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A Post-Scrip about Brining

GretlGretl Posts: 670
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hi all,
I posted Bob Pastorio's article about brining. Now I have to 'fess up and admit that I don't use the recipes. What I have found is that unless the brine is rinsed off, the meat (poultry, in my case) is too salty. Nowhere in his column does he remark about rinsing after brining. And if his lovely spices are rinsed out, how can they still flavor the meat? What I do is to dissolve a "handful" of sugar and the same amount of Kosher salt in a cup or two of hot water. I add enough very cold water in a large pot to cool the solution before I submerge the bird. I leave it brining in the fridge for about a day, then thoroughly rinse the brining solution off, dry the meat with paper towels, and proceed with whatever recipe I'm using. I even do this with wings. The poultry I've prepared this way is always incredibly moist and tasty. That's just my two-cent's worth, regarding the brining question. [p]Cheers,


  • GretlGretl Posts: 670

    Uh, that's Post-Script. I know that.

  • Gretl, We have been using brine for a long time on poultry and I have never used bulk salt. I generally use wine or vinegar as a base. (Saki is wonderful but it is now quite expensive...much more so than when I started making brines over 35 years ago!!) I put hot peppers, fresh ginger, lots of garlic bulbs in a blender with some soy sauce for the salt flavor and chop the ingredients. I have never rinsed the bird using this mixture. I then put the bird and brine in a large plastic bag and pack it in ice for two or three days in a cooler (yes, I do check and replenish the ice regularly!!) Since I am a relatively new Egger, I have not yet attempted this on the Egg, but I have always gotten raves on my smoked turkey. In a Brinkman, I always used the left over brine in the water pan. Another liquid I have used in the water pan is root a nice flavor.

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Well, all those ingredients are pretty popular in our house. I'll give it a try. It's really a marinade, now, isn't it?? Like, what's the diff? Sounds good. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Just-RuthandJim,
    And Gretl: After 24 hours plus of brining, wouldn't most of the brine's flavors stay with and in the meat, even if you rinsed the outside off? And again my question, after a brine (and rinse?), do you still want to rub or mop or whatever? Thanks all!

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Big Murth,
    Following my simple brine and rinse method, I season and/or rub with whatever strikes my fancy. Usually for a Beer Butt Bird, I make a sludge of olive oil, dried herbs, lots of crushed garlic and freshly ground pepper. I loosen the skin all over and rub it under the skin, then use the remainder to rub all over the skin. Sit Tweetie on a vertical roaster over a can full of beer, add a little water to the drip pan to keep the drippings from burning, and let 'er rip on a couple of bricks. You just can't wreck a bird using this technique.

  • Gretl,
    Yes, I am a devotee of "beer in the rear" fowl, and after a shaky experience (and a cut fingie) with a can of beer, I graduated to a Willie's Sitter. My method has been to rub the bird inside and out and especially under the skin, occasionally injecting it, too. Sit it over some "good" beer with some diced onion and garlic inside.
    I guess my question relates as well, for instance, to bigger hunks of meat, like a Boston Butt or my first flight upcoming soon, on a big Beef Brisket. Any thoughts? Gracias

  • glennglenn Posts: 151
    I have been brining for a few years now, mainly because I like how juicy the meat cooks and how the meat absorbes the smoke. I have noticed though, that the spices or flavorings that I put in the brine, make it into the meat. I think that the sugar/salt solution has a tendency to carry the aromatic components into the cells. So, if you brine a turkey and use brown sugar and molasses say, the turkey will taste different than if you use maple syrup. Neither one will taste exactly like the brine but each will have characteristics of the seasonings/flavorings. Salt is used in a brine to start the osmotic action that draws these flavorings into the cells, sugar is used to offset the salt. When you add sugar to something salty, that something tastes less salty.
    In every brine recipe that I have ever used, you have to rinse off the brine. Sometimes you have to soak the bird for a while.
    Try and experiment. Two birds, one brined 24 hours in gal of water 1 cup of kosher salt 1 cup of sugar. The other bird unbrined. Cook them side by side. Did you notice any difference? Color, smoke, moisture, texture of the meat?[p]Glenn

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Big Murth,
    I have a vertical roaster that's too small at the base to accommodate a can of beer, so I keep a couple of small cans...the tomato paste or pineapple juice size (6 oz?) which I run through the dishwasher after use. I have one of those crimp-the-edge can openers so my fingers are spared. I would have gotten a Willie's but didn't find out about that model until after I had bought a couple of the Eiffel Tower variety.[p]I haven't done anything but poultry in brine, so I can't answer your question but I know there are many who absolutely positively swear on brining for preparing All Things Formerly Living and Breathing. Give it a shot.[p]Cheers,

  • Big Murth,[p]I read an article somewhere which stated that because of the processes (feed, hormones, etc) used in commercialized pork and poultry, the flavor is compromised in favor of plumper products. The article also stated that these two meats benefit the most from brining, and that it isn't really necessary for beef.[p]The beer brined pork chops that someone posted earlier were delish! On the other hand, I've done both pulled pork and brisket in my egg, and did not brine either one. Both were very tasty with mustard and dry rub slathered all over 'em.[p]Hope this helps,

  • Kevin Klostermann,
    Thanks Kevin, Gretl, and everyone who's been in with 2 cents worth and change...I appreciate your input!
    Re: brining---it would seem to me that it's best effect and major benefit would be to tenderize something that even Humpty can't improve, and enhance flavor secondarily. In my mind, and short experience since December Egging, it's hard to imagine anything need much more tenderizing than what's already come out of the Big Green Machine. Some of the turkeys and chicken I've cooked, or the pork tenderloins that come to mind....why if it were any more tender, forget the fork

    I'd need a straw! Big Murth
  • Gretl,
    I found this site and bought two of them. The nice thing is that the fold flat for storage. I just went to check out the link and they have them on sale.

  • Husker,
    Sounds like a great idea. $10 bucks to ship a couple of fancy coat hangers seems a bit steep, though. I think I'll keep on trying the balancing act without the stands.. :-)

    The Naked Whiz
  • Big Murth, I was just reporting my experience when I was using the Brinkman...haven't had a chance to try it on the Egg but we are looking forward to the experience! I have always, for no specific reason, brined for a long time. As to rinsing....we like the jalapeno, ginger, and garlic chips that adhere to the turkey skin. I have always had my best luck when I have used fresh, range raised turkeys. We are fortunate to have a Pennsylvania Dutch market available and we have become adicted to their meats even though they are quite a bit more expensive.

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