Author Topic: Injection vs. Brining  (Read 8191 times)

Offline porterdriver

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Injection vs. Brining
« on: October 14, 2010, 04:57:27 pm »
Are there any general tips/pointers/suggestions/rules of thumb regarding when I should inject instead of brine or vice versa? 

Especially, are there absolute 'nevers' for either method?   I did figure out on my own that you don't want brine oatmeal cookies or inject vienna sausage!

Offline ArnieM

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Re: Injection vs. Brining
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2010, 07:46:08 pm »
Good idea on the cookies.  ;D

The only things I brine are poultry and pork and then not always, depending on how it will be cooked.  Any good sized bird can be brined and injected if you like.  The smaller birds just don't have that much meat to stick a needle into.  I do them in the Big Easy or a rotisserie.  They come out with crispy skin and moist on the inside.

You can certainly brine a large chicken or turkey.  Either can be injected with a flavor of your choice; melted butter with Cajun seasoning or sage or whatever.

A boneless pork loin can be brined and injected with good results.

You can add steak to your "never brine" list.  :D
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Offline Ka Honu

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Re: Injection vs. Brining
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 09:59:57 pm »
I think the difference depends on what you're trying to do.  Brining mostly uses a salt solution and osmosis (or one of them scientific processes) to ensure moistness while injecting is usually done to add flavor.  Note the use of "mostly" and "usually."  Depending on what you put in the brine (sugar, spices, etc.), some flavor will be added just as salt in the injection will help keep the meat moist.  Like Arnie, I almost always brine pork & poultry.  However, I usually want the taste of the meat to rule so I rarely inject unless there's a specific flavor I'm looking for.  But that's just me.

Offline BuyLowSellHigh

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Re: Injection vs. Brining
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 03:36:02 am »
Here's a very good reference on brining

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/images/document/howto/ND01_ISBriningbasics.pdf

Injection (aka "pumping") can be used as an aid to assure brine penetration and distribution in large cuts of meat, such as hams, and when done is typically controlled as a percentage of the green meat weight (see Tenpoint5' s Hamzillia as an example).  A brine can also be used to wet cure (vs dry cure, without water being added) meats and fish for preservation purposes.  In addition to the basics of water, salt and sugar, brines can include herbs, spices or other added flavors  for seasoning or flavoring (juices, broths, wine etc.), keeping in mind that the concentration of salt and sugar in the liquid remains as desired.

Separately, injection of various flavored mixes can be used to add or alter the flavors in meats.  This is a matter of personal preference and what you are trying to achieve -- I personally am not a fan of injection for flavor but many are.  For example, in these Forums you will see many fans of injecting pork butts with Carolina Treet, and Cajun Butter is used by many in turkeys.

You can make up your own brines and injection solutions fairly easily, or you can buy commercial brining mixes or injection mixtures.
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Offline Ka Honu

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Re: Injection vs. Brining
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 07:56:13 am »
Oh yeah - I forgot the part about injecting as a delivery method for brine.  Thanks, BLSH.

Offline porterdriver

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Re: Injection vs. Brining
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2010, 12:42:58 pm »
That also answers the question whether I could use something like Carolina Treet on pork.

This is a great group of folks.  Never a question goes unanswered.  I'm impressed.

Offline KyNola

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Re: Injection vs. Brining
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2010, 12:59:46 pm »
CT can definitely be used on pork.  I recommend it.  But then again, I would pretty much slap CT on a rock and eat it. ;)

Offline RAF128

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Re: Injection vs. Brining
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2010, 01:06:59 pm »
But then again, I would pretty much slap CT on a rock and eat it. ;)

 :o.   Your dentist must love you ;D