The brining process is done to preserve food’s freshness. Meat and fish are generally brined for twenty hours or less so that the tenderness and flavors remain intact in meat. Unlike meat, vegetables are brined for more time, and the process is called pickling.
The brining process is typically conducted in three phases or steps. In the first step, osmotic pressure is used to infuse brine into the meat. By doing so, the meat is kept moist and tender. In the second stage, the brine solution forms a layer on meat and seals the moisture, and blocks fluid from cooking. In the third stage, salt breaks the proteins of meat, making it a more delicious dish.
The brining process is mostly done using salt, but there are brine solutions that do not have salt in them nowadays. Some of the common brine used acids like lemon juice and vinegar or bases like baking soda solution.
Why To Brine Before Cooking?
Brining was used in a pre-refrigerator era for preserving food. Other than preserving, there are other reasons for using the brining process. Brining infuses texture, flavour and makes your meat finger-licking tasty.
What Type Of Meat Should Be Brined?
Meat having less fat does not have much moisture, so these types of meat can be brined to increase their flavour. Poultry breasts, shrimps, turkey, and pork are among the best meats that can be brined. Before buying meat from a shop, be careful to check the label if the meat is already injected with a brine solution.
How Long Does It Take To Brine Meat?
The general rule for the brining process is to leave the meat in a brine solution based on its weight. For making the proteins and taste to be intact in the meat, the meat is to be kept in a brine solution for one hour for every pound of meat. Never brine meat more than the prescribed time.
Basic Salt To Water Ratio In Brine
The basic ratio followed is for every 4 cups of water, use four tablespoons of salt to make the perfect brine solution. Keep the meat in a container enough to hold it and fill it with water. Now add the prescribed amount of salt and cover the container with a lid to avoid sloshing. A large turkey must be kept for about 12 hours, and small meat cuts like pork take less time and can be done just half an hour before cooking.
Brining Safety Tips
- To avoid the building of bacteria, brined meat should be refrigerated.
- Make sure that meat is not exposed to open air after brining.
- Always bring meat to room temperature just before cooking.
For the brining process, the type of salt used is most important. The salt used should completely dissolve in water to make the process effective. Canada Salt Group Ltd is the supplier of Food Grade salt that can be used for all types of meat. Contact us for a free estimate.