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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 07-16-2011, 12:34 AM   #1
Big Sexy
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Question help w/ brining

Can you brine in a cooler?
If so; whats the guidelines... keep the temp under XX degrees, change the ice every XX minuts... etc.


I have 3 full chickens and 3 pork loins I need to brine, but really cant fit them into the refrigerator.

Whats the best way to go about this... without buying a new fridge

Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:47 AM   #2
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Yes, you can brine in a cooler. Keep it cold with a bag of ice in a zip lock.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:49 AM   #3
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Big, we brine in a cooler all the time. The temps and changing the water and times to change are not an issue for us. Just my opinion here, so take it for what it is. As long as you have visible ice floating, you should be okay. Don't change the brine solution, just keep adding ice.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:18 AM   #4
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Actually, if you add ice to the water it will dilute your brine.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:37 AM   #5
Big Sexy
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do you think if I should make blocks of frozen brine, and add that instead of adding ice (so when it melts... it's just more brine)
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:19 AM   #6
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Make sure the water temperature remains below 40 degrees
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Sexy View Post
do you think if I should make blocks of frozen brine, and add that instead of adding ice (so when it melts... it's just more brine)
Nope.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthwestBBQ View Post
Nope.
I tend to agree.
Keep it simple.
Will it work? Sure. But that seems like a lot of extra work.

If you are really worried about diluting your brine, consider making it just a tad stronger or going with some zip top bags (or simply leave the bagged ice in the bag). Me, I just let it ride (most coolers will do a decent job of keeping ice overnight).
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:14 AM   #9
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Not that you asked the question - but I only brine chicken in salt/sugar for 3 to 5 hours dependent upon the size. I'll go up to 12 hours on the loins. M2C. Point being that you might be able to do the loins in the fridge and the chicken in the cooler. The loin will be more forgiving if you make the brine a little stronger to allow for the ice melting into the water. I'm sure there is a lot of info on this site, but you may want to check out http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/brining.html . It has some pretty good guidelines and information.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:16 AM   #10
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It might keep things more simple if you brine in a bag and worry about keeping ice for temp. That means if you keep the mix strength in the bag the same, it won't get diluted. Obvious, but may be overlooked. One might not want to mix pork and chicken in the same brine. Different finish temps can cause problems. Good luck and stay safe. Steve.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
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One might not want to mix pork and chicken in the same brine. Different finish temps can cause problems.
That is the exact point I was going to make also. Brine in separate containers.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:30 AM   #12
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1/2 Fill your cooler with water. Add a bag of ice. You do not tneed to take the ice out of the bag. Make your brine solution. Put each chicken and each pork loin in a seperate Ziploc Bag. Add brine to each bag. Seal all bags. Place in cooler. Close cooler and leave it till brining time is done.

Its that simple.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:14 AM   #13
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When I brine something big and cumbersome like a turkey, I use a cooler. Simple, fast and easy. I place the turkey in a food grade bag. Place in cooler on a bed of ice then dump ice in around the sides trying to keep turkey centered. Pour brine into bag and tie off, making sure meat is totally immersed. Top with ice.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:10 PM   #14
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hmm i never thought about using a cooler. but i do know when i go camping i can keep ice for a couple of days as long as you aren't in and out of it all the time and don't leave it in direct heat.

I personally use a 5 gallon bucket. I picked it up at the local grocery store form their bakery department for free. put my brine in and then the meat and go to the garage frig (or as the hubby says beer frig) and remove one shelf and throw it in there. I picked up that for 40 on cl.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:06 PM   #15
Big Sexy
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I would use a ziploc, but I haven't found one large enough to fit the loins.
Here's a pic of the loins I have.

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