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-   -   Does brining affect the skin of a bird? (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=158367)

sigpi906 04-10-2013 04:59 PM

Does brining affect the skin of a bird?
 
I'm new to brining (and to the forum, clearly) and I've made good use of the search function here. I've gotten a lot of good info.

I'm wanting to know if brining chicken thighs/drums is going to affect the skin and the bite? If so, should I be removing them prior to the brine and working the fat off then? If not, just work on fat removal after the brine?

popeye 04-10-2013 06:23 PM

I have not had a problem with brineing . But what kind of brine will you be useing ??

J&B'sBBQ 04-10-2013 06:23 PM

Are you looking for chicken for yourself and family, or competition chicken?

We don't brine either way, but we do mop our chicken when it is for our consumption. Our competition thighs we do scrape the fat off the back of the skin and toothpick it back onto the thigh, then use an aluminum dish to smoke them in with some pads of butter to keep them moist.

I have seen some people brine chicken and they leave the skin on through the process and then do not scrape the fat prior to smoking. I guess it helps to break down the fat prior to smoking (?).

Cooknhogz 04-10-2013 06:40 PM

I brine most of my chicken at home. No it doesn't affect the skin in any way.

Johnny_Crunch 04-10-2013 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cooknhogz (Post 2443274)
I brine most of my chicken at home. No it doesn't affect the skin in any way.

This!

code3rrt 04-10-2013 08:13 PM

I haven't really noticed that much difference as far as the skin goes. If i remember right I have read here where some folks will rinse and dry the chicken after brining, and then put it in the refer uncovered for a few hours to get the texture they like.

KC

leanza 04-10-2013 09:29 PM

When I Dry Brine the skin always seems crispy-r and at the same time moist in the finished product. Seems contradictory but with the dry process thats what I've come to realize. Ask PatioDaddio about his approach, which is tried and true tested. Plenty of threads about brine.

1964coupe 04-10-2013 09:32 PM

No. Temperature affects the skin of the bird!

Wampus 04-10-2013 10:30 PM

I think that brining will certainly affect the skin later, because it hydrates the skin more and adding more moisture will make it cook differently than NOT adding more moisture to it.

Now how MUCH does it affect it? I don't think a lot. In fact, I think brine or no brine, if you cook one bird low and slow in a 250 degree smoker and you cook one bird in a 375 degree smoker, the first one (lower temp) will have a more rubbery skin, while the higher temp one will have a crispier skin.

One way to help with the superhydrated skin after brining is to remove the chicken from the brine and put on a wire rack in a pan or on a sheet and leave in the fridge UNCOVERED for a while to DEhydrate the skin and allow it to tighten up. I leave whole chickens and whole turkeys in the fridge like this for a couple of hours to overnight if I can to allow for this.


Either way....as said above.....TEMP will more affect the skin than brining.


Now....depending on if you're looking for "bite through" skin or "crispy" skin.....there are many other factors that will affect both and brining is the least of your worries.


Quote:

Originally Posted by leanza (Post 2443512)
When I Dry Brine the skin always seems crispy-r and at the same time moist in the finished product. Seems contradictory but with the dry process thats what I've come to realize.

See.....^^ THIS ^^ is because the salt used in "dry brining" will remove the moisture, while imparting flavor, in the skin. He gets a crispier skin because of the lack of moisture. SO, it follows, then, that by ADDING moisture to the skin by wet brining, you'll affect the crispiness in the opposite direction.

This is why dehydrating the skin will help with crispiness while the brining process will still greatly affect the actual meat of the bird.

sigpi906 04-11-2013 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wampus (Post 2443566)
I think that brining will certainly affect the skin later, because it hydrates the skin more and adding more moisture will make it cook differently than NOT adding more moisture to it.

Now how MUCH does it affect it? I don't think a lot. In fact, I think brine or no brine, if you cook one bird low and slow in a 250 degree smoker and you cook one bird in a 375 degree smoker, the first one (lower temp) will have a more rubbery skin, while the higher temp one will have a crispier skin.

One way to help with the superhydrated skin after brining is to remove the chicken from the brine and put on a wire rack in a pan or on a sheet and leave in the fridge UNCOVERED for a while to DEhydrate the skin and allow it to tighten up. I leave whole chickens and whole turkeys in the fridge like this for a couple of hours to overnight if I can to allow for this.


Either way....as said above.....TEMP will more affect the skin than brining.


Now....depending on if you're looking for "bite through" skin or "crispy" skin.....there are many other factors that will affect both and brining is the least of your worries.




See.....^^ THIS ^^ is because the salt used in "dry brining" will remove the moisture, while imparting flavor, in the skin. He gets a crispier skin because of the lack of moisture. SO, it follows, then, that by ADDING moisture to the skin by wet brining, you'll affect the crispiness in the opposite direction.

This is why dehydrating the skin will help with crispiness while the brining process will still greatly affect the actual meat of the bird.

Alright, I think I've got a better handle on what's taking place in that saltysweet solution the birds are swimming in. The drums I cooked last night after brining for 1 hour were really good. I could tell there was a difference between the brined/unbrined drums. The skin bit through fine, but I think it could use a little more crisp to it. So, I suppose I'm going to try the brine/dehydrate method you mention.... see how that works.

Thanks for the input guys.

leanza 04-11-2013 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1964coupe (Post 2443515)
No. Temperature affects the skin of the bird!

Yes, temp does. But as my buddy Wampus said....


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