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How long does brine last in the fridge?

sweet100s Oct 4, 2008 01:57 PM

How long does brine last in the fridge?

It was a stanard brine: salt pepper sugar spices but also fresh smashed garlic cloves

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  1. Sam Fujisaka RE: sweet100s Oct 4, 2008 02:55 PM

    The ocean is a brine. It has lasted unrefrigerated for quite some time.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
      sweet100s RE: Sam Fujisaka Oct 4, 2008 10:52 PM

      Good point; it's the fresh smashed garlic cloves I'm mostly worried about.

      But I guess you saw the "but also fresh smashed garlic cloves... "

      Are you suggesting that a brine preserves those indefinitely?

      1. re: sweet100s
        j
        jpc8015 RE: sweet100s Oct 4, 2008 11:03 PM

        Salt is the world's best preservative.

        1. re: sweet100s
          Sam Fujisaka RE: sweet100s Oct 5, 2008 04:15 AM

          Yes, the brine would preserve the garlic almost idefinitiely if the salt level is anywhere near saturation.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            Caroline1 RE: Sam Fujisaka Oct 5, 2008 04:54 AM

            Am I too conservative? I can't imagine brining something in a saturated saline solution! Well, not more than five minutes anyway. '-)

            More than that, I envy anyone who has enough room in their refrigerator to store brine for the long term. <sigh> Jealously is a painful emotion.

            1. re: Caroline1
              scubadoo97 RE: Caroline1 Oct 5, 2008 07:58 AM

              That's how you make lox. Smoked fish is also soaked in a brine that's saturated

              1. re: Caroline1
                sweet100s RE: Caroline1 Oct 5, 2008 03:46 PM

                Sam,

                Before I add in the other half of the water (as ice water), my standard brine recipe (1 cup kosher salt : 1 cup of sweetness : 1 gallon water) behaves like it is very near saturation. (based on what I learned from this topic:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/467115

                After doubling the water, I'd guess it's definitely not saturated. But I don't know. Do you?

                >> I envy anyone who has enough room in their refrigerator to store brine for the long term.

                Caroline,

                I bought a garage fridge specifically due to my obsession with making a delicious turkey-ranch sandwich, a multi-day process which starts with brining 2 bone-in skin-on turkey breasts.

                I definitely would not have room in the kitchen fridge. Plus I like to keep lots of raw poultry away from everything else, esp during the 'skin drying' phase when it's not covered.

                Garage fridges are inexpensive if you catch them on the 10% off appliances sale (Sears, Home Depot). Definitely get a full-size one, but dont' get a fancy one. I believe mine was in the high $2xx's, or low $3xx's.

                1. re: sweet100s
                  Sam Fujisaka RE: sweet100s Oct 5, 2008 08:13 PM

                  sweet100s, saturation is the point at which no more salt will dissolve. Your final solution is far from saturation. Actually, I don't know what is ideal. I just throw in a lot of salt and enough water for the task, and throw it all out when I've brined the bird. Wish I could get such a fridge at anywhere such a price here in Colombia. All the best.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                    sweet100s RE: Sam Fujisaka Oct 6, 2008 01:28 AM

                    Sam, but in Columbia you have access to beautiful gold jewelry. More than a fair tradeoff ;-) !!

                    re: precise proportions & brining

                    Based on doing this ~ 15 times, I've found it important to measure my ratio of salt :: water so that my meat doesn't get too salty. That happened once, and it was a waste of a ton of time! (not to mention food).

                    What seems to work best (based on 15 data points) is:
                    - with 2 4-7lb bone-in skin-on turkey breasts
                    - using a brine made with ratio 1 cup kosher salt : 1 cup of sweetness : 1 gallon water : spices
                    - brine for 1.5 hours per pound of meat

                    On the early test runs, I brined one and not the other to see if there really was a difference. There was.

                    1. re: sweet100s
                      Sam Fujisaka RE: sweet100s Oct 6, 2008 03:50 AM

                      Thank you. I'll do it your way next time. The emeralds here are nice.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                        Caroline1 RE: Sam Fujisaka Oct 6, 2008 06:18 AM

                        Oooh! Oooh! Emeralds! You ship me a big box of them and I'll ship you a big box of refrigerators! Deal? '-)

                  2. re: sweet100s
                    Caroline1 RE: sweet100s Oct 6, 2008 06:25 AM

                    Yikes! I've already got a huge side-by-side in the kitchen, a bar regrig in the master bedroom, another one upstairs for guests, and a huge almost-walk-in freezer in the pantry. All of that, and I'm wasteful. I would probably throw the brine out.

                    Actually, when I stop to think about it, I'm not wasteful about everything. I'm very ecologically conservative, and EVERY refrigerator and/or freezer is energy star rated, my heat pump is the most energy efficient on the market, and almost every lighbulb in the house is CFL. But I'd throw away salt like there's no tomorrow! Unless I could time travel back to when it was worth its weight in gold. '-)

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