Kitchen Tips: What is Brining?

So it occurred to me recently that a lot of my Kitchen Tips have been more relevant to meat than veggies. Oh well, culinary terms are good for you. However, if you’ve got any questions you’d like answered in the vegetarian subject area, let us know.

Brining is the process of immersing a meat in a brine for anywhere from a few hours to two days; resulting in it becoming significantly juicier. A brine is a solution of liquid with a significant amount of salt; usually 3% to 6%. Brining does three things. First it breaks down the muscles a bit; making it more tender (brining is often considered a type or marinating). Second, the salt interacts with the proteins in the meat, giving them a higher water holding capacity. Third, it absorbs any herbs or spices that may be in the brine very well.

So, basically, when done correctly you have the potential for a very tender, very juicy, very flavorful meat. This has great potential for turkey, a type of meat that many consider very dry. Simply Recipes has a great recipe for brined chicken that I’ve tried and loved. Give it a shot some time.