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To brine or not to brine...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I will make my usual Low-temperature Goose for Christmas. .It always turned out well. But now I read that some people brine a Goose like they would do with a Turkey. Could I combine brining with the low temperature cooking technique? Or wouldn't you recommend that?

 

Thanks! smile.gif

post #2 of 17

You can certainly combine brine and low temp cooking

 

The bigger question is if you like what brining does to the meat in general. Not everyone does.

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 #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post

You can certainly combine brine and low temp cooking

 

The bigger question is if you like what brining does to the meat in general. Not everyone does.



Thanks for the answer. smile.gif

 

I read that brining will denature the proteins and loosens the muscle bundles, plus it improves the flavour? I thought about putting some cloves, cinnamon and orange peel in the brine.

 

post #4 of 17

Yes, it tends to soften the meat. As to improving flavor, it depends more on what you think of salt water as that's mostly what you're adding. I'm not as big a fan of it as many are.

 

 

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 #5 of 17

It dilutes the bird flavor. You're adding water. After brining, the mass of your bird is higher, for the same quantity of bird flavor compounds. Do the math. wink.gif


Edited by French Fries - 12/21/11 at 2:17pm
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hmmmm....ok. So I think I'll skip the brining and roast the goose as I did the years before... Thank you! smile.gif

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

It dilutes the bird flavor. You're adding water. After brining, the mass of your bird is higher, for the same quantity of bird flavor compounds. Do the math. wink.gif



That is why spices are added to the brining water,  bsides more spices liker Marjoram and butter are tucked under the skin...  Brining will not cause a desaster.  Bobby Flay does it, and he is an Iron Chef.

post #8 of 17

I brine.  I know why and how to brine, and why not and how not to brine.  Those things make a difference. 

 

If your brined birds taste watery and/or overly salted, they were improperly brined.  The problem is not the technique, but your technique.  If you get the right amount of water and salt into the bird, it will taste exactly as it should taste.  Control is everything.

 

The principal reason to brine is to provide extra moisture and prevent delicate flesh from drying during long cooks; brining allows you a little extra leeway in terms of cooking slightly more done than an ideal level of juiciness would otherwise allow..  Brining is also a somewhat tricky and finicky method of marinating to introduce flavors into flesh; injecting is generally easier and more effective -- but "generally" means there are some significant exceptions where brining works better -- spare ribs, for instance are such an enormous pain to inject, why bother? 

 

Because goose has so much fat, brining is probably unnecessary to keep it from drying out, and not as effective in that sense as putting some citrus in the cavity, trussing, and rotating the bird during cooking in order to have it "self baste." 

 

That doesn't mean you can't or even shouldn't brine goose, it just means you have to understand how to move flavors into the meat without moving too much salt or water.  Boil the aromatics, add salt and sugar to make a mild to medium brine (i.e., not too much salt or sugar), add lots of spices while the water is still hot, short soak, lots of citrus. 

 

Worth mentioning that brining is a very effective method of defrosting frozen duck and goose (and they most often come frozen) -- you might even say that defrosting in brine is killing two birds with one stone.  Also worth mentioning that brined duck and goose seem to render their fat better, and consequently are usually less greasy after ordinary roasting (or smoking). 

 

I successfully brine goose and duck, so you certainly can. 

 

There are some people who don't care for brined poultry or pork, no matter how skillfully it's done. 

 

BDL

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

I decided to brine the goose. biggrin.gif I put some orange peel, cloves and sugar in the saltwater, then heated the mixture. It smelled sooooooo good! A wonderful fresh flavor and an amazing golden/crispy skin, without any fat under it.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnylo View Post

I decided to brine the goose. biggrin.gif I put some orange peel, cloves and sugar in the saltwater, then heated the mixture. It smelled sooooooo good! A wonderful fresh flavor and an amazing golden/crispy skin, without any fat under it.



Congratulations, mission accomplished!!

post #11 of 17

Good for you...  that is great.  Really you won't know how it will work for you until you do it..  if it did not work ,  then don't do it again..  congratulations

post #12 of 17

Cool. Since the OP has already made her bird, and was happy, I won't be taking this thread off the reservation too far. I don't brine so much as I let birds soak in buttermilk infused with any flavors and/or herbage that I'm going with. I guess in a way it's the same thing, just that I don't use any salt or sugar. I first started doing this with wings, which at the time I was going through a lot of them. Now I do it with almost any bird I am cooking, outside of stuff that's getting cut up such as stir-fry or pot-pies. Anyway, I can cook everything to a good-proper doneness and still have a very moist chunk'o'meat. Really good flavor too. 

 

As continuation of something BDL said, the worst ribs (beef and pork) that I've ever made were because of not knowing how to brine "properly". YUCK NASTY. LOL @ ME again I guess. 

post #13 of 17

We've been brining our duck or goose for years now, though we tend to use Alton Brown's two-step methods for cooking it (see his recipe for Mighty Duck), which is a simplified version of Julia Child's three-step technique (and seems to work just as well). The duck comes out juicy with a nice crisp skin and with most of the fat rendered out during the steaming step. (And, yes, we save the flavorful duck fat for future use.)

 

I am, however, somewhat skeptical of just how much of the added flavorings in the brine (other than salt or sugar) actually penetrate into the duck or goose meat. Our experiments suggested that at the usual amounts in the brine, spices really don't flavor the meat much, if at all, though some spice or citrus essences can be left on the skin. Of course we've tried only a small subset of the many flavored brines, so this may just reflect this limited experience.

 

For flavoring the meat of any good sized bird, injection, as boar_d_laze suggests, appears to be more efficient, though care is necessary to avoid uneven distribution of the flavors.

 

It probably goes without saying that if you have a bird that has already injected with a "broth" (though I don't make my broth with sodium phosphate!), brining is neither necessary nor a good idea.     

post #14 of 17

I dry brine my birds because I love the briny flavor, but I'm not such a huge fan of the texture. In my experience, it keeps the meatiness of the protein, while keeping it moist and getting the crispy skin that my family loves. I also think it's harder to mess up a dry brine. Has anyone else had this experience with dry bringing? Anyone beg to differ? I'd love to hear what others have to say about brining (either method).

post #15 of 17

Dry brining is essentially Koshering the bird. I've taken to this as well. I prefer the texture, the speed, the simplicity. 

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 #16 of 17

Boar_d_laze ......I'd be interested to know your recipe and method for brining duck.  We are raising some Pekin ducks at the moment.  

 

All I know about brine is that it is supposed to make the meat more moist and tender - which is what we like our roast meat to be.  

 

Can I roast the duck in a roasting bag in the oven?

post #17 of 17
Good luck waiting for a response from BDL. As it seems ... he has been MIA for quite some time now. Sorry.
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