Saturday, July 28, 2012

Brine



(From): http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-brine.htm

Brine serves several functions. The first is as a tenderizer, because the brine begins to break down the cellular structure of meats. It also infuses the meat with water, since the high salinity forces the brine into the cells of the meat. When the brine pushes into the meat, it also brings the spices in the mixture along with it, concentrating the marinade inside the meat. As the brined meat cooks, it stays moist and tender, and develops more flavor.

To use brine as a marinade, plan on two hours of marination for every pound (half kilogram) of meat. You will need to completely submerge the meat in the brine, and it should also be kept cool through the marination process. 

The brine mixture will require one cup of salt for every gallon (3.8 liters) of water or fluid. 

Most cooks prefer to dissolve the salt in boiling water before adding it to the liquid, making sure that the liquid is cooled before it is poured over the meat. To be safe, it is recommend to keep the meat in the brine in the fridge.

If you want a crispy skin after cooking, as is often the case with poultry, pull the meat out of the brine several hours before you plan to cook it, so that the flesh can absorb the moisture from the skin, leaving it dry so that it will crisp well during cooking.

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