Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol, TN
Ever cooked a piece of steak, chicken or pork that turned out to be flavorless, dry or chewy? The secret to dining on better quality meat is to brine it first.
Brining has been used as a meat preparation tactic since before refrigeration. It remains popular today because it improves both the flavor and texture of the meat.
To brine a piece of meat, place it in a solution of salty, flavorful liquid. The basic ratio should consist of 1 cup of salt per gallon of water. Other herbs and spices such as garlic, pepper or even citrus can be added to the brine.
When your meat is in the brine, the solution soaks into the meat through osmosis. This adds extra moisture to the meat so that it will remain juicy even when moisture is lost naturally during whatever cooking process is used. Your meat gains both liquid and salt; this occurs because the sodium levels between the meat and solution equalize through osmosis. This relaxes the proteins in the meat, leading to a tenderer final product.
Some meat responds to brining more than others. Drier, leaner cuts of meat such as chicken breasts, pork chops, shrimp and Thanksgiving turkey all are ideal for brining. Ribs also benefit from brining, as it helps them retain moisture while being smoked.
Brine your meat for approximately one hour per pound, while making sure not to brine it for longer than the recommended amount. This can break down the proteins in the meat and make it mushy. Never brine a piece of meat without checking the label first to see if a salty solution has been injected.
You can also “dry brine” meat, which means covering it in a rub. This rub typically consists of a half teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat, along with any other dry herbs and spices you wish to add. Grind the mixture into a sandy texture, apply it to the meat, and refrigerate it in a sealable plastic bag for up to 1 to 2 days before cooking.
Thanks to the outdoor kitchens available at Promier Outdoor, you can brine and cook your meat all in the same comfortable outdoor space. We can design and install a wide variety of outdoor kitchens. Call us at (423) 246-7977 to schedule an estimate performed by a member of our experienced design staff.
Promier Outdoor serves Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol, Tennessee.