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Old 09-25-2004, 03:38 PM   #1
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Brining questions

I'm posting this question here because it covers more than one meat group. It seems like several times a week recently I see people brining before cooking. (Actually, with the current trend, I wouldn't be surprised to see somebody trying to brine a banana cream pie). Anyway, 1). is brining worth the effort, and 2). what meats and/or cooking methods does it work best with?

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Old 09-25-2004, 03:40 PM   #2
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Brining is absolutely worth the effort for your turkey or chicken.
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Old 09-25-2004, 04:11 PM   #3
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works great on pork chops, especially grilled or baked afterwards. juciest chops you'll ever eat.
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Old 09-25-2004, 04:12 PM   #4
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I wanna try this for the first time too. How big of a container do I need to do a chicken? turkey?
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Old 09-25-2004, 11:46 PM   #5
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HEY! I posted a reply here earlier and it isn't here! Mudbug, I said a stockpot...a BIG ONE. You need something big enough that the liquid will entirely cover your bird. So, either a HUGE ziploc bag (don't think they make em that big) or a stock pot.
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Old 09-26-2004, 06:59 AM   #6
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Alix, what about a Hefty bag?
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Old 09-26-2004, 08:15 AM   #7
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Stock pot, pot from a BIG crock pot, or... A new, clean plastic bucket or trash bin from the local 'Mart.

Hetfy bag'll leak. You don't wanna go the bag route.
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Old 09-26-2004, 08:23 AM   #8
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Anyone have a 'recipe' for the brine, and how do you decide how long to brine (e.g pork chop vs a turkey)?
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Old 09-26-2004, 09:15 AM   #9
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I will never again cook chicken, turkey, or pork chops without first brining as long as I have the time. I find it does a lot of the taste, texture, and juiciness of the meat.

Otter, I do not measure anything in mine and all I use (for chicken at least) is salt and water. I just go by taste. For chicken breasts I try to make the brine taste "pleasantly salty". Basically I try to make it taste a little less salty than the ocean. You should be able to take a little brine in your mouth and not have to spit it right out because it is so salty. I keep my breasts in the brine for 2 hours. I would go 3 max, but not longer than that. I find 2 hours works just right for me. Some people also put sugar in their brine. I have tried this with pork chops and it works great. It does not make them sweet. I have not tried this with chicken yet, but I will soon. I think I would start with about half as much sugar as salt. Give brining a shot. It might take a little trial and error to get your proportions and timing right, but it is well worth it.

One great thing about brining is that you have a lot more leeway in the temp you cook your chicken to. I have pulled breasts off the grill that read 185 (has too much to drink and forgot I was cooking) and these brined breasts were so juicy and delicious you would never know they were overcooked.

The only reason I just use a simple salt water brine is that I can get real lazy. If you are not as lazy as me then a brine is a great place to throw in some herbs. Whatever you like can work here.

My wife and I did a taste test once. I have one breast that was brined and one that was not. We made a stir fry and mixed all the bite size chicken pieces together in one dish. It was obvious which was which when we were eating it. We ended up fighting over who got the good (brined) chicken :)
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Old 09-26-2004, 10:03 AM   #10
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thanks, all, for your tips. just may hafta go buy me a "brining bucket" today.
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