Soak in salt water???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by HenniePennie, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. HenniePennie

    HenniePennie Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 16, 2007
    This is my 4th year of doing meat birds and I have never soaked them in salt water. This is the first time I have read about it. So how, why, and just why?
  2. ging3rhoffman

    ging3rhoffman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    Hopefully someone will answer you soon. I have the same question. This will be our first year to process our chickens and I didnt know what to do to make them tender and juicy. We are going to take ours to an Amish man that will do the butchering and then I pick them back up in a couple of hours with some coolers. I hope someone will tell me what to do with them after I get them back.[​IMG]
  3. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    This is from the USDA website:

    The verb “brine” means to treat with or steep in
    brine. Brine is a strong solution of water and salt. A
    sweetener such as sugar, molasses, honey, or corn
    syrup may be added to the solution for flavor and to
    improve browning.
    The salt has two effects on poultry, reports Dr. Alan
    Sams, a professor of poultry science at Texas A & M
    University. “It dissolves protein in muscle, and the
    salt and protein reduce moisture loss during cooking.
    This makes the meat juicier, more tender, and
    improves the flavor. The low levels of salt enhance
    the other natural flavors of poultry.”
  4. bellerose

    bellerose New Egg

    Apr 4, 2009
    Is there someone who can give more detail? How much salt in the long to soak?
    We have butchered before but never soaked in salt water, I'd like to try it.
  5. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Poultry Brine Recipe:

    3/4 cup coarse kosher salt (or 1/2 c table salt without iodine)
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 cup boiling water
    1 gallon cold water
    1 tablespoon pepper
    Sprigs of thyme, rosemary and/or sage - optional (use your favorite herbs)

    A heavy-duty plastic tub, stainless-steel bowl, or resealable plastic bag can work as a brining container, as long as the poultry is fully submerged. Weight with a plate, if necessary, to keep the meat fully covered by the brine.

    To determine how much brine you'll need, place the meat to be brined in your chosen container. Add water to cover. Remove the meat and measure the water. Adjust the recipe above to make enough brine to cover the meat.

    Dissolve salt and sugar in the boiling water. Add it to the cold water; add pepper and herbs, stir to combine. Chill brine completely in the refrigerator before adding poultry. Place your poultry in the water and place in the refrigerator for the time required.

    Rinse poultry twice after removing it from the brine solution; discard brine. If you are not ready to cook at the end of the brining time, remove and rinse the meat. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

    Edited to add brining times:

    Whole Chicken (4 lbs) 4 to 12 hours
    Chicken Pieces 1 to 1 1/2 hours
    Whole Turkey 1 to 2 days
    Turkey Breast 5 to 8 hours
    Cornish Game Hens 1 to 2 hours
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  6. mcdaid36

    mcdaid36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2008
    Putnam County, NY
    For those who sell their meat birds, do you brine you birds before selling them, or just recommend this to the customer? Is brining recommended to do at a certain point, like just back from the processor or when a bird is taken out of a freezer weeks later before cooking? If you do it yourself, how to you work that on a larger scale, like 10 - 15 birds at a time? What container do you use?

    I asked my grandmother about it - she's from Hungary and always went out to catch a chicken for dinner to serve it that night. She said she never did any of that and it's a load of you know what. I'm interested to know more about it though!

  7. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    The birds are fine, tender and juicy without this added extra work. So why mess with perfection? The birds are fine without it, so unless you like to do unnecessary work--why bother? Just my opinion.
  8. mcdaid36

    mcdaid36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2008
    Putnam County, NY
    Perhaps it has something to do with the age of the bird? I could see this being of use for an older, tougher bird.
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    Salt has been used for centuries as a preservative before the comming of refrigeration. It is widely used as a flavor enhancer and tenderizer. Also, a salt solution will draw out blood from meat when the meat is submerged into it .
  10. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Brining will also create a longer "window" for cooking without being dry. I have noticed unbrined birds need less cooking time. I usually will roast an unbrined bird less than two hours, as opposed to 2 1/2-3 hrs for a brined bird. I don't always brine mine, but I can tell a difference when I do. Most chicken you buy in the store has been brined by the producer.

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