With Thanksgiving closing in on us, I thought it appropriate to discuss brining. What is brining and why brine?
Brining is the process of soaking meat in a cold water, salt and sugar mixture. How long you "soak" it for depends on the weight but, typically 1 hour per every pound of meat.
Brining makes meat more moist and flavorful through a process know as osmosis. Meat already contains salt water so, by immersing meats into a liquid with a higher concentration of salt, the brine is absorbed into the meat. If you are adding to spice to your brine, the seasoning will also be carried to the meat. Salt in brining solutions also causes proteins in muscle fiber to dissolve resulting in tender, moist meat. Lastly, brining causes the proteins to unwind and swell, also known as denaturing. This allows water from the brine to bond directly to the proteins and stays trapped through the cooking process.
So, this might sound like a lot of scientific jargon but, the result will be an unforgettable turkey experience!
Once the brining process is complete, season your turkey further with a dry spice rub on top of and under the skin. For a super moist breast, try roasting your turkey breast side down. Be careful not to overcook as doing so will cause protein bonds to tighten and squeeze out the trapped liquid.
Urban Accents makes an excellent brining kit that includes brine mixture, an extra large brining bag and spice rub along with an online video tutorial to help you through the process. Click below to view the video.
So, pick up your bird from your favorite local producer or butcher and start planning your most memorable turkey feast ever!Read more »