Reply to "What are you Smoking (BBQ)?"

quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
do you guys wet brine or dry brine?

been hearing from folks there's really no point in wet brining anymore


So, I'm going to speak to brining only and not curing. Other than using Prague Powder in very small quantities using a time-tested recipe with very exacting quantities for a week long brisket brine (to make corned beef or pastrami), I have not touched curing for the reasons Mneeley mentioned. I do not feel like I know enough about how to do this properly for uncooked meats to do it safely.

That said, here goes:
-Fish: wet brine in a 3% salt solution for 15 and no more than 30 minutes
-Chicken / Turkey: Used to wet brine, but I have found that dry brining produces what is to my palate similar results without the space and time requirements of wet brining. For chicken I rub the chicken with ~3% salt by total bird weight and let this dry brine in the fridge for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight. For Turkey I like to get this dry brine on for at least 1 day and preferably 2
-Beef/pork/lamb/duck: dry brine with salt (again ~3% by meat weight) for at least 1 hour and up to overnight
-Pork: sometimes I dry brine with a 2/3rd to 1/3rd brine of brown sugar and salt again trying to ensure that total salt does not exceed 3-5% of total pork weight. In this instance, I wrap the pork tightly in plastic wrap while brining (or will vacuum seal if I have the time) to prevent all the moisture from just spilling on the plate holding the meat

There are some pretty good articles on wet vs. dry brining on seriouseats.com and on amazingribs.com

I do think that ultimately your preferred method will depend on your tastes and the different textures these different approaches may produce for you
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