Much of this section
taken from Bill Wight's Grilling Perfect Chicken page http://www.homestead.com/wight/files/chicken_grilling_faq_page.htm
Bill Wight is also the
Editor Of The BBQ FAQ's ("Frequently Asked Questions") http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/
Brining a whole
chicken or turkey (or parts thereof) is simply submerging the whole
bird, or pieces, in a brine solution for about 12 hours. Be sure to
do the brining below 40F, in the refrigerator or in an ice chest
under the ice.
Is is GREAT on pork
also. See the first long article in Part 7 !
*** Why should I
brine a chicken ? ***
Well, to get the
perfect grilled chicken, brining is THE way to go. To get a
juicy tasty turkey, brining is ALSO the ONLY way to go.
Brining also simply
injects loads of flavors into meats. Brining will give your meats
the most amazing flavor and texture. It should also be the moistest
poultry you have ever eaten.
You will get similar
results with Pork roasts, etc.
One last point -
poultry is usually even drier and has that typical day-old
taste. But brined poultry will still taste moist and fresh.
*** What's in the
Brine ? ***
The brine is mostly
water, some salt at a minimum and some sugar and spices and herbs
and onions and garlic at a maximum.
What does the
brining process do for my chicken or turkey ?
The brining process
forces water into the muscle tissues of the meat by a process known
as diffusion and osmosis. This additional moisture causes the muscle
tissues to swell and hold more water. The resulting water in the
muscle tissues will make the meat more moist and tender. Any spices,
herbs or other flavorings you add to the brine solution will get
taken deep into the meat with the water. See section 10.5.4 of the
BBQ-List FAQ version 2.0 for more information on brining (brining a
chicken is similar to brining a turkey).
*** What do I use
for a brine ? ***
As a general starting
point, take one gallon of water and add 3/4 (preferable - but you
can use up to a cup) of salt (kosher is best !), 1/2 cup of sugar
and then the rest is up to you. Sliced onions are nice, a few cloves
of crushed garlic add a nice flavor and then there's the spices and