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Brining white meats, such as chicken, turkey or pork, which have to be cooked to through to a higher temperature, will result in a juicier and more flavorful end product. Red meats, which can be served rarer for a juicier result, typically do not need brining. Brining facilitates the water and flavors to permeate the protein through diffusion and osmosis. It is important to remember that the amount of brining necessary will vary depending on the size and cut of the meat. Proper brining will raise the temperature at which meat will lose moisture while cooking.
Make up different flavor combinations to compliment the style of cuisine or dish that you are making. Use vinegars, citrus juices in moderation along with other flavor profiles such as fresh garlic, whole mustard seeds, pickling spice or dried herbs and spices.
Larger cuts, such as pork roasts or loins, or whole turkey and chicken, can take brining anywhere from four to 12 hours or longer. Smaller cuts can brine for one to four hours and breasts or pork tenderloins or chops, can be brined for as little as 45-90 minutes. A good rule of thumb is about one hour per pound weight of meat.
Simple brines are most often the best and even an unflavored brine will have an impact on the end result and is well worth the effort.
Make a batch of brine and keep it on hand in your refrigerator
After brining, rinse the meat well and pat dry before cooking.
· Always completely cool your heated brine before using.
· Always make sure that the meat is fully submerged in the brining liquid.
· Be careful not to over brine your meat, as it can make the meat salty and be careful when grilling as the sugar that have been added to the meat through bring, can make it burn.
Apple Cider Brine (Use Apple Cider brine for pork, chicken or turkey)
2 quarts water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
In a Sachet bag place:
1 tablespoon mustard seed
2 tablespoons pickling spice
Add to above brine:
3 cups apple cider, cold
Bring water, sugar, salt, garlic and sachet bag to a boil. Add the cold Apple cider and chill the brine thoroughly before using. Place meat in a non-reactive container and pour enough brine over it to make sure that it is completely covered.