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Old 11-07-2011, 09:52 AM   #10
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 03-02-08
Location: OKC OK

Originally Posted by bluetang View Post
.. All are enhanced with the old 8% thing. What I've read is that you don't brine an enhanced bird. Is this the case, or is there a brine for this problem? TIA
Here's my take. Although sever people have posted over the years that you can't do this, I'll make the case that you can, within limits.

Brining works because of osmosis. As such, what it does is try to achieve an equilibrium with the meat that is soaking. Inside the meat it is a percentage. Outside the brine it is a percentage.

Brining will try to equilize that percentage.

The misconception is that brining an enhanced bird is an additive thing. That it will add salt to the bird.

My argument is food science. Equilibrium is not an additive thing.

What Food Scientists have told me is that if you soak an enhanced bird in plain water, it will try to achieve equilibrium with the water and thus reduce the salt level in the bird. thus they say, that unless your brine is more salty than the enhanced bird, it won't add any salt.


I haven't worked out all the percentages, but testing over the years, I've found that most enhanced birds, in the 8% to 12% range can come out fine and get more flavor from a brine. 15% or more may or may not.

I've actually run tests with VERY enhanced birds and most people found the brined enhanced bird (over 20%) was better because the brine reduced the salt content.

What I need to do is work the calculations up, with the salt percentage of normal brines and give the details.

Until then, 8% to 12%, IMHO would be fine to brine. But try to say your money next time and don't pay for enhanced birds. You're paying that 8% price for them to add the water.
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