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How to Brine Chicken

This is Where You'll Know How You Can Brine Chicken the Right Way

When you brine chicken properly, the meat becomes soft and tender. This helps the meat absorb the flavors of the spices used in the preparation. This article gives you two ways in which you can brine chicken properly, to make tasty dishes for your friends and family members.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Last Updated: Jul 14, 2017
Brining for a specific duration makes a whole lot of difference while cooking tender and juicier chicken. The salt content in brine recipe may differ according to individual preferences. Higher the salt content, shorter will be the brining time and vice versa. However, adding salt in a higher percentage leads to excess salinity of the outer flesh. As per your taste, you can add ¼ - ½ cup kosher salt per quart of water used in the recipe. Also, selecting herbs and spices is up to your choice. Brining tips for whole chicken and chicken pieces are discussed below.
Brining Chicken for Roasting
  • Warm water, 8 cups
  • Roasting chicken, 1 (6 to 7 lb.)
  • Kosher salt, ½ cup
  • Packed brown sugar, ¼ cup
  • Molasses, 3 tbsp.
  • Whole allspice, 1 tbsp. (crushed)
  • Whole peppercorns, 1 tbsp. (crushed)
  • Ginger, 2 tsp. (ground)
  • Cold water, 4 cups
In a large-size cooking pot, pour warm water and add the ingredients - kosher salt, brown sugar, molasses, allspice, peppercorns, and ground ginger. Put over medium high heat and allow the mixture to boil. Reduce heat and stir well, so that salt and sugar are dissolved completely. Remove brine solution from heat and cool down to room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare chicken by removing the giblets and keep aside.
Take a resealable plastic bag and place it in a roasting pan with mouth facing upward. Pour cold water and place chicken. To this bag, gently pour brine solution. Expel air and seal bag. Refrigerate chicken for 6 - 8 hours for the brining process, while turning in between. Once you are done with brining the chicken, discard salt solution and rinse chicken thoroughly. Cook it in the way you want (roasting, baking, or grilling).
Brining Chicken Pieces
  • Warm water, 8 cups
  • Chicken, 4 large pieces (or chicken breasts)
  • Kosher salt, ¼ cup (or 1½ tbsp. unionized table salt )
  • Brown sugar, ¼ cup
  • Bay leaf, 1
  • Thyme, 1 bunch
  • Pepper, 1 tbsp. (freshly ground)
In a large bowl, combine the brine ingredients - water, salt, sugar, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper. Stir well until the sugar part is dissolved well in the solution and then allow it to cool down. Add chicken pieces into a zipper bag and pour brine solution. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours. This procedure can be used for brining thighs and wings of chicken. If you are dowsing the chicken pieces with the skin on, increase the soaking time.
With moderate salt concentration, the adequate brining time is roughly one hour per pound of chicken. Brining chicken breasts (without bones) requires only 2 - 3 hours. However, in case of limited time, increase the salinity of the brine solution.