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Old 08-29-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
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Default Salt management in Brine/Rub combinations

I have no real answer. Salt flavor is dependent on salt sugar quantity and balance in the brine and the amount of time in the brine. Then when you add a rub you add more salt and for me it's an eyeball thing. Does anyone have a more scientific approach to this problem?
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:49 AM   #2
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Nothing scientific for the rub, but I found the article below very interesting on brine concentrations...

This is from a post that I did a while ago...

Quote:
The accepted rule of thumb has been a 1-1-1 recipe for a brine. 1 cup of kosher salt (Morton for reference), 1 cup of sugar and 1 gallon of water.

Lots of folks use this site...

http://bbq.about.com/od/brinerecipes/r/bl90821a.htm

as a source for this concentration. This is what I have always used based on the great Brining 101 that Smokin' Okie published a while back...

http://www.cookshack.com/Websites/co...brining101.pdf

Others have referenced this article...

http://www.food.com/recipe/basic-bri...-turkey-306144

It calls for 1/2 cup kosher salt to a gallon of water.

So, what's right?

A couple of weeks ago I posted the following...
The minimum salt level for a brine to do it's thing is 150g/gallon of water. The volume that equals 150g. is tough to say because it depends on the salt type (Diamond brand K salt vs. Morton K salt vs. table salt) due to the size of the crystals. The ideal salt level based on research by Dr. Etstes Reynolds at the University of Georgia is 272g/gallon and Cooks Illustrated recommends 568g/gallon. In home measurements the Cooks illustrated recommended brine is 1 cup or Morton K Salt to a gallon of water. Dr. Reynolds recommendation is 1/2 cup Morton K salt/gallon. So, for two gallons, using Dr. Estes recommendation, you would need one cup of Morton K salt for two gallons of water. You have 3/16 cup (4 T = 1/4 cup) (assuming that you used Morton K salt).

<snip>

If you're interested in the science behind brining I recommend this site...

http://www.edinformatics.com/math_sc...ng/brining.htm
Based on the above, we need a minimum of 150g of salt per gallon of water. The accepted rule of thumb above yields approx. 568g/gallon, which is well above the minimum. Based on research, Dr. Reynolds recommends the concentration that Geoff referenced, which yields approx. 272g/gallon, still above the minimum.

So, even the experts disagree on this :D Both concentrations will get the job done. The 1-1-1 recipe may be able to achieve the moisture increase that we are looking for faster, but may also have more of an effect on the structure of the proteins, which will impact the texture of the meat.

I have been using the standard 1-1-1 ratio, but after reading the article above I am going to try a side-by-side experiment with both recipes to see if I can tell the difference. If I get acceptable results with the lower concentration I'll probably switch to that.

Thoughts? What do you use and what are your results?
I've been using the 1/2 cup morton kosher salt to one gallon of water concentration for a while and haven't noticed any drop off in moisture.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:59 AM   #3
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You can calculate how salt is in a rub by looking at the Nutrition Facts Panel.

Salt is ~40&#37; sodium by weight (the 60% being Chlorine). If a serving size for a rub is (1/4) tsp or 1 gram (for example) and has a declared sodium of 250 mg/serving, you can then calculte how much salt is in that rub.

For the hypothetical rub above, Take the sodium listed and divide it by .4 to get the weight of Salt. So 250 mg/ .40 = 625 mg Salt per 1 gram or 1/4 tsp serving. 625 mg = .625 grams. Therefore, your rub is 62.5% salt on a weight basis or 1/4 tsp volume basis. You can scale up how much salt you are adding to your brine by weighing it out or using measuring cups.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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Salt also should be weighed and not measured.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #5
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don't waste the rub in a brine a brine is all about osmosis if the flavors are not water soluble it might as well not be there.
This is my chicken brine

1/2 gal water
1/4 cup pickle or table salt
1/4 cup honey
juice from 1/2 a lemon & 1/2 a lime
1 tbl spoon vinegar
1 tbl Chrystal hot sauce
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Nothing scientific for the rub, but I found the article below very interesting on brine concentrations...

This is from a post that I did a while ago...



I've been using the 1/2 cup morton kosher salt to one gallon of water concentration for a while and haven't noticed any drop off in moisture.
Thanks Ron . very informative. Supposing you were using Smoking Guns as a rub
would you adjust your basic brine concentration?
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
don't waste the rub in a brine a brine is all about osmosis if the flavors are not water soluble it might as well not be there.
This is my chicken brine

1/2 gal water
1/4 cup pickle or table salt
1/4 cup honey
juice from 1/2 a lemon & 1/2 a lime
1 tbl spoon vinegar
1 tbl Chrystal hot sauce

How long do you normally leave chicken in this brine? Also, do you use a rub with salt in it after brining?
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