Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brining 101

    Frying a whole turkey has become a popular way to serve up your Thanksgiving bird. If you've ever fried a turkey, you probably brined it beforehand. Brining other kinds of meat will lend a flavorful difference to grilling, too!

    The basic ingredients for a brining solution for one pound of meat is:

    1 Quart Water
    1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
    1/2 Cup Sugar

    You can add many other ingredients, such as: beer or wine (in place of some of the water); brown sugar, honey, white sugar (a combination, or all of one kind); liquid crab boil; black pepper; peppercorns; rosemary; thyme; bay leaf.

    Prepare 1 quart of brine solution for each pound of meat. Soak the meat in the brine one hour per pound of meat, but not less than 30 minutes, and not more than 8 hours.

    So here we go... I started with 1 quart water, 1/2 c Kosher salt, and 1/2 c granulated sugar. To that, I added Worcestershire, 2 cloves garlic, pressed; parsley, rosemary, powdered crab boil; bay leaf, and peppercorns.
    I decided to brine some pork chops for dinner tonight. I have three thick pork loin boneless center cut chops that weighed a total of 1.6#.
    After the brining solution cooled, I poured it into a Ziploc bag and added the chops. That went into the refrigerator for two hours.
    I always rinse the meat when it comes out of the brining solution to get the peppercorns and other spices off the meat, but it's your choice to do that or not.
    B put these on the grill for 30-35 minutes. Look at how the sugar in the brine carmelizes to a nice brown crust on the chops. Mmm, they were tender, juicy, and yummy! I served them with some steamed broccoli and a simple salad of sliced tomatoes and onions on lettuce with an Italian vinaigrette and a some parm shavings.
    If you're interested in trying your hand at brining, there are many sites on the web with more information. Enjoy!

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Brining 101

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