Resting and or brining

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by sweetshoplady, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    OK, I cooked a guinea. It was a young one. The meat was tough. I cooked it for about 2 1/2 hours at 350.

    The taste was good. Should I have let it rest and for how long? Should I have brined it?

    I'd like to learn from mistakes.

    Is this an important step to do on chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys?

    Thanks very much.
  2. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Holy crap. 2.5 hours? How much did it weigh?
    24+ hrs for resting. Salt water or buttermilk to brine, I've heard.

    Good luck next time.
  3. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Songster

    Jun 21, 2008
    We recently did 3 guineas. They were 16 weeks old. They rested in the refrigerator for 1 day, and then another day in brine. We roasted them on a rotisserie spit over out wood fire pit, over coals, not flames, which took about an hour and 15 minutes.

    So my guess is, you should have let sit a couple of days first, possibly brined, and the cooking time was way too long for 350. A longer cook time does make more tender, but only at a lower temp, and you need to baste often so the meat doesn't become dry.

    I hope that helps. Guineas are really good eating.
  4. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    That helps a lot. The flavor IS good. He was about 4 months old. Not an old bird. I think he dressed about 2-3 pounds. He free-ranged, but the meat was tougher than my 8 month roo that I cooked a month ago or so.

    Probably the resting and brining would have made all the difference in the world. We just dispatched, plucked, and cooked.

    I'll know better for the next time. Had a large breast with a lot of white meat (was a white guinea). That surprised me because I was expecting dark meat on the breast, since it was a guinea.

    Its a learning experience all the way around for me. I know how to make candy pretty good. But cooking these birds is pretty new to me.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I cook most birds for 20 minutes at 425, then down to the 225 oven for 1/2 to 1 hour depending on weight. The largest issue people have with homegrown birds is that they are not brined/injected to achieve a 20% water content. This means most my customers cook the living hell out of their birds, then complain they were tough.

    How do you avoid this? Is very simple.

    **** Meat Thermometer ****

    Assume the meat will raise 10 degrees after you remove it from the oven; then rest your meat 20 minutes once it leaves the oven. Do not touch it, fiddle with. Simply keep it covered for the heat to dissipate and the juices will absorb back into the tissue.

    And, in case you missed it, use a thermometer!!
  6. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    Thanks very much, Greyfields. Appreciate that info very much.

    This guy was tough even before the prolonged cooking, why I left him in longer.

    Now I can learn from my mistakes, and cook the next bird much better and it will rest and be brined, and I will be using a meat thermometer and let it rest again after cooking.

    Grow little meat birds, grow! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: