Author Topic: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...  (Read 11848 times)

Offline Smokeville

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Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« on: October 06, 2009, 05:59:26 PM »
Hi all;

I've had good results with what I think is a standard brine of 1 gallon of water, with 1 cup kosher salt and 1 cup brown sugar. I've used this ratio to brine salmon, trout, chicken and turkey.

But my question is how much food can be brined with a given quantity of solution? (Maybe that's a question that tells I don't understand the process?)

For example, if I'm brining maybe a pound of salmon fillet, how many ounces of solution are required? If I'm brining 2 8 lb turkeys, and they can be covered with 2 gallons of brine, is that enough?

Does what I'm asking make sense?

Thanks, Rich


Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2009, 06:08:37 PM »
I'm sure there is a more scientific method than mine, but I always make enough to cover the meat.

I figure as long as the salt concentration on the outside is higher than the inside, osmosis will happen and take the flavors with the water and salt.
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Offline Hopefull Romantic

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 12:36:48 AM »
Smokeville,

Try the following link

http://www.shaboomskitchen.com/basics/brine.html

HR
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Offline Smokeville

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 10:18:22 AM »
Thanks fellows;

That really helps. Like I said, I've had good results. But with Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, there have been a number of shows on the Food Network that have mentioned brining and the recipes were all over the map. Alton Brown did one with "Dear Food Network" that had a fairly standard brine, then he proceeded to add several large bags of ice cubes to the mixture to keep it cool. Since the cubes will partly melt, I thought it would dilute the brine, and it started me wondering.....

Regards, Rich

Offline pensrock

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 11:59:14 AM »
Quote
Since the cubes will partly melt, I thought it would dilute the brine

Thats why the ice was in a bag, so when it melted it would not get into the brine.

I have alway found the amount varies depending on what it is you are brining as well as the container. I always make enough brine to completely cover whatever it is I'm working on. Brine is really cheap so I never skimp. Say you put a turkey in a cooler to brine, it may take 5 gallons of brine to cover it, put that same turkey in a large pot or food grade plastic bucket, it will take about two gallons.

Offline Hopefull Romantic

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2009, 12:09:47 PM »
Pens, I put them in on of the fridge drawers so not to take too much place and not to mess with ice in "BAGS". I have not done a Turkey yet and dont think it would fit. But it worked for every thing else.

HR
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Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2009, 12:11:50 PM »
I just factor the ice into the weight of the water.
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Offline Smokeville

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2009, 12:57:09 PM »
Quote
Since the cubes will partly melt, I thought it would dilute the brine

Thats why the ice was in a bag, so when it melted it would not get into the brine.

I have alway found the amount varies depending on what it is you are brining as well as the container. I always make enough brine to completely cover whatever it is I'm working on. Brine is really cheap so I never skimp. Say you put a turkey in a cooler to brine, it may take 5 gallons of brine to cover it, put that same turkey in a large pot or food grade plastic bucket, it will take about two gallons.

I was using "bags" as a unit of measure... sorry for the confusion. My memory could be out-to-lunch but I recall Alton dumping the ice from a container into the cooler. Or at least I think I do..... maybe.....maybe?

squirtthecat

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2009, 01:01:00 PM »
I was using "bags" as a unit of measure... sorry for the confusion. My memory could be out-to-lunch but I recall Alton dumping the ice from a container into the cooler. Or at least I think I do..... maybe.....maybe?

I remember that show...  And I'm pretty sure he dumped the bag of ice in.

Anyway, that can be taken into account: 1 gallon of water makes 5 pounds of ice.  Edit:  Ignore this..
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 01:06:26 PM by squirtthecat »

Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2009, 01:03:04 PM »
1 gallon of water = 8.33 pounds. liquid or solid.
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Offline pensrock

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2009, 01:09:25 PM »
I hope he took the melting of the ice into account, I'm sure he did. I have put bags of ice in myself but left them in the bag to ensure the brine did not get diluted. Most of the time now, I try to fit whatever into a pot or something that will fit into a fridge, that way as long as you start with very cold water, your good to go.

Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2009, 01:26:59 PM »
If I'm not using ice, I'll:

Bring the water to almost a boil
dissolve the salt
add the other ingredients

Then I will let it set until it is room temp (overnight) then into the garage fridge in the morning, food goes in it that evening.
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 02:27:03 PM »
For recipe purposes, to make it easier; the weight of water or ice is equal to it's volume. So that 16 ounces of water or ice by weight equals one pint (16 ounces or 2 cups measured).


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Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2009, 05:07:00 AM »
Just to weigh in here on this one, I'm about the embark on the same journey for Canadian Thanksgiving (albeit in London, UK!!) and am following Alton Brown's recipe.  It appears in many places online, mostly all the same, but for reference, the version I am using is this one.

You'll notice that his second gallon of water is referred to as "heavily iced"...  rather than specifically ice added to the brine.  At refrigerator temps, I'm pretty sure this will all melt over the course of 24 hours, so he will have taken this into account I expect.  Also, if you read other sources, there is a variation in the amounts of salt to be added per gallon of brine...  mainly correlating to the length of time you expect to brine for.  He suggests reducing the amount of salt for longer brining times.  Also, just to further support the fact that this seems to be more an art than a science, just like smoking...  is that he doesn't specifically specify what kind of kosher salt to use.  Apparently a fairly standard kosher salt like Morton Kosher Salt weighs around 7.7oz/cup, whereas Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt weighs about 5oz/cup, which is quite a big difference really!  But, since Alton Brown actually endorses the Diamond Crystal product, I'd guess he means for us to use that in the recipe.

Whatever, we don't have Kosher salt over here anyway, so I'm going with 5oz by weight of sea salt in my recipe...  and brining for around 18hours.  I'm using a large plastic food grade tub, set into a flexible cooler bag, surrounded by ice to keep it cool.

I'll let you know the outcome!

Offline OU812

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Re: Quantity of brine per pound of meat/poultry/fish...
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2009, 09:16:22 AM »
Rich

A basic rule of thumb is that the amount of brine should be 50% to the weight of the meat. For an 8 lb turkey it should take 4 lb brine, try to use a container that is as close to the size and shape of the meat you are trying to brine and always make sure your meat is completely covered. Use a plate to hold the meat down and keep it from floating.