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Old 11-21-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
is one Smokin' Farker
Join Date: 03-02-08
Location: OKC OK
Default Brining 101 -- Can you brine an enhanced bird

I know I have some serious thinkers out there. Want to put this discussion up, see what you think.

I Had this discussion going in a separate thread, but as a frequent author of brining, wanted to start a thread so we could add this to the Ultimate Turkey thread (if needed) and answer the question:

CAN you brine an enhanced bird?

I've seen some guesswork on people's blogs and post. Usually I see the answer that you can't brine an enhanced bird. Sure, common sense seems to think that it wouldn't be good, because it's already enhanced.

But we need to discuss a little food Science. I've tried to get detailed answers from some food scientists. Here's what they're telling me (based on their knowledge, but I did ask if they tested it and they said they hadn't)

You CAN brine an enhanced bird. And no, you don't need to reduce the salt.


Brining works by Osmosis and Diffusion. The idea is that you have a higher concentration (brine) and a lower concentration (bird) and through brining, they achieve equilibrium.

So, that last word is important.

Brining an enhance bird doesn't ADD salt to an already salty bird because the equilbrium will try to be achieved between the % of salt between the two objects.

It's just not an additive effect.

Thus, when you brine, if for example the bird is technically saltier than the brine, it won't take on more salt.

Instead, just the opposite. The brine will draw out salt from the bird.

So, technically, you could soak an enhanced bird in water and it would reduce the % of salt. The problem is it's not just enhanced with salt, but more stuff.

So, I have tested this with the family an friends. I've brined in my Turkey 101/Brining 101 brines my normal 48 hours and no one indicated it was salty.

I've done the test with enhanced birds up to 15%. I haven't test over that percentage (because I didn't want to buy them).

Your individual mileage may vary.

Oh and FYI, the brining 101 link was broken this weekend and should be fixed today or tomorrow. If you want it, just PM me direct.

Appreciate your thoughts and questions.
Lt Col USAF (R)
Lastest Smokers (4) FEC100's including Twin Big Reds, FEPC1000 Pellet Grill, Cookshack 36" Charbroiler

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Last edited by SmokinOkie; 11-21-2011 at 12:08 PM..
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