Cooking Tip: Brining Isn’t Just for Turkeys!

Turkeys on the SpitI spent this afternoon giving a demonstration on how to make Thanksgiving dinner a little more of a healthy meal. Of course, the Thanksgiving topic always starts with the turkey. And a moist turkey best starts out with a brine. But brines are very useful in many cuts of meat, not just turkey.

Brines are a combination of water, salt, sugar and flavors, such a fresh herbs and citrus. They not only moisten and add flavor, they also remove impurities from the meat. Brines work great on chicken and you really only need to brine a chicken for 1 or two hours.

Double Stuffed Pork Chop with Vidalia Dijon Cream SauceBrining also works great on pork, like these Frenched Double Pork Chops. If you want a really moist thick pork chop, trying brining it for an hour first. You would be amazed at how much more tender your veal chops will turn out if you brine them first. Just remember that you should dry the meat off after you take it out of the brine so you don’t end up steaming your meat. Steaming meat will tighten it up and you will lose some of the tenderness.

If you use brining, remember to always let your meat rest a bit after cooking. . . your proteins will professional grade!  Happy Brining, Johnny.