Basic Brining Solution Recipe

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A good method to help make chicken, pork, turkey, fish, and shrimp more flavorful and moist.
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Ingredients
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup table salt (or 1 cup of Kosher Salt)
Container: Large Stockpot
Directions
PREP
1 hr
Before brining, it is wise to check whether the food has been "pre-basted" with a marinade or brined seasoning. For example, turkey, pork or beef processed by major manufacturers and food processors, is often pre-basted with a flavor enhancer or moisturizing agent that may affect the value of brining again. Brining pre-basted meat often results in overly soggy meat, since too much moisture could be added by brining.

  • To determine the amount of brining solution required, place the meat or poultry in the container and pour measured amounts of cold water over it until it is completely covered with at least an inch to spare. The amount of water added is the amount of brining solution needed. Calculate how much salt will be needed using the ingredient ratio listed above (1/2 cup of table salt per gallon of water)
  • Add the salt to two quarts of the water (use 4 quarts of water if two gallons of brining solution will be needed) and heat until boiling or until all the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Place the meat or poultry in the container and begin adding cold water. Add enough water so that it is almost covered. Add the cooled salt water to the water in the container. If the meat or poultry is not completely covered, add more cold water until it is completely submerged.
  • Cover the container and place in the refrigerator or another cold storage area. Allow the meat or poultry to stand in the brining solution for about 10 to 12 hours. After the required soaking time, remove it from the container and thoroughly rinse under cold water. The brining solution should be discarded because it cannot be reused.
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