Brining Basics is it a Brine or Marinade - BBQ Central

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Old 11-24-2005, 10:53 AM   #1
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I'm no expert, but I'll add a little controversy here.

Until you add oil, it's a brine not a marinade. Marinades usually are a mix of acid and oil. Brines are primarily salt solutions.

And where do you find pickling salt? I’ve never seen it around NYC.
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Old 11-24-2005, 10:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynQ
I'm no expert, but I'll add a little controversy here.

Until you add oil, it's a brine not a marinade. Marinades usually are a mix of acid and oil. Brines are primarily salt solutions.

And where do you find pickling salt? I’ve never seen it around NYC.
Robert, you should be able to find pickling salt in the grocery store. IMO, you can brine with whatever salt (except iodized) you want to. You will just need to adjust the amounts because all of the salts do not measure the same.
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Old 11-25-2005, 06:10 AM   #3
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I too used this brine / marinade for our turkey this year. I used it one other time on a couple of chickens. I don't really care if it is a brine or a marinade. Both the chickens and the turkey came out fantastic and everybody loved them. Call it what you like, I'll use this again.
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Old 11-25-2005, 11:58 AM   #4
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As Smokehouse said once desolved pickling or Kosher work fine.
I not sure where sugar stops the process comes from, there are a number of sugar cures out there that would dispute your point.

What I got from your post was you don't like sweet brines and do like a lot of clove. Sounds like personel taste not science.
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Old 11-25-2005, 02:18 PM   #5
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Blaze,

I have a couple of questions regarding your dissertation on brining:

1. What do you mean "Brine for safety"? Most folks are brining for one reason and that's for moist breast meat and a little added flavor.

2. Kosher salt (no anti-caking additives) and pickling salt are both pure sodium chloride with slightly different crystal structure, why do you think that Kosher salt does not work in brining. As long as the same weight of salt to liquid are the same what's the difference. ?????

3. Since osmosis is only one factor in the brining process, and most of the water (and flavor) that brining produces is intra-cellular and not inter-cellular, why do you say that sugar stops or slows the process. What's the scientific evidence???

4. What is the problem with putting a cold turkey on a smoker??

Al
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Old 11-25-2005, 07:25 PM   #6
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What about road salt?
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Old 11-25-2005, 07:43 PM   #7
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I tried Keri C's Apple/Honey brine last year and tried a much simpler salt/brown sugar/water brine this year and I don't think I could tell the difference as far as the moisture content is concerned. Last year, I air dried, this year, straight from the rinse to the oven. I did notice the absence of the apple/honey though ~ Not much, but noticeable.

Tastes vary from region to region so what works for folk in California may not work for those on the Eastern Seaboard.

Blaze, I hear what you're saying. There have been several members that have come here and preached from their pedestals ~ That doesn't work here. Those that come and offer their experiences in a sharing manner and accept what others are sharing are very well received here. For what it's worth..
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Old 11-25-2005, 08:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Al
2. Kosher salt (no anti-caking additives) and pickling salt are both pure sodium chloride with slightly different crystal structure, why do you think that Kosher salt does not work in brining. As long as the same weight of salt to liquid are the same what's the difference. ?????
I swear...for a few seconds you made me want to go out in the garage and dig out my mineralogy book.
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Old 11-25-2005, 09:29 PM   #9
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Your test basicly says you set out 4 turkeys for 35 people and one didn't get eaten. Unless these folks were extreme eating contestants I would not expect them to eat 4 birds.

If you don't like apple brine don't use it. You're talking about what you like and mixing it up with, it won't work.

The most expensive bird you did was the fried, hands down.

Jaybo
There is a difference between table salt and kosher or pickling, table salt is not just salt. Maybe we're just lucky out here on the west coast but there is no big difference in cost between table and kosher salt. Just bought 3 pounds of kosher for 1.98.
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Old 11-25-2005, 10:59 PM   #10
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It seems to me that there is still to much opinion here and not enough science. Brining is in fact a scientific process and the process has been understood for sometime now. The Kosher/Pickleing salt argument doesn't hold water. By weight, pure salt is salt.

As for my own experience and opinion, I like brining and can taste the salt and sugar but not the spices or flavorings. I'm not sure if it was worth the extra cost adding spices to brine. I will always brine large birds though.

Both my Turkeys came out great.
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Old 11-25-2005, 11:02 PM   #11
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Also, The Kosher salt issue I think, is easily explained. I only keep Kosher salt because I like to cook with it. Any pure salt if measured by weight will work fine with appropreate preparation. People use Kosher salt in brine because it's part of their kitchen stock these days and it works. If there is some salt left over it can still be used in the kitchen. Unless you brine all the time or are into canning pickles you now have a bag of pickling salt in the way. All the rest of the salt info here seems iffy without scientific facts!

As far as roadsalt....I think you would have to whiz it in the coffee grinder for a while but I'm going to try that next time it snows here.
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Old 11-25-2005, 11:45 PM   #12
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I will always use a apple juice brine for now on when cooking chickens or turkeys. I used equal parts of kosher salt and brown sugar, about 5 cups of each, 2 gallons apple juice, 4 tablespoons sage, 4 tablespoons rosemary, 4 tablespoons thyme and a bag of ice. Added 3 - 12# turkeys and left for 12 hours. Dumped the brine and let the birds drain. Rubbed a little EVOO all over them, then added Texas BBQ Rub and massaged it in good. Cooked about 12 hours at 225*. Put the birds in foil pans and then coverred the pans with foil after 10 hours, and return to the pit for the final 2 hours. Once again, (3rd time I've used this recipe and with an entirely different group of people) everyone said that it was the best tasting turkey they've ever had. Very moist and yes with just a little sweet apple flavor. Used peach wood primarily. Added some soaked hickory chunks at the beginning of the cook. I'm sold on this sweet brine!
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:44 AM   #13
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Blaze,
You still haven't answered my questions
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Al



1. What do you mean "Brine for safety"? Most folks are brining for one reason and that's for moist breast meat and a little added flavor.

2. Kosher salt (no anti-caking additives) and pickling salt are both pure sodium chloride with slightly different crystal structure, why do you think that Kosher salt does not work in brining. As long as the same weight of salt to liquid are the same what's the difference. ?????

3. Since osmosis is only one factor in the brining process, and most of the water (and flavor) that brining produces is intra-cellular and not inter-cellular, why do you say that sugar stops or slows the process. What's the scientific evidence???

4. What is the problem with putting a cold turkey on a smoker??

Al
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpgapro
I will always use a apple juice brine for now on when cooking chickens or turkeys. I used equal parts of kosher salt and brown sugar, about 5 cups of each, 2 gallons apple juice, 4 tablespoons sage, 4 tablespoons rosemary, 4 tablespoons thyme and a bag of ice. Added 3 - 12# turkeys and left for 12 hours. Dumped the brine and let the birds drain. Rubbed a little EVOO all over them, then added Texas BBQ Rub and massaged it in good. Cooked about 12 hours at 225*. Put the birds in foil pans and then coverred the pans with foil after 10 hours, and return to the pit for the final 2 hours. Once again, (3rd time I've used this recipe and with an entirely different group of people) everyone said that it was the best tasting turkey they've ever had. Very moist and yes with just a little sweet apple flavor. Used peach wood primarily. Added some soaked hickory chunks at the beginning of the cook. I'm sold on this sweet brine!
Mike, is that a typo?? Wow, that's a long time for turkeys!
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Old 11-26-2005, 10:50 AM   #15
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Interesting Hypothesis'

Here I thought it was simple. If the solution floated an egg it was a brine. Add any form of sugar you want to the mix to retard the salt absorbtion, and give your meat a sweet taste. Use herbs to match the flavor profile you want. I thought NaCl was NaCl. Salt can come in more than one form. Soy sauce comes to mind first.

Blaze, can you please give me an opinion on this article.

http://www.bbq-porch.org/brining00.asp

I'd like to be sure I'm hitting on all cylinders for the Christmas rush.

Thanks for the advice.

Good Q!

Jack
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Old 11-26-2005, 10:52 AM   #16
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Welcome Okie...opinions offered up as such or general statements are always welcomed and are enocuraged to be discussed. When people fail here it's because they use the "My way or the Highway" brand of communication. You'll have alot of people eager to prove you worng when you go about it that way!

Your post is great and the info is good...hope to see you posting regularly!!
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Old 11-26-2005, 11:14 AM   #17
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Welcome Okie? Ever been to Muskogee?

Glad to have more knowledge here on the board!

Please post often!
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Old 11-26-2005, 11:15 AM   #18
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SmokinOkie, Welcome and thanks for the post. I love good discussion and appreciate your input as well as your temperance here. I have a brine related question that I would appreciate your opinion on. I didn’t have fridge space for the turkeys so I brined two 13lb turkeys in a standard size drink cooler with ice. The iced brine maintained a temperature of 31 degrees for the entire 24 hours. The turkeys were fresh free range birds cooled to 29 degs in the grocery cooler (Per local regulations). They were frosty but not hard frozen only about ¼ into the meat when dropped into the brine and stiff but thawed taking them out. In your opinion would the temperature in anyway inhibit the brining process?
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by zilla
SmokinOkie, Welcome and thanks for the post. I love good discussion and appreciate your input as well as your temperance here. I have a brine related question that I would appreciate your opinion on. I didn’t have fridge space for the turkeys so I brined two 13lb turkeys in a standard size drink cooler with ice. The iced brine maintained a temperature of 31 degrees for the entire 24 hours. The turkeys were fresh free range birds cooled to 29 degs in the grocery cooler (Per local regulations). They were frosty but not hard frozen only about ¼ into the meat when dropped into the brine and stiff but thawed taking them out. In your opinion would the temperature in anyway inhibit the brining process?
Zilla,
I know this question wasn't addressed to me, but I'd like to put my .02 in and look forward to seeing others opinions on this. Here's my opinion - if any part of the bird is frozen or semi frozen and not allowed to completely thaw prior or during the brining process, the bird will not be allowed to thoroughly absorb the brine.
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:22 PM   #20
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Thanks Larry, Of course I don't mind you answering. I didn't mean to exclude others from answering on this point. I value all of the opinions here. I collect .02 cent coins. Please continue....
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