is to remove it from the fridge then rinse and pat dry. Then I use broth that I've made with the removed backbone the day before to inject the breast meat. Then apply my rub and set it aside as the smoker is getting up to temp.
    JC in GB likes this.
  6. That sounds delicious! Thanks for the reply! that's a method i may have to consider doing. Space and time is a concern for me so the brine method may not work out. I should have the space to marinade them over night though!
    JC in GB likes this.
  7. chilerelleno

    chilerelleno Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The only risk you face not brining your bird is possibly overcooking and having a dry bird.

    The real question when it comes to brining a bird is, do I wet or dry brine?

    Generally I don't have room nor time for a wet brine so I do a dry brine.
    I liberally salt body cavity and skin.

    Wet brines are okay, but then I have to take the time to air dry the skin.

    Injecting with a brine or marinade is a great idea and doesn't take as long as it went brine and is much more thorough.
    JC in GB likes this.
  8. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Injected with Tony C's creole butter and held over night in the fridge makes a good bird .
    JC in GB and sauced like this.

    5GRILLZNTN Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Tony C's Creole Butter and rubbed with Traeger pork and poultry rub.
    JC in GB likes this.
  10. What’s wrong with brining and injecting, I do that a lot, adds a lot of different flavors together.
  11. chilerelleno

    chilerelleno Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Who said there was anything wrong with it?
    JC in GB likes this.
  12. I hear you chilio, I like them deep flavors, you better not get any on your forehead, tongue will beat your brains out.
  13. Sounds great!! Now all I have to do is find some of that stuff. Looks like it might be tough to find up on the west coast in Canada.
  14. sauced

    sauced Master of the Pit

    I don't brine whole birds, no room, but I do inject them and apply rub. Always come out real good. I do brine chicken pieces and the brining really makes a difference.....in my opinion.
    JC in GB likes this.