Brining is a process similar to marination, where meat (mostly pork and poultry) is bathed in a salt solution (Brine) before cooking. Brining is a great way to add moisture and flavor to your leaner choices meats. It’s simply a bath of salt, liquid and any other flavor or spices you’d like to add, like honey or rosemary for example.
Meats to Brine
Typically foods that have little fat, like poultry, shrimp or pork chops are ideal for a brine solution. Make sure when you purchase your meat that it hasn’t already been injected with a salty solution first.
Basic Brine Recipe
The typical ratio is 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water. You can really add anything from citrus, to fresh herbs to teriyaki sauce to your solution to add flavor.
One hour per pound is a good rule of thumb–any longer and your meat could end up too soft.
Dry brining is really a type of rub or “cure,” for your meat. You can rub a salt and seasoning mixture right on the skin to help infuse moisture into your meat through the skin.
Dry Brining Mix
General rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat, plus any seasonings you choose. The finer the ingredients, the better they will spread and stick to the skin. Another technique is to place your meat in a plastic baggie with the dry brine rub and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove from the brine and rinse, pat dry and allow to come to room before grilling.
Tip: Don’t leave brining meats out – always refrigerate. Also, dry your meats from the brine solution for a couple of hours before you cook — you’ll have a better texture.