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Why do you inject v brine (or vice versa)?

baychillabaychilla Posts: 305
edited 11:42AM in EggHead Forum
I've tried brining before and for moistness I've been pleased by the results. Flavor wise however I'm not certain the brine brought anything to the party. I'm curious to know why people brine rather than inject (or inject rather than brine) and if the type of meat and cooking method play any part in this decision. Thanks.
Near San Francisco in California


  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Most times I am happy with the flavor of the meat. I may marinate, but I don't brine.

    The only thing I inject are whole hogs.
  • KBKB Posts: 144
    Perry Lang has a discussion of this topic in the book titled "serious BBQ."
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    I inject all my chickens with creole butter.

  • Rezen73Rezen73 Posts: 356
    Brining and injecting (or even marinating) aren't necessarily mutually exclusive approaches to preparing meat.

    Brining, at least from my understanding, is using a salt based solution to change the protein structure of the meat, allowing it to preserve moisture while cooking.

    Injecting doesn't do this. It injects herbs, spices, flavors, or liquids into the meat directly, avoiding the brining and/or marinating process altogether, which results in a completely different variable into the cooking equation. Not only does injected meat not have the "brining barrier", it isn't "pre-tenderized" as proper marinades are oft to do. I say "pre-tenderized" in quotes, because marinades don't really tenderize meat at all, they pull a trick play which makes it seem like the meat is tenderized.

    Marinades are acid based solutions, which "break down" the surface of the meat being marinated, allowing flavors from the marinade to substitute the liquid lost during the marination process.

    This next part is just theory, and since I have never tried and don't have any education on this particular matter, it may just be food for thought. hah!

    I think a combination of some or all of these techniques may make for interesting results.

    Brining forces the meat to retain juiciness while cooking.

    Marinades break down the outer walls of meats, allowing flavors to penetrate the meat whilst substituting water lost during the marination process, and also yield a seemingly more tender texture.

    Injection artificially increases the amount of liquid and flavor inside a cut of meat.

    So who's up for brining something, marinating it, and also injecting it? Hah, probably overkill. But fun stuff to think about :D
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