Brining 101: A Beginner's Guide to Brining

June 21, 2019

Brining 101: A Beginner's Guide to Brining

Brining, by definition, is a technique developed to preserve food before refrigeration. By soaking meat in salty water, meat lasted longer. Incidentally, meat brined in saltwater is also infused with flavor and tenderized. For this reason, we still use this technique today. You might think brining is something you save for a Thanksgiving feast. But with grilling season fast approaching you’ll find that brining your meat is something you could be doing year-round! We recommend our brines be used in poultry, pork, and some seafoods. You can even brine ribs before you throw them on the grill.

Brining works through osmosis. By placing meat in a bath of salty liquid, the meat will eventually absorb the liquid in order to equalize salt levels throughout. This causes the meat to not only be saltier but have a higher liquid content. While cooking the meat loses the same amount of moisture content throughout and prevents dryness. The higher salt content also breaks down proteins in the meat. This is what makes a brined Turkey so much more tender than a non-brined turkey. Be aware that if you over-brine, however, you run the risk of a mushy bird. Leaner meats tend to benefit more from brining, which is why poultry tends to be associated with this technique. Be careful when choosing what meat product to brine. Some are already injected with a salt water infusion, so be sure to read labels carefully.

If you prefer not to soak your meat in a bath of salt water, you can also try dry brining. This is essentially a rub. All you need to do is rub the dry bring solution into the skin of your choice of meat and allow it to refrigerate for 1-2 days. Always allow meat to return to room temperature before cooking. This is a popular technique for grilling in order to tenderize and flavor meat and can be done with a number of our spice blends including brines.

Colorado Spice single serve brine blends are easy to use and infuse your meat with herbs and spices while tenderizing. The Quintessential Brine is a classic for any occasion, most popular for Thanksgiving feasts and special holidays. The Garlic Tarragon Brine infuses your meat with an herby, garlicy taste and is great on pork. The Citrus Ambrosia Brine is a unique flavor combination that is both sweet and salty. All you need to do is dissolve the entire packet into 1.5 cups of hot water. You can brine up to two pounds of your choice of meat in the refrigerator overnight for best results. Pat the skin dry before cooking for a crispy crust and a juicy center. Make sure you do not save any brining liquid once it’s been used, as it is a single use brine only.

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