How to tenderizing chicken with soy sauce instead wet brining?

Since brining is about how much salt/water you use, how do I switch to a soy sauce marinade?
If the standard brine for 2lbs of meat is 1/4 Cup of Table Salt and 1 quart of water, then that means that is 28320g of sodium. For 30 minutes to an 1hr. 1 tbsp of Kikoman Soy Sauce is 920.
So 28320/920 is 30.7. That means I have to marinate 15 to 30.7 hrs instead of 30 mins to 1 hr?
Or increase the amount of soy sauce up to 1 cup?

  • Posted by: Harry
  • March 5, 2016
  • 2146 views
  • 6 Comments

5 Comments

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Susan W
Susan W March 5, 2016

All that math gave me a headache, so I'm no use to you there. I've occasionally added soy sauce to a wet brine along with Asian aromatics, but straight soy sauce doesn't appeal to me. Here's what Kikkoman says:
http://www.kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/recipes/recipedetail.php?rd=13141#.VttirnqIZpU

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Coco et Cocoa
Coco et Cocoa March 5, 2016

Brining is not about the absolute amount of sodium in the brine, but rather the concentration (ratio of sodium to water) and more importantly the time for the meat to reach equilibrium with the brine. The best way to tenderize the meat via brining is to allow all of the cells to absorb sodium (so that it partially cooks and so that when you go and cook it more moisture is retained). For these reasons I would recommend making the brine and tasting it so that it's as salty as you want your meat to be before putting in the meat, then give it a good day or two for the meat and brine to reach equilibrium.

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702551
702551 March 5, 2016

Again, I advise you to look up the brining articles written by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at Serious Eats. He has covered this topic many times, usually with side-by-side comparisons of different brining approaches. I think he has also experimented with brines of different salinity as well.

Coco et Cocoa is correct. Brining is about the total salinity level (concentration) and the amount of time necessary for equilibrium, which is why brining techniques advise for longer brining times (for meats, often days).

Again, I will reiterate my dissatisfaction with wet brines for poultry, mostly because of the resultant texture changes. However, you are free to experiment as you wish as many here seem to enjoy wet-brined poultry.

Good luck.

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Kristen W.
Kristen W. March 6, 2016

I know I recall reading a Cook's Illustrated article about wet brining with soy. Can't recall exactly where/when I read it, but perhaps you can poke around with Google to see if you can find something about it.

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Cav
Cav March 6, 2016

By 28320g do you mean 28320 grams? That's 28 kilograms. That's the weight of a portly child.

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff March 6, 2016

It would be milligrams, about 28 grams. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to get the decimal point in the right place.

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