I have a job coming up where I have to do ribs & chicken. We are cooking on site, and have to serve at the same time. I have a Lang 60, an Onyx, and also a 3x3 Santa Maria style grill. My problem comes with the fact that I usually do my chicken in the Lang, in a butter bath/chicken stock combo. Because the amount of ribs we are doing, I cant get the chicken & ribs in the Lang at the same time. So I plan on doing the chicken on the Santa Maria, (leg & thigh 1/4s) I dont want to dry it out, so I thought about brining before putting it on the grill. Any suggestions as to what type of brine to use, how long etc...
04-23-2014 10:09 AM
Quick and dirty brine is 1 cup kosher salt to 1 gallon of water. I'll normally throw in a cup of brown sugar and some other goodies to add some more flavor. If you're doing quarters, I wouldn't leave it in the brine for more than a few hours. If I'm feeling adventurous, I'll use Alton Brown's turkey brine, or PatioDaddio's turkey brine, or a buttermilk brine recipe I found somewhere that's awesome. It gives a nice tang to the chicken.
04-23-2014 11:30 AM
I've been using Mad Hunky's Poultry Brine with great success. One of the things I really like about it is that it contains a surfactant that moves the spices into the chicken along with the salt (of which there is surprisingly less than usual!). And it works quickly, too.
I've been doing my brining under pressure recently. I chamber vac-seal the chicken (or pork; MH's Pork Brine is similar and also excellent) with the brine; that cuts down on the amount of brine needed and also on the time required (cuts it by about half).
04-23-2014 06:48 PM
I've read through many studies to stay away from brining. Studies say that brining removes the natural juices within the chicken and replaces it with the brine, therefore having a negative effect on the taste of the chicken? If you have a vacuum seal, you could simply do a 30 minute marination and do just fine?
04-24-2014 01:49 AM
fresh chicken does not require extra moisture, and if you have to do 200 or 300 pcs thats lots of extra work that is not value added. You can do your ribs ahead of time and hold them while your chicken is cooking, then , if you have to, put the ribs on a finishing grill (Santa)before serving. If you buy chicken that has been frozen, then you have to think about a pail of ice water / sugar /salt a couple hours before cooking...either way you will have to time it out and have the ability (cambro or coolers) to hold so you can serve on time. Remember you are better off getting cooked early and holding to be sure you serve on time. And the ribs will hold great for a couple hours. The key here is good FRESH chicken to start with...moisture and flavor..
04-24-2014 04:49 PM
When I am cooking chicken for private parties and tailgates, I always brine the chicken. It retains more moisture and I can cook it to a higher temp without drying it out. It's worth it to me to add a little extra flavor for a few dollars of ingredients. Depends on how much chicken you have to cook.
05-04-2014 10:45 PM
Thanks for the help guys. I ended up marinating it in Italian dressing, and loaded it in the lang, smoked for 2 hours, slathered with my sauce & everything worked out, we got the food out, hot & on time