Most people picture bringing whole Thanksgiving turkey. But it’s so great that we use it all year for different meats and vegetables, such as cauliflower. For extra flavour, we like to marinate chicken breasts and pork chops in a quick brine before proceeding with the rest.
Brining can also be a great method if you’re cooking a smaller amount of turkey (e.g. a turkey breast) for Thanksgiving or weeknight meals. Although most bringing recipes require that the meat be soaked for at least 12 hours before it can be tenderized, a shorter brine can still produce moist and flavorful meat. A quick brine can add flavour to smaller cuts of meat like chicken breasts.
What is Brining?
Brining refers to the process of placing a cut of meat into a brine solution. This is salt and water dissolved in water. You can season a brine with dried herbs or spices. The meat absorbs some liquid and salt, which results in a more flavorful and succulent final dish. This is especially useful for lean meats that dry out during cooking.
Is Brining Essential?
You might wonder if you can skip bringing if you have limited time or space in your fridge. Although there are scientific benefits to bringing meat, it is not the only way to produce delicious meat. A dry brine is a good alternative to bringing. You can also rub butter or seasonings under the skins of chicken and turkey. You can try it in this turkey meat recipe. We think bringing is worth a try. It’s simple with the simple brining ratio and process described below.
What is the Brine Ratio?
For a brine, the basic ratio is 4 tablespoons of kosher sea salt for 1 quart (4 cups of water). You can reduce the amount of fine table salt to 3 tablespoons. Remember that different Kosher Salt brands have different salt levels. If in doubt, reduce the salt and the time you bring the item.
Step-by-Step Quick Brining Instructions
- To dissolve the salt in water, place the meat in a large container. Add any seasonings (see below).
- Add the meat. Add your meat.
- Refrigerate the container. You can brine smaller cuts, such as pork chops or chicken breasts, for up to 30 minutes. A turkey needs at least 12 hours.
- Take the meat out of the brine and pat dry. Brining is the best choice for dry heat cooking like grilling or roasting. Braising or poaching in liquid doesn’t make a big difference in flavour and texture. When seasoning your final dish, remember to add the salt from the brine.
Quick Brine Flavoring Ideas
You can add extra flavours to your meat by adding aromatics and spices to the brine. Make our Pork Stir Fry with Asparagus & Sugar Snap Peas. You can add a few pieces of ginger to the brine. Add lemon rind to roasted chickens. Some people like to add sugar (2 tablespoons per quart) to the brine to sweeten the meat lightly.