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Old 09-16-2004, 02:02 PM   #1
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One very basic question

What is the difference in meat (any type) when you:

1.Marinate (wet)
2.Brine
3.Marinate (dry)

Then grill/roast/cook?

Thanks!

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Old 09-16-2004, 03:33 PM   #2
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Jim Tarantino--

From his book, "Marinades":

First of all, marinades do not tenderize food. They soften and denature it. Tenderizing occurs in food when muscle tissue is separated, torn, or bruised. Tenderizing, for example, occurs when a cook pounds a chicken breast or a veal scallop with a kitchen mallet. Marinades soften or denature tissue with their acid ingredients."

"Marinades do not penetrate deeply into muscle tissue. When a marinade hits the surface of meat or poultry, the muscle tissue softens and expands; in some cases this stops penetration."

Paraphrasing here: Marinades are made up of three parts with three specific flavor roles. The first is acid, such as wine, vinegar, citrus juice, or yogurt, acting as a softening agent. The second is oil, which adds flavor and moisture. The third is the aromatics that give the marinade its aroma and flavor.
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Old 09-16-2004, 03:37 PM   #3
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Brine A method for increasing the water content in the meat and thereby making the meat more moist and tender. Brining can also impart salt and flavor into the meat.

Baste A liquid that you apply to the meat in the last 5 minutes or so of grilling. A baste usually contains sugar or may be tomato ketchup based. A sugars in a baste will usually burn if left on the grill for more than a few minutes. any barbecue sauce can be used as a baste.

Dipping Sauce A table sauce that is used on the finished meat as you eat it.

Direct heat Exposing the meat to the direct heat and flames of the fire. Placing the meat directly over the coals of the fire.

Dry rub A mixture of dry spices and herbs that you rub into the meat, salt and pepper being the simplest.

Finishing Sauce A sauce that is usually applied in the last few minutes of cooking or applied immediately after the meat has been removed from the grill.

Glaze A liquid containing some form of sugar that is applied to the meat just before or just after it has finished cooking.

Indirect heat Not exposing the meat to the direct heat and flames of the fire. Placing the meat so that it is not directly over the coals of the fire.

Mop Similar to a baste, but usually thinner and usually not containing sugar. Applied to the meat as it cooks to keep the outside of the meat from drying out.

Marinade A liquid that contains an acid component, a flavor component and an oil component that is used to flavor the meat before it is cooked. Marinades that do not contain an enzyme do not tenderize meat.

Paste rub A thick paste of spices and herbs that you rub onto the outside surface of the meat
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Old 09-16-2004, 03:40 PM   #4
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if you brine a brisket, it will taste more like ham than beef. This is how turkey ham is made.
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Old 09-16-2004, 04:55 PM   #5
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The process of making corned beef is basically brining the brisket.
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:00 AM   #6
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Thank you Rainee so so so much!!!!!!!!!!!!! You gave me all the info I never even thought of ! So much I didn't know! Thanks marmalady, I feel so ignorant I'm printing everything and I'll be improving my BBQ hopefully with your guy's help! Thanks once again :)
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:05 AM   #7
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I have a final question please :)

Does this mean a dry-rub will only contribute to flavor? nothing to do with moisture and tenderness of the meat? Oh and one last question, Could you marinade something twice? Like Brine at firt then pat dry & apply a dry rub?
Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2004, 03:27 PM   #8
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I think the answer to both these is yes. A dry rub just flavours your meat, it doesn't affect the texture. I had a friend who used to use a tenderising poweder (it looked nasty but I think it's made from the papaya enzyme) so I think there are ways of dry tenderising, but normally, it is just flavouring the meat.

I can't see why you wouldn't be able to apply a rub after brining. I have never tried brining, I keep meaning to, there have been some great discussions and recipes here in the past.
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Old 09-21-2004, 09:37 AM   #9
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Thanks Kyles :)
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Old 09-23-2004, 07:18 AM   #10
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to Rainee and other experts - I'm totally confused about how brines work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainee
Brine A method for increasing the water content in the meat and thereby making the meat more moist and tender. Brining can also impart salt and flavor into the meat.
I thought salt basically acted to draw out the natural juices so why does brine increase the water content of meat? is the brine replacing the meat's natural juices?
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:18 AM   #11
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Why Brining Keeps Meat
So Moist

A food scientist explains how a soak in a salt solution makes lean meat juicier and more flavorful

by Shirley O. Corriher

Roasted turkey breast, sautéed pork chops, and stir-fried shrimp all tend to suffer a common fate when they're cooked even a few minutes longer than necessary: they get dry and tough. Actually, any kind of meat or fish will taste like shoe leather if it's severely overcooked, but turkey, pork, and shrimp are particularly vulnerable because they're so lean. Luckily, there's a simple solution (literally) for this problem. Soaking these types of leaner meats in a brine -- a solution of salt and water -- will help ensure moister, juicier results.

How a brine works
Moisture loss is inevitable when you cook any type of muscle fiber. Heat causes raw individual coiled proteins in the fibers to unwind -- the technical term is denature -- and then join together with one another, resulting in some shrinkage and moisture loss. (By the way, acids, salt, and even air can have the same denaturing effect on proteins as heat.) Normally, meat loses about 30 percent of its weight during cooking. But if you soak the meat in a brine first, you can reduce this moisture loss during cooking to as little as 15 percent, according to Dr. Estes Reynolds, a brining expert at the University of Georgia.

Brining enhances juiciness in several ways. First of all, muscle fibers simply absorb liquid during the brining period. Some of this liquid gets lost during cooking, but since the meat is in a sense more juicy at the start of cooking, it ends up juicier. We can verify that brined meat and fish absorb liquid by weighing them before and after brining. Brined meats typically weigh six to eight percent more than they did before brining -- clear proof of the water uptake.

Another way that brining increases juiciness is by dissolving some proteins. A mild salt solution can actually dissolve some of the proteins in muscle fibers, turning them from solid to liquid.

Of all the processes at work during brining, the most significant is salt's ability to denature proteins. The dissolved salt causes some of the proteins in muscle fibers to unwind and swell. As they unwind, the bonds that had held the protein unit together as a bundle break. Water from the brine binds directly to these proteins, but even more important, water gets trapped between these proteins when the meat cooks and the proteins bind together. Some of this would happen anyway just during cooking, but the brine unwinds more proteins and exposes more bonding sites. As long as you don't overcook the meat, which would cause protein bonds to tighten and squeeze out a lot of the trapped liquid, these natural juices will be retained.

Brining basics
How long to brine depends on the size and type of meat you've got. Larger meats like a whole turkey require much more time for the brine to do its thing. Small pieces of seafood like shrimp shouldn't sit in a brine for more than half an hour. In fact, any meat that's brined for too long will dry out and start to taste salty as the salt ends up pulling liquid out of the muscle fibers. (Be sure not to brine meats that have already been brined before you buy them, such as "extra-tender" pork, which has been treated with sodium phosphate and water to make it juicier.)

It's vital to have a brine with the correct salt concentration, especially for lengthy brining times. Small, thin pieces of meat like fish fillets or shrimp can withstand a concentrated brine because they'll be immersed for only half an hour or less. But for longer brines, Dr. Reynolds suggests using 9.6 ounces of salt for every gallon of water. One scant cup of table salt per gallon of water would put you within range.

If you're using kosher salt, you'll need to use more of it by volume. This is because kosher salt has larger crystals and is bulkier than table salt. I actually prefer using kosher salt in brines because it dissolves much faster, and it comes in nice big cartons. Using Diamond Crystal kosher salt, you'll need 2 cups per gallon of liquid. Morton's kosher salt is denser, and you only need 1-1/3 to 1-1/2 cups per gallon of liquid to get the brine concentration that Dr. Reynolds recommends.

Any food-safe nonreactive container is fine for brining. For brining turkeys, I use a plastic turkey cooking bag that will completely enclose the turkey; the meat needs to be completely submerged. I put the turkey in the bag and then set the whole thing in a large bowl. I add water to the bag with a measuring cup, keeping track of how much I've added. Then I add the correct amount of salt. If I'm brining a familiar turkey size and I know the approximate amount of salt, I just rub the salt directly on the turkey, inside and out, before adding the water. I put the bowl in the refrigerator (all meats should be refrigerated during brining) and let the meat soak for 12 to 24 hours. Discard the brine after use; for safety reasons, it should never be reused. (For a slightly different approach, see How to brine your Thanksgiving bird.)

Whatever you're brining, remember to rinse the meat or fish well afterward to remove any surface salt. Properly brined meat shouldn't taste salty, just very juicy with good flavor. But do reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe; that is, don't add salt until the dish is at a point where you can taste it and judge.
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Old 09-23-2004, 09:07 AM   #12
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RE brining question - thanks Rainee

what a quick and very informative response - I also found http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/brining.html

I like to understand the principles of a technique - the 'net is wonderful but there's a lot of poor info out there. Nothing like learning from a master.
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Old 09-23-2004, 03:22 PM   #13
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Once you brine poultry or pork you'll never NOT brine again. It is a fantastic technique.

Make sure your brine has both salt and sugar in it (sugar enhances the savory flavor) and take advantage of the brine's ability to flavor the meat by adding herbs and spices to it.

You sure can dry rub after brining, but make sure you leave the salt out of the rub, or the meat will probablybe too salty.
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Old 09-24-2004, 01:53 PM   #14
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You all are very informative. Can you specify the timming for a 5 pound chicken for example? How do you actually know the correct time? What about a Leg of lamb, a beef tenderloin? etc...? Is there a way you can tell brining is complete? I always thought brining = overnight :o
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Old 09-24-2004, 02:18 PM   #15
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There's more of a scientific explanation but basically what happens is brining adds salt and water to the cells of meat through osmosis so that when the meat is cooked and water is squeezed out, there is still water left in the cells because the water became more concentration and was added before cooking.

Does that make sense? Even though salt can cause a piece of meat to dry out the fact is the brine has a higher concentration of salt than the meat; the brine draws the salt out of the meat but then through osmosis is replaced by the salted water of the brine - the meat's fluid cells then become more concentration and flavorful.
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonlight
You all are very informative. Can you specify the timing for a 5 pound chicken for example? How do you actually know the correct time? What about a Leg of lamb, a beef tenderloin? etc...? Is there a way you can tell brining is complete? I always thought brining = overnight :o
Moonlight I can't give you an exact time, but for most things overnight will be too long. The meat would end up being too salty. For chicken breasts I go 2 hours. A whole 5 pound chicken I might go 4 or 5 hours, but I am just guessing at that.
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:40 PM   #17
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A chicken can be brined in about 8 hours - a turkey does take overnight. Chicken breasts take about 4 hours.

I wouldn't brine a piece of beef tenderloin - why ruin a good thing!! LOL

I also wouldn't brine a leg of lamb - we like ours rare and au natural. Well, I coat it with a rosemary/dijon pesto.

But to really find out exact recipes just go to google and type in brining, recipes.
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:48 PM   #18
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I tried brining my chicken breasts for four hours once and they were inedible. The texture of the meat changed too much and the meat was way too salty. The texture almost felt like the chicken was not cooked enough. I, personally, would not go over 3 hours for breasts. Try different times though and see what works for you. Everyone is different.
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:52 PM   #19
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Hi GB - I guess mine turned out because I brined in buttermilk. Try it sometime - it's awesome!!!! I know about that "texture" thing when it comes to brining. Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:54 PM   #20
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I have been meaning to try buttermilk for sometime now Kitchenelf. Maybe I will get off my butt and finally give it a shot this weekend :)
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