"Brine For Dummies"

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by DouglasPeeps, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. DouglasPeeps

    DouglasPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2008
    Colorado
    [​IMG] The title explains it all! [​IMG]

    Can someone please explain "brine". I have never processed before. Please explain:

    1. What does brine consist of?
    2. How to make brine?
    3. How long to brine?

    Could you also please explain the purpose?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Don

    Don Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    0
    111
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oil City, PA
    Quote:A brine is used to tenderize and add flavor ... it actually changes the cell structure of the meat and opens it up.

    The smaller the product, the shorter the time it needs to brine. Like, shrimp might only need half an hour or so where a turkey would (normally) brine overnight. (8 to 10 hours). I have brined turkeys for 2 days before and they turned out fine. Under-timing would simply make it less effective is all.

    An average recipe would be about a cup of kosher salt per gallon of liquid, stir till desolved ... and you need enough liquid to cover the bird. You can use water, beer, juice ... whatever you like. I prefer water (cause I hate to throw out beer, LOL)

    I also add sugar to my brine ... for a full turkey I would use 3 gal water, 3 cups salt and 1 cup sugar. You can put peppercorns, garlic ... whatever spices you'd like pretty much.

    Put the bird in a large bowl or cooler (my fav), cover wih the brine mix, top with ice (especially if you cant refrigerate it) and wait.

    When it's done, pull it out ... dry it off and cook as you normally would.

    Hope this helps ..

    Peace!

    Don

    PS: If you have an injector, mix up a batch of juice with: 1 beer (not throwin' it out, eatin it! Iprefer Dos XX), 1 cup honey, 3 or 4 tbsp each of lemon and lime juices, 1 cup orange juice, a couple shakes (that's a technical measurement) of Tabasco sauce, 2 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp pepper, 1/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Dr Pepper BBQ sauce). Stir that all up ... put it in a blender would be better ... and use that in your injector for the bird. YUM YUM GIMME SUM! hehehe PEACE! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  3. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    What is Brining: Brining is soaking meat in a saltwater mixture. Sometimes herbs, spices and liquids like fruit juice are added to the brine for flavor.

    Why Brine: Originally, brining was a method used to preserve meat. Now, it's primarily used to improve flavor and keep meat juicy.

    How does brining work: During cooking, meat usually loses about 30% of its weight. But if you soak the meat in brine first, the moisture loss can be reduced to as little as 15%.

    The meat is juicer because 1) Muscle fibers absorb and hold liquid while soaking in brine. The meat will still lose moisture while cooking but it will end up juicer. 2) The brine dissolves some of the proteins in muscle fiber.

    TIPS
    Keep all meat and fish refrigerated during brining.
    Rinse meat well after brining. Pat dry with paper towel before cooking to keep meat from tasting salty.
    Throw away the brine after use
    Brined meat cooks faster because the additional water conducts heat better. Check internal temperature about two-thirds of the way into the normal cooking time.

    This information was taken from the Tast of Home magazine October/November 2008 issue.

    Hopes this helps [​IMG]
     
  4. DouglasPeeps

    DouglasPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2008
    Colorado
    Here is another question:

    If I butcher my own birds and then brine, can I freeze them after brining?
     
  5. DouglasPeeps

    DouglasPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2008
    Colorado
    Quote:A brine is used to tenderize and add flavor ... it actually changes the cell structure of the meat and opens it up.

    The smaller the product, the shorter the time it needs to brine. Like, shrimp might only need half an hour or so where a turkey would (normally) brine overnight. (8 to 10 hours). I have brined turkeys for 2 days before and they turned out fine. Under-timing would simply make it less effective is all.

    An average recipe would be about a cup of kosher salt per gallon of liquid, stir till desolved ... and you need enough liquid to cover the bird. You can use water, beer, juice ... whatever you like. I prefer water (cause I hate to throw out beer, LOL)

    I also add sugar to my brine ... for a full turkey I would use 3 gal water, 3 cups salt and 1 cup sugar. You can put peppercorns, garlic ... whatever spices you'd like pretty much.

    Put the bird in a large bowl or cooler (my fav), cover wih the brine mix, top with ice (especially if you cant refrigerate it) and wait.

    When it's done, pull it out ... dry it off and cook as you normally would.

    Hope this helps ..

    Peace!

    Don

    PS: If you have an injector, mix up a batch of juice with: 1 beer (not throwin' it out, eatin it! Iprefer Dos XX), 1 cup honey, 3 or 4 tbsp each of lemon and lime juices, 1 cup orange juice, a couple shakes (that's a technical measurement) of Tabasco sauce, 2 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp pepper, 1/4 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Dr Pepper BBQ sauce). Stir that all up ... put it in a blender would be better ... and use that in your injector for the bird. YUM YUM GIMME SUM! hehehe PEACE! [​IMG]

    Thank you for this information! I do have an injector.....your receipe sounds wonderful!
     
  6. DouglasPeeps

    DouglasPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2008
    Colorado
    Quote:This does help. I am just trying to figure out how one would brine a couple of birds. Thank you for this information!
     
  7. Don

    Don Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    0
    111
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oil City, PA
    Quote:Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I dont know for certain.

    When I used to hunt squirrel, I would clean em ... brine em in the fridge overnight then cold-pack freeze them. I don't see where it could hurt as long as they are refrigerated properly.

    Just for those that don't know, to cold pack freeze something you would take a ziplock freezer bag, stand it up in a loaf pan, put you meat in it, fill with water to cover, put in the freezer until solid then remove from the pan and viola! You should be good for upwards of 6 months to a year with it frozen in solid ice. This time might vary by meat type, etc. but I've kept venison for a year this way personally ... and it was juuuuuust fine.

    Peace!

    D
     
  8. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    Brining uses 'osmosis' to get the meat to absorb more water, which makes it juicier when cooked. But if you freeze it, the water will turn to ice and expand and smash cell walls. I don't think the results would be good at all. Just my thoughts. I would freeze and then brine before cooking.
     
  9. cluckychick

    cluckychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    Quote:Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I dont know for certain.

    When I used to hunt squirrel, I would clean em ... brine em in the fridge overnight then cold-pack freeze them. I don't see where it could hurt as long as they are refrigerated properly.

    Just for those that don't know, to cold pack freeze something you would take a ziplock freezer bag, stand it up in a loaf pan, put you meat in it, fill with water to cover, put in the freezer until solid then remove from the pan and viola! You should be good for upwards of 6 months to a year with it frozen in solid ice. This time might vary by meat type, etc. but I've kept venison for a year this way personally ... and it was juuuuuust fine.

    Peace!

    D

    We do this with all the fish we freeze in the summer [​IMG]
     
  10. Don

    Don Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    0
    111
    Jul 15, 2008
    Oil City, PA
    Nice!!! [​IMG]

    Glad I'm not the only one that does it. My ex saw all the chunks of ice in baggies and thought I was crazy. Hahahaha Well, I am crazy, but not for doin that. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    You may well be right about brining before freezing ... since chicken is a more open grained meat than the squirrel I was referring to .. it could well turn it to ... well, mush. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by