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View Full Version : Brining thighs, how long?


Wager
11-27-2012, 12:01 PM
For those that brine your thighs for competition, how long do you leave them in the brine? I'm use to doing a whole bird for 12 + hours but as small as the thighs are how long does it take?

Also, where do you find the biggest benefit from brining, tenderness, or taste, or both? I would like to try and get my tenderness scores up somehow and was hoping this might be one route that will help.

Lance Miller
11-27-2012, 12:35 PM
1 to 1.5 hour tops. Anything longer and you will taste the salt. Brining is gift from the Gods. Your thighs will be juicy and flavorful. I have started using Oakridge Game Changer brine instead of making my own and got a walk in our last comp compared to always being middle of the pack. Brine those thighs!

glenntm
11-27-2012, 12:42 PM
We use the Game Changer from Oakridge. 4-5 hours on brine time.

Wager
11-27-2012, 02:10 PM
Thanks guys. looks like I will be ordering some Game Changer to try out.

Do you find that it helps your tenderness scores at all?

Smokin Mike
11-27-2012, 04:38 PM
Smoke on Wheels has a great chicken marinade, you got to try it.

fnbish
11-27-2012, 04:54 PM
I believe it really depends on the contents of the brine, especially salt. Ive been going up to 6 hrs with good results.

BKBBQ
11-27-2012, 07:06 PM
oak ridge game changer two hours. Add some rub to it also.

code3rrt
11-27-2012, 07:24 PM
For the single pieces I usaully brine for 1-3 hours depending on the size of the pieces, whole chickens 8-12 hours, again depending on size.
I think it improves the flavor, juiciness and the tenderness. I've heard from some that they felt that brining takes away from the true chicken flavor, but I just use the simple basic brine, and don't feel that I get those results.

bam
11-27-2012, 08:15 PM
I believe it really depends on the contents of the brine, especially salt. Ive been going up to 6 hrs with good results.

I agree have gone 12 hrs on a watered down brine.

Pickin' Porkers
11-27-2012, 10:43 PM
WELL, since we are are known for not keeping any secrets I'll say honestly....we brine thighs for 12 hrs....put them on brine at 8 PM and off at 8 AM....

4 cups water
1/4 C salt
1/4 C sugar
1/8 C Buttrub

We are not #1 in KCBS chicken this year but if you do a thorough review of our results you will see that we do not do too bad. The latter part of the year is a result of some sauce tweaks that went bad, and that will change.... but we assure you, tenderness cores do not suffer averaging 8.2......

Crash
11-28-2012, 02:42 AM
We use our own brine, soak for almost exactly 4 hours and then rinse, rub and cook. It's worked for us, but everyone has a different approach.

kcmike
11-28-2012, 05:49 PM
Brine time definitely depends on the concentration of the brine, and to a lesser degree, the size of the item(s) being brined. Thighs in Game Changer at full strength, 1.5-2 hours. Thighs in Game Changer at half strength, anywhere from 4 hours all the way up to 12.

southernstyle
11-28-2012, 07:35 PM
Cant go wrong with game changer. I leave mine for 5 hrs. The moisture is awesome

HookedonSmoke
11-29-2012, 08:32 AM
When making a brine is it best to use kosher salt or iodized table salt?

Uncle Buds BBQ
11-29-2012, 08:43 AM
When making a brine is it best to use kosher salt or iodized table salt?

Here is some great info...
http://www.dipee.info/pdf/OnlineResearch/2.pdf

HookedonSmoke
11-29-2012, 08:58 AM
Interesting read...thanks!

cpw
11-29-2012, 09:25 AM
We use the Game Changer from Oakridge. 4-5 hours on brine time.

Cant go wrong with game changer. I leave mine for 5 hrs. The moisture is awesome

are you using full strength for this amount of time?

glenntm
11-29-2012, 09:34 AM
are you using full strength for this amount of time?

No, you can use full strength for 1-2 hours but I prefer a longer brine. We cut it back to about 1/4. We are very happy with the results, but have had to use full strength before and had good results.

cpw
11-29-2012, 09:55 AM
No, you can use full strength for 1-2 hours but I prefer a longer brine. We cut it back to about 1/4. We are very happy with the results, but have had to use full strength before and had good results.

Sounds great. I used it the free sample he gave out awhile back, but it was just to try out. I just ordered another pack that I plan on using for competitions.

hogzgonewild
11-29-2012, 02:22 PM
We brine our thighs in Kosmo's Chicken soak for 3 hours tops. I cooked with another team this year the weekend after we received our 180 in chicken and we accidently put the chicken into the brine for 12 hours.

The chicken skins absorbed so much liquid that they literally burst like popcorn in the smoker. It was like they disappeared.

kcmike
11-29-2012, 03:30 PM
When making a brine is it best to use kosher salt or iodized table salt?

We use fine Sea Salt in our Game Changer brine, but if you don't have that and you're making your own, I would use Kosher.

smoke-n-my-i's
11-29-2012, 04:43 PM
It is NOT just how long....

I too use Oakridge game changer and love it. :clap:

It depends on how you mix it. I have done it full strength and half strength. The directions and estimated time are on the bags....

The last time, I used full strength and let them (thighs) soak for 5 hrs... turned out GREAT...

And thanks for the reminder, it is almost time to order again.... :decision:

QTEX
11-29-2012, 10:42 PM
We brine our thighs in Kosmo's Chicken soak for 3 hours tops. I cooked with another team this year the weekend after we received our 180 in chicken and we accidently put the chicken into the brine for 12 hours.

The chicken skins absorbed so much liquid that they literally burst like popcorn in the smoker. It was like they disappeared.

Thats very interesting, I've brined halves in KCS overnight for 8 -10 hours and never had any thing like that happen.

JS-TX
11-30-2012, 12:41 AM
They say an hour per pound, but I've never had a problem going twice that.

southernstyle
11-30-2012, 06:02 AM
are you using full strength for this amount of time?

I mix it full strength.

Wager
11-30-2012, 07:10 AM
here's another question about timing. do you think the brine would still be effective if you brined the day before and let them air dry overnight? would that impact the effectiveness of the brine? or do you need to brine and then on the cooker right out of the brine?

kcmike
11-30-2012, 09:42 AM
here's another question about timing. do you think the brine would still be effective if you brined the day before and let them air dry overnight? would that impact the effectiveness of the brine? or do you need to brine and then on the cooker right out of the brine?

I've done it both ways and not noticed any difference (they both work great).

Big George's BBQ
11-30-2012, 11:23 AM
Great info here Thanks

Shiz-Nit
11-30-2012, 02:15 PM
Can you inject the oakridge brine product like some of the other big name products like butchers? and get the same results?

kcmike
11-30-2012, 03:22 PM
Can you inject the oakridge brine product like some of the other big name products like butchers? and get the same results?

The short answer is: Yes, you can.

However, I don't inject chicken thighs. They are small enough, the brine gets in there very easily without needing to inject.

Pork Butts are a different story. I highly recommend injecting them with Game Changer at full strength mixed with apple juice and ginger ale in a 50/50 ratio instead of water. I try to get at least 10-12 ounces into each butt.

Here's the process:

Trim your butts like you usually do.
Coat HEAVILY with our Comp or Secret Weapon rub.
Cover butt tightly in two layers of plastic wrap.
Then inject down through the plastic wrap until the butt can't take no more.
Rest in fridge or cooler for at least 8 hours.