Brining is a terrific way of bringing out the best from your food.
We like to provide tips and advice that will add something when cooking or roasting on Rotigrill rotisserie BBQ’s and brining is an often under utilised process.
Brining is a process similar to marinating in which meat or poultry is soaked in brine before cooking. Salt is added to cold water in a container where the meat is soaked, usually between six to twelve hours. The amount of time needed to brine depends on the size of the meat. More time is needed for a large turkey compared to a chicken. Similarly with a large roast versus a thin cut of meat.
Brining foods in a saltwater mixture before you cook adds flavour, tenderises, and reduces cooking times. You can also use smaller quantities of salt mixed with other spices and herbs, for additional flavouring. Many people add sugar.
Meat already contains salt water, so by submerging it into a liquid with a higher concentration of salt, the brine is absorbed into the meat. Any added flavouring will be carried into the meat with the saltwater.
The process of brining is to take approximately 62.5 ml of salt (with no additives) per 1 litre of water (ratio 1:16). If you want to add sugar to the mix add 1 part sugar to 3 parts salt. You will need enough brine to completely cover the meat (a more usual measurement will be 5 litres of water and 312.50 ml salt. Some items might need to be weighed down to stay covered. Brining time takes about 120 minutes per kilo. When you remove the meat, rinse it to remove any excess salt before cooking and dispose of the brine.
If you are going to be brining poultry, you will also want to place the bird in a refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours after brining before you cook (wrap in foil). This achieves a golden, crispy skin when cooking. Other meats can be cooked straight from the brine.You can use plastic containers, stainless steel bowls, sealable bags or any non-corrosive material for your brine. Camping cool boxes are ideal.
Preparing The Brine
Once you know how much liquid is needed, start by boiling enough water for the amount of salt you will need in a saucepan. Once it boils, add the salt (and sugar if required) and stir until dissolved. Then add other spices, herbs, cut fruit or other brining ingredients if required. Allow to cool. Put the remaining water (should be cold), into your container. Add the cooled brine mix to your water and stir thoroughly. Now place your meat into the brine.
Make sure that it is completely submerged. Then put the container in the refrigerator to marinate.
You can substitute some or all of the water with other liquids. Wine, beer, fruit juices or vinegars all make a good liquid base for your brine. Watch the cost though!Adding fruits to your brine will add acid to the mix, so reduce your brining time or the acid will make the meat mushy.A basic tip is to start with a simple brining mix until you get a feel for the process. Then you can start to experiment.Brined food cooked on one of our rotisserie BBQ’s is just mouth watering. The process itself lends itself to retaining moisture within the meat. Adding the brining process takes things to another level.
Take a look at our recipe for Brined and Spiced Pork.