[Research + Content]
2 ingredients for the most tender and tasty meat ever!
Have you ever cooked meat – following every instruction from your recipe to the letter, only to find when you take your first bite that the meat is dry and tough and chewy? You aren’t alone. When it comes to lean meats like chicken breasts, turkey, and mutton chops, it is really easy to overcook the meat. And the sad thing is, you’ll only realize when you take that first disappointing bite.
We have some good news. You can change your overcooking ways and cook meat that will be moist, juicy, and tender – every time! All you need is about 30 minutes extra, and 2 ingredients that you most certainly will have in your kitchen: Salt and Water!
Brining = 1 tbsp salt : 1 cup water
The process is called Brining. And all you need to do, is make a solution of salt and water in the ratio of 1 tablespoon of salt per cup of water. Make enough to make sure you pieces of meat will be completely submerged in this solution, and let them stay in the solution for about half an hour before you start to prep and cook them.
Why this works: Water retention
Meat contains some water and salt. The reason we end up with dry meat is because we’ve cooked it too long, causing all the moisture to evaporate. When you brine your meats, all you’re doing is taking advantage of water retention. The salt and water will get absorbed into the meat, making sure that your meats have an increased water content, so when you cook them, even though they’re losing the same amount of water, they still have some moisture remaining. Hence, moist, juicy, tender meats.
When you soak meat in this brining solution, the salt also starts to break down the proteins in the meat. Which usually starts to happen only when you are cooking meat. And this is why, you must exercise caution when brining. You can over-brine your meats, and that will result in meat that has turned to mush. As a rule of thumb, if you’re brining pieces of meat like chicken breasts, drumsticks, or prawns even, brine for about half an hour, in the fridge. If you’re brining whole birds, then it will need longer to sit in the brine.
Add your twist to your brine.
While the easiest and most common way to brine meats might be salt and water, they aren’t the only way you can brine your meats. Throw in some crushed herbs and spices – and the meat will start to absorb the flavours right from the first stage!
Also, you can use a whole variety of other liquids to brine – buttermilk is a favourite – so is juice, cider, beer, wine… anything that tickles your fancy. But, remember, never reuse a brine. Throw it out once your meat is done brining, rinse your meat if required, and then cook it.
Brine, but be careful.
Brining is a great way to make sure you get perfect, moist, tender meats every time you cook, but before you make your first brine, a word of caution.
- Never reuse a brine. Once your meat is done brining, throw out the solution.
- Over-brining is possible. And what it will do, is turn your meat to mush. So, make sure you don’t leave your meats sitting in there for too long. We’d suggest 30 minutes for pieces of meats, a couple of hours if it is a whole bird.
- Make sure the meat is completely submerged in the solution, so that bacteria can’t get to it. Use a plate to weigh it down if necessary.
- Keep your brining utensil in the fridge at all times.
That’s it! Are you ready to bring your meat game? Order fresh meat now, and start cooking the best meat you have ever cooked!