Plan on bringing that turkey for Thanksgiving? What the heck is brining anyway right? And why does it work so dang well? A brine in its basic form is a solution of water and salt. You can add all kinds of flavors and herbs if ya like but the work is done by the salt and primary liquid. Osmosis is what happens. Yeh, I sucked at science too. Let me copy/paste this one. “Osmosis is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a partially permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides.” Yes yes, there’s more to that, but basically you are hydrating the cells of the muscle tissue while the process is trying to “equalize” each side. You can check this neat trick out by weighing your meat (insert joke here) before brining and then weighing it after. Hmmm, no guys I don’t thinks works on…anyway you should see ~5%-8% weight increase. So when you cook it and it loses its normal amount of moisture, there is more moisture than normal left over. Putting herbs, spices, and other liquids in the brine works because (in an attempt to stay unscientific) those flavors along with the water hitch a ride with the salt.
If you had a huge piece of meat (okay keep calm, it’s only huge in your eyes) that brined for a while, some tips and tricks to help cut down on any salty tastes from the brining are; rinse the meat thoroughly under cold water for a few minutes and/or soak in clean cold water for about 15-20 minutes.
If you like to make gravy from the dripping, use a low sodium broth (check the labels, all aren’t equal) to help with cutting down on the salt tastes.
I don’t typically find brining our meats makes for a salty taste. Here’s a chart I found on finecooking.”The chart below gives salt concentration and brining time for various foods. Concentrations listed are for Diamond Crystal kosher salt. For table salt, cut salt amounts by 1/2; for Mortons kosher salt, cut amounts by 1/4.”
Cook on folks! Don’t forget to share your delicious Thanksgiving food porn pics with us at Frankenspam on Facebook and tag those suckers with #frankenspam and every now and again tweeting it up at @frankenspam. Why tag? Because you cooked it your way!