Guide to Brines
If you brined your thanksgiving turkey, you know brining can be the difference between a flavorful, juicy turkey and dry, lack-luster bird. But brining is for more than just once a year. Here are some ideas for different brines and methods.
Dry vs. Wet Brine
A brine base is a mixture of salt and seasonings like herbs, spices and sugar. A wet brine is that salt mixture diluted with water. A dry brine is when you rub the salt mixture directly on the meat without adding water. Dry brines are significantly less messy (no buckets or deep coolers needed). Plus, it improves skin crispness and caramelization.
Time to Brine
For anything smaller than a turkey, we recommend 24 hours or less of brine time. Always rinse off the brine, dry or wet, at the end of the time and pat dry. This keeps your meat flavorful without entering salt lick territory.
Wet Brine 1 tbsp. kosher salt : 1 cup of water
Make enough brine to cover your protein.
Dry Brine 1 tbsp. kosher salt: 1 lb meat
- Sugar, white or brown
- Fresh herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary
- Fresh sliced garlic
- Black peppercorns
- Cracked allspice berries
- Bay leaves
- Citrus zest
You can brine more than just poultry, too. Try brining pork chops, lean cuts of steak and different cuts of offal.
Let us know what creative brine recipe you come up with.