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Old 05-05-2009, 11:34 AM   #21
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Thanks ChefJune. The first farmer's Market of the season near me has opening day on Saturday. They have several natural meat purveyors that will be getting my business from now on.
And ROBO410, I don't know if you were being a little tongue-in-cheek about the "moist and tender", but to me it's just a marketing gimmick to make you think that "wet and salty" in the same as moist and tender. Like you, I want my meat as pure as possible and I'll decide how to flavor it.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:16 PM   #22
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I, personally, like to brine my own meat. That way I can control what goes into the brine. With that being said, I prefer my non-cooking friends go ahead and buy injected meat, that way I won't choke

Laury, it's not that this issue hasn't gotten a rise out of us foodies...it's simply that this practice has been going on for a VERY long time and we've all resolved this issue in our own ways.

I will have to disagree with your statement that it is only to make the product wet and salty. As long as the added, odd-tasting preservatives are held in check I'm usually ok with it. It does make whatever is injected more moist and more tender. That's a simple fact of brining. If you brined at home would you consider your finished product simply wet and salty? No, you would consider it more moist, more tender, more flavorful.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:50 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laury View Post
And ROBO410, I don't know if you were being a little tongue-in-cheek about the "moist and tender", but to me it's just a marketing gimmick to make you think that "wet and salty" in the same as moist and tender.
Brining doesn't make meat wet and salty. It does, in fact, make it moist and tender.

It's just basic food science. Why Brining Keeps Meat So Moist - Fine Cooking Article

What you might be objecting to are any preservatives or flavorings they add in addition to the salt.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:02 PM   #24
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I don't brine meat. To me salt does not equal flavor per se. It is a flavor enhancer. I like the natural sweet character left intact. (Even seafood is naturally sweet, not salty.) I then use the juices and fond to make sauces etc. that add the salt and flavor to the meat. To me it's the combination in the mouth of the sweet meat and the salt in the sauce or skin that makes the dish so good. When the saline runs throughout the meat it just tasted like salty water to me. It doesn't taste moist, it tastes wet. It's a poor substitute for the fat that has been bred out of so many meats. I feel that most of us have forgotten what chicken, pork and beef tasted like before all the tinkering started happening. When my non-cooking friends serve me something bland, I put salt on it, gag it down and put a smile on my face. Mostly I do the cooking anyway. I agree that the practice has been around a long time, but it is way more prevalent than even five years ago. We've (as a society) been conditioned to prefer meat that has been plumped up with salt water.
I guess, as always, it's all about personal preference. I will always lean in the direction of using the "purest" form of any product and then seasoning it to my own tastes.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:12 PM   #25
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A while back, I complained to Tyson Chicken about their "100% Natural Chicken", which is injected with brine and chemicals.

Their answer, in a nutshell, was that "taste tests" had determined that the average consumer PREFERRED their chicken to be "enhanced."

I would be willing to bet that the test was carefully contrived to favor the "enhanced".
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:17 PM   #26
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From the article post by jennyema - "Properly brined meat shouldn't taste salty, just very juicy with good flavor."

Maybe this is the crux of the matter. The supermarket meats DO taste salty. Since I don't brine meat as I thought they would end up tasting like the supermarket crap, it appears that I should experiment at home with unadulterated meat. I have had home brined meat served to me, but it must have brined too long as it was salty. I have also shared meals that had commercially "plumped" meat and I seemed to be the only one who objected to the salty nature of it. So I will try brining in the future and report back the results. I hope to find that there is a huge difference between home brined meat and the storebought stuff.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:53 PM   #27
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Glad you're willing to give brining a chance.

A properly home-brined turkey or pork chop is a beautiful thing. Not wet. Not salty. But juicy and savory.

In addition, using sugar in your brine cuts the "salty" and enhances the "savory" flavors.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:59 PM   #28
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Laury, does your supermaket carry a Smart Chicken? WOW - they are wonderful. THAT'S what chicken is supposed to taste like!!!! It's not brined, not injected, just left alone to grow to it's NORMAL, NATURAL size. That's one bird I will not brine, it's perfect, the way chickens used to be!

I think the cheaper the chicken the more enhanced with the wrong ingredients it is. I went for a bag of ridiculously inexpensive bone-in chicken breasts - YUCK!!!!!!! All preservative tasting and nothing else. I ended up throwing it out.

At home brining is a wonderful thing for the right product.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:07 PM   #29
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I'll definitely look for it. What chains stores do you have that carry it? Is it a whole bird or parts? I'd love to try it. My kingdom for a "chickeny" chicken!
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:55 PM   #30
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Bell and Evans is a great brand of quality "chickeny" chicken.
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