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Can you Brine Red Meat?

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I've heard chefs promoting brine and I followed some recipes to great results. Brined chicken, for example, resulted in nicer, jucier BBQ results. Pork seems to benefit as well.

I'm not sure, however, if this works with other meats. Thoughts?

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  1. tastyjon, it's freakish that you posted this, as not less than three hours ago a dinner guest asked me the very same question!

    I've tried it with chicken, seafood, and pork, but never beef, lamb, goat, duck or anything else...

    I'd love to hear of other's results.

    1. It's called corned beef. Obviously, it's more than just salt and sugar, but "corning" is in essence, pickling meat, which is the same as brining.

      1. yes, the idea that only pork etc can be brined is silly. the whole idea is to moisturize the meat and that is ok with redmeat. Generally not necessary though (think rib eye). Super lean cuts can be brined

        1. I've had great results brining red meat for years. It just depends on what your going to be doing with it. My old standard used to be a mixture based on a port reduction. Cool down and substitute for a percentage of water in your recipe.

          We used to do this with a 109 beef rib, cut it into 6 portions, brine and roast for approximately 45 minutes at 250 degrees, after a hard sear. Baste with goat butter and toasted rosemary. It's delicious and it doesn't have the traditional red bull's eye from cooking at high heat.

          Of course, my daughter likes to top this with ketchup.

          1. Judy Rodgers of San Francisco's Zuni Cafe is a big advocate of "dry brining" meats (i.e. chicken, turkey, beef). Dry brining involves salting the meat and then leaving it in the refrigerator for a few days.

            The Los Angeles Times did a recent article about Judy Rogers' method. Its results found pre-salted (and pre-black peppered)beef fillets had much fuller flavor and firmer texture than the unsalted beef fillets. Also, a hint of black pepper flavor was carried to the center of the fillet.

            In the recipe for beef fillet roast in the Los Angeles Times, three-fourths teaspoon salt and one teaspoon black pepper per pound of meat were used to season the roast. Then the fillet roast is covered loosely and refrigerated for 1-2 days.

            America's Test Kitchen found salting a beef fillet roast and letting it sit for as little as 20 minutes made a huge difference in flavor.

            America's Test Kitchen also found that a Pot Roast that is rested and/or refrigerated in its cooking liquid results in a much moister pot roast.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Norm Man

              I currently have two beefs filets dry brining in my fridge. Plan to cook on Friday. Will post the results.

            2. Yes. We dry brine many items a la Zuni and wet brine a few (duck breast from Wolfert's new med cookbook). Works quite well.

              1. What seafood do you brine ?

                1. Salmon is often brined before smoking. At BBQ-NYC this past weekend we had two kinds of brined trout that was cooked on the smoker.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BackyardChef

                    Ditto on the smoked Salmon, I've cured & smoked it in my cookshack smoker at home and had great results.

                    By the way the another term for "dry brine" is a cure. Here is a good link on the process and variations:
                    http://www.mortonsalt.com/consumer/pr...