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Easy brining makes every BBQ better. A simple meat and chicken brine recipe and instructions.

Updated on October 9, 2010

Brine for succulent grilled pork chops

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The secret to great grilling...brining!

Brining is the secret to a great BBQ

Brining is such an easy technique, and it will transform your abilities on the grill. A brined piece of meat is far more forgiving of overcooking, and a brined but overcooked chicken breast or pork chop will remain juicy and flavorful.

There is nothing at all complex about the technique, and it is one of the easiest things that you can do to improve your cooking. Brining doesn't necessarily require a lot forethought, and even a quick brining will improve the quality and taste of a grilled meat.

The next time you plan on grilling, try a simple brine, and prepare to be amazed at the difference.

Brining is not a new technique, although it has recently come into mainstream popularity. The instructions as follows were adapted from the excellent book "Charcuterie" by Michael Rumen and Brian Polcyn.

Basic brine recipe

2 liters of water

½ cup of salt

¼ cup of sugar

Heat the water until all the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, allow to cool; and this brine is ready for use. You can augment this basic brine with any number of flavorings. Onions, carrots, garlic, leeks and peppercorns can all be used, and you basically can't use too much. You can also use fresh or dried herbs that you feel will compliment the dish that you are serving, as well as any number of different spices.

It is important to make sure that the brine is completely cool before adding your meat to be brined, and a brine should never be reused. Place the meat, and enough of the brine to completely cover it in a bowl, and keep refrigerated for the recommended brining time. Do not brine for longer than the recommended time, or the meat may become too salty.

The brining time required depends basically on the thickness of the curt of meat. A small cut such as a chicken breast of a pork chop will need only a couple of hours in the brine, while a whole chicken might need about 5 hours, and a large pork roast would benefit from a half a day in the salty water.

It is best if you take the meat out of the brine about an hour before cooking, to all the brine to distribute evenly, but this step is not essential, and you are far better to brine, even if you don’t have the time to do it completely.

It's also better to err on the side of caution when brining. A properly brined cut of meat will be fantastic, but if you brine meat for too long, it can become unpleasantly salty.

Try a simple brine, and see how much better your next BBQ meal is.

Save yourself from dry chicken breasts with brining

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