What is dry brining and why do we do it before smoking most proteins? The simplest answer is to ensure a tender and juicy result. Here we have a spatchcocked chicken coated with Kosher salt ready to go into the refrigerator overnight. For more on smoking this chicken click here.
Does Dry Brining Work?
There is plenty of science behind this salting business. As salt enters the meat cells, it alters the structure of the muscle fibers and proteins, swelling their water-holding capacity by about 10 percent. Since most meat loses about 20 percent of its moisture during cooking, brining meat can cut moisture losses by almost half.
I have been using this dry brine technique for several years and it has worked nicely for me. Don’t take my word for it! Here are some links if you are up for a bit more information:
- Why You Might Want to Consider Brining Your Meat Rather Than Marinating
- The Science of Salt – Meathead Goldwyn
- How to Season Steak Experiment
- The Science of Salt – Fine Cooking
While we are talking about salt, consider getting yourself some of these shakers. They work perfectly and the stainless steel is durable and looks great. They are great for the large particles in Kosher salt and for most other rubs and seasoning blends.
Elizabeth Karmel’s Adjustable Dry Rub Shaker with Holes for Medium and Coarse Grind Seasonings, Stainless Steel, 1-Cup Capacity