Our new Bradley smoker arrived yesterday and we've decided to inaugurate it by smoking a chicken. How long should it be brined prior to smoking?
While Peter no longer works for Food52 he still thinks up ways to make the website better.
I've never brined specifically before smoking, but in general when brining a whole chicken, I use 1/4 cup of table salt in 1 quart of water (4 cups). I mix the two, stir until the salt is fully dissolved, and then fully immerse the chicken and refrigerate for 1 hour. When done I pull out the bird, rinse, and pat dry thoroughly.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
I'll go along with Peter on this. An overlong brining will spoil the whole experience. And I'd go so far as to say, just call it a marinade.
For optimum flavor and moisture in a whole, bone-in, skin-on non-Kosher chicken, not less than 10 minutes per pound, nor more than 20 minutes per pound, to avoid textural problems. Or, you can use an Empire Kosher chicken and skip the brining altogether.
Just a note: don't place the chicken in warm brine, that isn't safe. And don't put warm brine in your fridge. If you heat the brine to dissolve the sale, just use half the water. Then when you remove from heat use cold water or ice for the full amount, so it will cool more quickly.
best brine for smoking is a 15% solution for 8 hrs
I liquid brine for 24 hours or overnight- Just watch the salinity- I use about 8 Tbl. salt for a gallon and a half of water.
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