brining?? How should I for how long

Country Living Farm

10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
Ok, I am ging to do three to five rooster tomorrow. After processing, what should I do. The last one I did was rubbery and hard to heat. So after 24 hours in the slow cooker it was good to go but I do not want to do that again. I have seen others say brine in salt water??? Any advice.

Make sure you age the bird before eating or freezing. That much I do know. As far as brining,,,it depends on how you plan to cook it. I was trying to find a post by 'jaku' that was very informative about brining. Something like if you plan to 'wet' cook brining is not necessary however if dry cooking (smoking, maybe?) you would benefit from brining. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will help you.
Good luck!
either pack the bird in ice or ice water with some salt and let it sit for 24-48 hours. If you have space in the fridge, you could just put in a bag and let it age in there. You want rigor to set in and release completely before eating or freezing. The natural breakdown of body tissue is what makes the meat tender. If you eat or freeze before those tissues have broken down a bit, then you'll have the rubbery meat.

So all I need to do is put some ice cold water in a cooler with some salt(how much) and let it sit for a day or two? After that, I can freeze it and use it when needed?
If you put salt in the cooler, you are brining. Resting would be in ice water or the fridge. Yes, you can then freeze and eat later.

There are different recipes for brine. Something like half a cup to a gallon. We cut way back the second time we brined because the meat was too salty. I can't give you an exact quantity; we use half a small box of kosher salt in a cooler. (Don't use iodized salt; you can overdo it with iodine.)
I'd make it more ice than water and just put about 1-2 cups of salt in to help lower the temp of the ice. You'll want to make sure you always have some ice in there and replenish the ice as it melts. I usually have to pour off the excess water and add ice a couple of times during the process. You want the bird to age in a cold environment. As long as there is a decent amount of ice in the cooler, you'll be fine. Just don't let it all melt, the temp will start to rise quickly then.


Jaku will probably chime in on this topic too. He's made a distinction between "brining" and "adding salt to ice." I can't remember what his criteria was but one was done merely to lower the temp and the other was more for taste of the bird.
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Sounds right. I agree. You don't want the meat sitting in the water. I think it gets called 'washed meat' or something like that.

You might be able to search 'brining chickens' to get a better idea for the salt/water ratio.
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Henry'schickens :

Sounds right. I agree. You don't want the meat sitting in the water. I think it gets called 'washed meat' or something like that.

Yeah, it'll wash out the nutrition to some degree, but it's usually alright if the skin is still on. If the bird is skinned though I wouldn't want it sitting in water. The skin is a great barrier that keeps the nutrition in place. So, OP, keep that in mind if you're skinning the bird versus plucking.

My last birds I let age for 5 days before freezing in a brine & they were great. If the meat is going in the smoker I would bet you could through it right in. I had a old Cornish Rock roo that was given to me for food that they said was 1 year old & I cut it up & straight to the freezer it went. When my wife tried to cook it she took a breast & boiled it then put it in the rotisserie & it was so tough. I was smoking some deer after that & had room in the smoker so I decided to put that chicken in there also & this time it came out so tender & tasted good.

As far as how to brine I use about a cup of salt to 5 gallons water. Adjust to taste.

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