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Can something be brined ahead of time?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've just had my first go at brining and poaching a whole chicken - seems to have gone fine, but it has raised the following question:-

Assuming the product is safely within it's use-by date, and the brining was done as recommended in chilled conditions, how soon after brining must a protein product be cooked, and does it differ from one product to another?

For instance, could I brine something today, surface dry then seal in a plastic bag in the fridge, and expect to cook it tomorrow without (a) degradation of the product, and (b) maintaining the benefits of brining?
post #2 of 13
I think you can safely do that. You could probably still leave it in the brine as the piece of meat can only be brined up to a certain point.
post #3 of 13
I've seen recipes for corned silverside where the beef is brined for a week (of course in the fridge) but still in the brine. Wouldn't keep chicken in a brine for that long probably, up to 24 hours, but a few days should be fine once wrapped.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback :).

There's a fair bit about the how and why of brining for flavour, just nothing authoritative that I've found about keeping the product beyond the next day.

Without having tested for texture yet, I suspect that having poached a brined chicken, the denatured state of the product and additional water content means it probably isn't ideally suited to freezing the resulting meat for use later on?

I guess I'll have to test it and see - but in the meantime, any additional thoughts and/or links about post brining storage and handling would be appreciated.
post #5 of 13
I do what is called injected brining. Reason being we have done experiments adding food color to our marinating and brining solutions. After a few days we sliced the product and found the solution never hit center(because there was no color imparted) we therefore both brined and marinated outward and inward. It is faster and better flavor. We found that by injecting the solution inside as well as outside like a corned beef is done commercially it is far better, and seems to last longer.
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post #6 of 13
A lot's going to depend on the brine for that. When I brine, it's ususally a strong quick brine for chickens and pork. About an hour is all it takes for those small items. Too much salt to just leave it. But for a milder brine, I agree with Kuan.

Truthfully, I've been doing more of a home koshering with poultry lately and prefer it to brining.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 13
i guess the question I have is, why would you want to?
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Cheers guys - most of the brining advice I've read tops out at between 8 - 12 hrs when brining a whole chicken in what various sites often term a basic recipe. I think I've come across mention of the injection method, possibly here at cheftalk, I'm totally unfamiliar with home koshering, I'll take a look see at both methods.

Hi Von Milash,

That's a little open ended, but if you mean why would I brine something that I wasn't ready to prepare to completion immediately, the first answer would be that my life isn't always as linear/scheduled as it might be. It would be useful to know that if I prepare something on Monday and find I can't work with it on Tuesday, that it is still a viable product to work with on Wednesday.
post #9 of 13
ok. makes sense. but I guess my second question would be, why would you brine chicken? im no chef but i was always under the impresison that chicken has enough natural flavor and moisture, and brining, to my knowlege, is usually done to more bland cuts, like pork chops. no? :chef:
I excel at sauteeing onions.
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I excel at sauteeing onions.
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post #10 of 13
Brining has been proven to tenderize a product. In the case of (Kashruth) Kosher chickens the original purpose was to delete all the bad blood out of chicken. All it was was salt and water then a rinse in cool flowing water.Since the definition of Kosher means clean , this was the way to clean the fowl. Keep in mind that refrigeration years ago was not as good as today, in some cases it was simply a block of ice in a wooden cabinet. What makes the bird go bad is sitting in its own blood and body fluids. You will notice that in supermarkets the birds are in a foam trays, but with a blotter under them. This absorbs the blood and keeps it slightly away from the bird. When you do buy chicken and meat in market in the foam trays remember the more fluid in the bottom of the tray the longer it has been sitting there, this also applies to cryovac packaging.:chef:
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post #11 of 13
great info. thanks Ed!
I excel at sauteeing onions.
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I excel at sauteeing onions.
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post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
As I'm new to this, I unfortunately have nothing in depth to offer you and would say that the only way for you to know if you believe the effort vs result ratio is worthwhile, is for you to try it for yourself and make a judgement.

There are many pages on the web that profess to deal with the subject, offer recipes, explain how to compare salts etc. and while I'm not able to identify the most reliable single source of information, one I've found so far that appears to have gathered a few sources that claim to explain the science behind brining is this one here from 2001:-

Salt Facts:* Brining

One of the key quotes if true is this:-
When that's put into the context of the USDA's recommendation (last I read), that 165°F was a safe minimum internal temperature for cooked chicken, you can see how on the face of it at least, the window for moisture loss is greatly reduced.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Update:

In Michael Ruhlman's book 'Ratio', he says that after removing chicken from the brine, and subsequently rinsing and drying it, it is acceptable to keep the chicken covered/refrigerated for up to 2 days.
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