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rdstoll 09-19-2013 07:21 AM

Chicken brine with spices if using rub?
Hey I'm going to smoke my first chickens this weekend (on a UDS, spatchcocked).

Just wondering if it's worth brining the birds overnight or just cooking them straight with some rub?

And if I brine should I use a basic brine (water, salt, sugar) or could I use a more complex brine with other spices in it? I'm getting some Simply Marvelous rubs delivered today and will be using them on these birds but am wondering if using spices in a brine defeats the flavor and purpose of using rubs? Don't wanna confuse the chickens!

cpw 09-19-2013 07:25 AM

If you're smoking chickens (plural) why not try one brined and one not, just to see if you notice a difference?

Personally, I always brine my chickens. I also like to add a little of the rub that I'm using on the chickens to the brine...that way the flavor of the rub is everywhere in/on the chicken. The one thing you need to be careful of is that if you are using a salty rub, cut back a little on the salt in the brine. Don't want to end up overly salty.

AWaters 09-19-2013 07:32 AM

I also always brine poultry. I use water, salt and brown sugar. I sometimes use half and half water / apple juice in the brine. I often throw in some rosemary and thyme into the brine. Or, as cpw says, I toss in a bit of the rub that I intended to use.


ButtBurner 09-19-2013 07:34 AM

I dont brine

never saw the need

I dont want to add extra salt to the bird, I try to adoid extra salt in my diet but its not easy

I know I am in the minority

I dont brine turkey either but most people do

sliding_billy 09-19-2013 08:03 AM

Depends on the bird you are starting with. If it is already an enhanced bird, then I would not brine. If not, then I would. When I brine, I use a very basic salt/water/sugar (sometimes subbing brown sugar) mix.

57borntorun 09-19-2013 08:16 AM

Not a big fan of brine for poultry.Some people swear by it but I find that the salt solution replaces the natural poultry fluids with salt.I have tasted some that are better than others.One I did was a cooked brine with black and pink peppercorns, bay leaf, fresh garlic, lemon zest and when cool lemon juice.Lemon pepper with slight perfume from pink peppercorns.(Not a true pepper but they grow wild here in Florida.)

rdstoll 09-19-2013 08:38 AM


Originally Posted by cpw (Post 2630604)
If you're smoking chickens (plural) why not try one brined and one not, just to see if you notice a difference?

Good call! I'm a bit slow this morning.

Bludawg 09-19-2013 09:20 AM

Brine, Rub, Cook Skin side down.

rdstoll 09-19-2013 09:29 AM

So with brining - do y'all get creative with spices in the brine and then just smoke the chicken without rub, or do you use a simple brine and get creative with spices in the rub?

Bludawg 09-19-2013 10:24 AM

You only can get a little flavor with a brine so most comes from the rub
this is my Poultry brine

1/2 gal water
1/4 c K salt
1/4 c Honey
2 tbl Hot sauce( Franks, Texas Pete, Louisiana, Crystal or your favourite)
Juice fom 1/2 a lemon
Juice from 1/2 a lime (if they are small use the whole thing)
1tbl vinegar

brine 1 hr per Lb or overnight, rinse well

oldbill 09-19-2013 10:52 AM


Originally Posted by Bludawg (Post 2630807)
You only can get a little flavor with a brine so most comes from the rub.

I agree, apart from the salt and sugar, (or in Bludog's case honey) I only use onion, garlic and coarse pepper in my brine because they seem to lend a little more flavor whereas other herbs and spices are pretty much wasted on a brine. One thing to consider though is that if you are sensitive to salt you may want to back off on the salt in your rub a little bit. You might get a sodium overload!:shock:

kirk fortin 09-19-2013 11:23 AM

Im a huge fan of brining since i started it about a year or so ago myself. I use Sea Salt only and i have noticed that if my rub has quite a bit of salt i cut my brine salt WAY down. I sometimes just use the brine for flavor no rub or sauce. Its a very mild flavor if you brine it long enough. Rosemary,lemon,SeaSalt,thyme,hot sauce,garlic,onion...the list goes on bro! Give it a shot and let us know!

didisea 09-19-2013 01:10 PM

Inject it rather than brine it. I do this to all my turkeys now. It saves the mess of the bucket and cleaning out the BBQ refrig to put the bucket in. Just inject with some low sodium chicken broth, and maybe some spices (ground up) of your choice. Brining only gets the moisture in so far, but injecting gets in all the way into the meat.

57borntorun 09-19-2013 02:22 PM

The Scandinavians were some of the first to brine I imagine because they must have had some tough birds to deal with.Since Osmosis plays such a big part of brining one must consider the salt content.(fluid in -fluid out-pressure).The inward movement of salt and water and disruptions of muscle filaments into a meat also increase its absorption of aromatic molecules from any spices and herbs in the brine.So I say herb and spice it up but remember the outside of your cut being subjected more to the mixture can potentially break down to the point of being mushy.

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