Use this all-purpose brine to add flavor and juiciness to chicken, turkey and pork loin.
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When it comes to brining, the times are generally the same for smaller cuts. That being said, it is important to test the times out to see what works for you. If you are using a low-salt solution then you may get away with a longer brining time. To know if 20 minutes even makes a difference I recommend testing the theory out. One day cook two chops, one brined, one unbrined that way you will see the power that brining truly has. To me it makes a difference, but it always important to test these things out for yourself. You may find that just seasoning the meat (and of course buying good meat to begin with) will make just as big a difference as only brining it for 20 minutes.
As for brining a second time, this is not generally done. Once something is brined, it is brined.
And as for "whether or not brining and marinating ever get used in conjunction" the answer is no. It is really not necessary to do both. Just pick one or the other and then be sure to not overcook whatever it is you are making and you should be good to go. Also, there is an entire lesson in the Cooking School on Brining that you may want to check out. Cheers!
I tried my hand at brining for the first time and am glad to say my guests and I were pretty much pleased with the results. The turkey was indeed very plump and super moist. The only problem I encountered was that the wings were much too salty. For the first time there was no fight over who would get the last wing, it was totally inedible. Is this a typical mistake encountered by a first time briner? I thought of cutting off the wings prior to putting the turkey in the brine next time so that I could remove them a bit earlier than the rest of the body. Do you have any other suggestions as to how to ensure an even brine with the wings attached?
First off, let me say, good job on your first brine! Yeah, to you!! :-)
You ask, "Is this a typical mistake encountered by a first time briner?" my answer would be yes it has happened to the best of us. You are correct in thinking that perhaps next time you might cut of the wings and brine them for less time (as they are so much smaller). Alternatively, you could brine the whole turkey using either a bit less salt (refer to the lesson on lower brine solution) or you could simply brine the turkey for less time. It's really up to you, this is where experimenting to see what works best for you comes into play.
Hope this helps. Cheers!