Brine

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Brine
In the future recommend a podcast on the science of brining. It's not easy to understand why if I cooking chicken breast and holding it hot in water drys the meat, but brining it in salt and water before cooking makes it juicy. Possibly a good food science video.
esavitzky
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Landon,

Welcome to the forum.

Here's and existing link to the Science of Brining with a link to Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking as a reference.
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Landon246
Yes, I agree Harold McGee is very good. I just thought Jacob does such a great job breaking down the fundamentals it might be worth his time to tackle brining.
Jacob Burton
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@ Landon,

I've actually been working on a "Science of Brining" video for quite some time now. The actual reactions that make brining possible are so much more complicated then the general answer of osmosis. I'm working on a "Science of Salt" video right now which will lead into a brining video.

The food science videos are probably the most time consuming content that I produce (even more so then the audio lectures) so I have to keep coming back to them while producing other content so the site doesn't go "stale." The three part emulsification videos alone easily took about 70-80 hours to produce.

Thanks for the suggestion, glad you're enjoying the podcasts and welcome to the Stella Culinary Community!

Jacob
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Chef316
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Oh...To Brine or Not to Brine....
pm_odonnell
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I had a question on the subtly of brining.  When  I marinate meat I'll put the protein in a zip top bag with what ever marinade and turn it from time to time and a few hours later I'm good to go.  I want to brine a whole chicken but don't really have fridge space for a pot big enough to hold a whole chicken.  Can I put the brining solution in a zip top bad with the chicken, seal it and get the same result even though the chicken isn't totally submerged or does the chicken need to be completely covered by the brine for it to work properly?

Wisconsin Limey

You need complete submersion to brine a whole bird.  Try using a large enough cooler and ice water to keep it below 40F

 

Jacob Burton
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Also, if you're chicken is small enough to fit in a gallon bag, you can fill the bag with the chicken and the brine and then submerge the bag in a pot of water to force out all the air (pretty much the same technique I used in the sous vide lamb video). You'll still need to turn it every now and then, but it will work. Allowing the chicken to rest 12-24 hours after being removed from the brine will also help the salt diffuse more evenly throughout the chicken.

abeniste
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Hi. I have been study equilibrium brining for a while. Base on MC, we can add any amount of water to reach the final meat salinity. to reach the equilibrium, half of the salt concentration should go the meat. My believe is the more water we add, less salt will have in the solution, so less salt will be diffused to the meat.

So, based on the formula ppm=(salt/water gramas)*1000000

300g meat, 300g water and 1% salinity (6g salt)
ppm=(6/300)*1000000=20000ppm

Double the water: 300g meat, 600g water, 9g salt
ppm=(9/600)*1000000=15000ppm

So, the meat will not have the same amount in both cases above. Does it make sense?

Many thanks.

 

Jacob Burton
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For equilibrium brining, I usually recommend keeping the weight of the protein and water the same, which will make the calculations easier. When your salt content drops by half (using a salinity meter), you know the equilibrium brine is finished

With that said, I still prefer traditional gradient brining, but different strokes for different folks.

I address equilibrium brining in much more detail here: http://stellaculinary.com/podcasts/video/the-science-behind-brining-reso...
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