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Old 08-05-2008, 05:51 PM   #1
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To brine or not to brine

I am unclear on exactly what brine is and why is it needed? Is it a marinade? I guess you can tell by my post that I haven't ever brined anything.

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Old 08-05-2008, 06:07 PM   #2
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It serves two purposes. First, it adds flavor to meats by adding salt and other flavors. Second, it works to reduce moisture loss during cooking so meats don't dry out.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:09 PM   #3
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A brine in its simplest terms is a saltwater solution. A marinade generally only penetrates the meat an eigth of an inch or so. A brine goes all the way through. A brine adds moisture (saltwater) inside the meat so you end up with a juicier product.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:10 PM   #4
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Thanks. What sort of meats would I do this to? I have read about turkey but I was puzzled about chicken. Now this something I guess I will have to try to broaden my horizons.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:13 PM   #5
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You typically brine low fat meats. Chicken, pork and turkey are the usual suspects.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:17 PM   #6
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And how long would I leave the meat in the brine?
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:17 PM   #7
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Brining is a great source of flavor but mostly it is for "juiciness". I wouldn't call it a marinade - it is a brine. Water + salt = brine. Most people add brown sugar and sometimes that's all.

I use: apple juice, kosher salt, brown sugar, smashed garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, lemons, limes, oranges, black peppercorns, and bay leaves.

EDITED TO SAY: I see others have given you the answer you need - I had to wait on customers! LOL
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:17 PM   #8
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...and soaking potatoes before roasting or frying is good, too.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMGgal View Post
...and soaking potatoes before roasting or frying is good, too.
I definitely would not soak potatoes before frying - hot oil and water/liquid do NOT mix!
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I definitely would not soak potatoes before frying - hot oil and water/liquid do NOT mix!

I always soak my fries in water first to get some of the starch out, then dry them real well before frying.
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