Wet Brining is when meat is submerged in a salty liquid.
The meat absorbs the liquid and the salt.
The salt converts the proteins allowing them to re-form as a gel matrix which holds liquid and prevents it from being driven off during the cooking.
The meat absorbs the liquid and holds it in the modified protein matrix
The flavour of the brine is transported into the meat.
A Wet Brine for BBQ and general cooking is between 2% and 10% Salt
I prefer to use a Low Salt brine, I rarely go above 5%
A simple 2% Brine is:
1 Tablespoon (20g or .7oz) Non-Iodised Table Salt **
1 Litre (33.8 fl oz) Water
The advantage of Brining was evidenced in testing done by Cooks Illustrated who noted that a Brined chicken increased in weight by 6% and then lost only 7% of its initial weight in the cooking process compared to an un-brined bird which lost 18% of its initial body weight in the cooking process.
1 kg of un-brined chicken becomes 820g when cooked
1 kg of chicken becomes 1006 grams after brining and is 999g after cooking. — That’s 179g more weight after cooking!
To get a good understanding of Brine and the possibilities that using a brine can deliver
I encourage you to cook these three recipes.
They are all good meals to serve with Salad or Veg
This is a gateway lesson; this simple demonstration will illustrate just what the brining technique can do for you.
This is the first lesson you should do, it will help you get a good understanding of how much of a difference brining will make.
The Mini Rack of Lamb uses Brining, Smoking and Internal Temperature.
While this sounds complex, it is not. The steps are simple and easy to follow
This lesson makes a great meal and will set you up as a Backyard BBQ hero!
This Pork Fillet is delicate and a real eye opener!
The Brine and the internal temperature of the fillet is what keeps the meat lovely and moist.
Serve with Fried rice or an Asian inspired salad.
Check to see that the food you are brining has not already been treated.
If the package says something like “Lightly Marinated” check the ingredients for Salt, Water and Sugar.
One of our popular “Lightly Marinated” Chickens lists the ingredients as Chicken 90%, Water, Salt, Sugar…..etc
This bird has been injected with a brine and you should not brine it further.
** Iodised Salt can react with some foods and cooking equipment.
Iodine is essential in your diet
I only use Iodised Salt as a condiment, not in cooking