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Good Brine for Chicken & Pork

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Good Brine    

4 cups hot water   

3/4 cup kosher salt   

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed   

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper   

6 bay leaves, crumbled   

1 X 12 oz. bottle/can beer   

1  tray of ice cubes   

2  cups cold water   

Combine the salt, sugar, pepper and bay leaves in a pot and boil for about 15 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes and add ice cubes and beer. Put in jug or container in the fridge, it last for months. 

In a ziplock bag add chicken or pork chops and enough brine to cover the meat (let air out of the bag helps). Let the meat sit in the brine at least 6 hours or longer. Remove meat and wash thoroughly to remove the salt. (Very important or the meat will be salty)   Probe and put on the grill, I like to pull my chicken at 170 and pork chops at 150. 

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I've found the important part of the brine solution is the roughly equal parts of salt and sugar (you can even use table sugar and make it work).  Then, throw in any and all spices to your liking.  But the beer should be at least doubled, because that gives you plenty to drink while the meat is soaking.

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When we cooked rabbits, The parts were put overnight in salt brine, and then another overnight in marinade. Spice, vinegar, and water.

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On 8/29/2019 at 1:01 AM, TLRam1 said:

What will this brine do for the meat?

This is way after the fact but it might be informative to some others as well. This is a quote from an article that that is found here.


Meat absorbs some of the liquid: When a piece of meat is soaked in a brine solution, that solution is slowly drawn into the meat, and even though some of it is inevitably lost during cooking, it still makes a big difference. Since the meat starts out with more liquid within, it ends up juicier and more moist when cooked.

Muscle fibers are dissolved: Highly concentrated salt solutions will cause proteins to precipitate (essentially forcing them to aggregate with each other and clump together). On the other hand, a low-concentration salt solution has the opposite effect and actually can increase protein solubility and allow more proteins to dissolve. So brine actually helps dissolve some of the muscle fibers, which helps to reduce the toughness of meat.

Muscle fibers and meat proteins denature: A salt solution can denature proteins, essentially unfolding and unravelling them. As they unfold, water works its way in between these proteins so there is more water in between the meat proteins as the meat cooks. This results in a more tender cooked meat.

I would also add that I have use brines for chicken, turkey, pork loin, boston butt, pork chops, various steaks over the years. The only thing I have never brined is a brisket, well, because a brisket done right can't get any juicier or more tender. 

Edited by Chalkie

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