Can I brine while thawing frozen meat? Should I make adjustments to the brine recipe/time? Or should I only brine meat once fully thawed?

artsycella
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8 Comments

nutcakes March 22, 2011
I would not brine pork chops as long as 48 hours.
 
boulangere March 22, 2011
Anything that mentions Calvados in its title has to be wonderful - thanks for including the link - it looks fantastic! What time is dinner?
 
artsycella March 22, 2011
@Stockout Don't worry--when I'm talking about thawing meat, I mean safely thawing it in the refrigerator, not leaving it out at room temperature. I think I've got the safety concerns under control, just concerned about the overall effect on flavor/texture/etc. Thanks a lot for all your helpful tips.

@boulangere Thanks! That's the answer I was hoping for. :) I may do a bit of experimenting on my own with various meats and brines, but I was very curious to hear what other folks had to say about it. It's always nice to combine steps, and the truth is that planning ahead one or two days is about as far in advance as I can think most of the time!
 
boulangere March 22, 2011
Oh pork chops should be fine because of their low density. In fact the best way to accelerate thawing of anything is to place it in cold water. It sounds counterintuitive, but it is very effective, and of course MUCH safer than using heat in some way. Stockhouse's description of the roll of large amounts of salt and sugar ultimately in moisture retention is perfectly accurate. A hot brine is one in which the crystalline ingredients are dissolved in hot water, and the meat is brined at room temp for only a half hour for obvious reasons. It's fairly satisfactory if you're in a hurry. Go ahead and toss your chops in your brine and look forward to a lovely dinner tomorrow night!
 
Stockout March 22, 2011
Do never brine a warm piece of meat or use a hot brine on a cold piece of meat.
Please, artsycella, always work with meat and brines that are room temperature or cold. If you are looking to reconstitute a meat that has been left out overnight (or even 5 hours) without refrigeration do not think that is possible. If your meat has reached a temperature of over 40 degrees, you need to cook it right away, Forget about brining it. Just prepare a marinade and cook it. A meat for brining has to be at least 35 degrees in your fridge for 24 hours. You can safely brine that meat for another 24 hours.
Please think about doing nothing but cooking a meat that has been at 42 degrees for 24 hours. Brining a meat should be at 38 degrees or below, but for only 24 hours.
 
artsycella March 22, 2011
In this case, I was thinking of the cider brined pork chops featured here: http://www.food52.com/recipes/1841_cider_brined_pork_with_calvados_mustard_and_thyme

That being said, I'm also just generally curious. I love brining, and I also often have frozen meat that I need to thaw for 24-48 hours before cooking. It would be awfully convenient to combine these two processes, but it may not work out. Stockout's answer makes a lot of sense.

Oh, I'm also talking about a cold brine that you leave the meat in for 24-36 hours. I've never used a hot brine before, but I'll have to look into it.
 
boulangere March 22, 2011
What is it you're brining and how frozen is it? Are you using a hot brine or a cold one?
 
Stockout March 22, 2011
Brining is a new thing...as far as letting the public know about it. I would think that a protein should be at room temperature to get the full benefits of the brining procedure. If they are frozen they can not leach out their sodium. What actually happens is the protein leaches out moisture. Then it sucks it back in. The liquid that it sucks in is your brine. Hence the sugar and salt and spices. Once the scientific exchange is made the brinning is done. So.....24 hours for a basic brine and 36 for a more instense one. I know that a brine for a turkey that is over 24 hours starts to become salty. so....24 hours is your best friend.
 
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