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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 08-07-2013, 09:35 PM   #1
UF_Aero
Got Wood.
 
Join Date: 07-22-13
Location: Orlando, FL
Default A Tale Of Two Salts

I decided to grill up some chicken breasts for dinner, so last night I put them in my standard brine, 1gal H20: 1 c kosher salt: 1c brown sugar. Threw in some spices and a tbl or so of soy sauce. I only needed 4 breasts, so I only used about 1/2 the brine. I intended to brine overnight, typically about 8-10 hours, but I put the breasts in the brine a bit early, around 5pm, so they were in there for nearly 14 hours before I pulled them out, patted them dry, and hit them with some Plowboys rub.

When I got home from work, I fired up the grill, put the breasts over indirect heat at about 350, and then hit them with some sauce at about 145F. I pulled them off around 165, let them sit, and they looked simply awesome. So far, so good, right?

I pulled off a little nibble before I plated them and... *cough* *ACK* *choke* - WAAAAAAAY oversalted. I knew immediately it was the brine (it wasn't the Plowboys, and it wasn't the sauce - no Sherlock Holmes needed here).

But what had happened? Could it have been it was in the brine too long? 10 hours versus 14 hours? I've had chicken in longer with no significant effect. Why now?

Thinking back, I realized I used a different kosher salt than I usually do. I ran out of my usual Diamond Crystal salt, and my wonderful wife added kosher salt to the shopping list, coming home with Morton's kosher salt. No big deal, right?

WRONG!

Grabbing both my empty container of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt and the new Morton's Kosher salt, it became immediately obvious: The DC salt says "1 serving = 1/4 tsp (0.7g) "while the Morton's salts says "1 serving = 1/4 tsp (1.2g)". I've known all along the measures of salt should be by weight, not by volume, but didn't think that the Morton's product would be nearly 2x the weight of the DC salt for the same volume. So my 1 cup of Morton's salt was the equivalent of 1.7 cups of DC salt. The other way to look at it is that the Morton's kosher salt is nearly the same as table salt by weight.

Many think 1gal H2O:1c salt ratio is pushing it to start with (many recommend just 1/2 c of salt to 1gal of water), so 1.7 cups is clearly overdoing it, and I successfully proved that!

So lesson learned: substituting similar products does not mean all things are equal! And salt should always be portioned by weight, not volume, even if it's the same type.

(Note the handy usage tips on the Morton's label confirming that it's nearly the same weight as table salt - if I only read directions.....naaaaaah).
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:38 PM   #2
landarc
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yup, that was it
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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Happens to the best of us. Now that it happened to you, hopefully I learn and it doesn't happen to me .
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
Q-Dat
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Are you sure it wasn't the Yellow Prussiate of Soda?
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:54 PM   #5
KillerKaveMan
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need to watch out for fine and coarse grain textures as well as crystal structure. 2 different salts of same grain texture can have different serving sizes
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for making that mistake before I did...mental note made.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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It wasn't a mistake it was a learning experience.
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