Why I prefer Brining?
With BBQ season underway I feel compelled to share why I love the idea of brining. Flavor is one of the driving factors to good food. When we sit down to eat our favorite foods we’re looking for a specific flavor to touch our palates and remind us again of why we love this food so much. Flavor is essential and can it often conjures our guilty pleasures allowing us to escape to lands far away even if its all in our imagination.
Just the other day I was making baby back ribs for the first time at home. I wanted to cook them in the BBQ but we didn’t have any propane and it was to late to get some more. Normally I would make a rub and season the ribs to place in the off part of the BBQ and turn the other side and have the heat cycle the BBQ. Since that option was out I had to improvise. I decided to brine the ribs first before roasting them in the oven.
I placed them in a big bowl added sea salt and cracked pepper and enough water to cover them (you can add any flavoring you’ like at this point, like garlic, ginger, chillies, etc). Left them soak for about 4 hours before I put them in the oven.
When using a dry method of cooking is important to know this will maximize the amount of moisture coming out of the meats and vegetables you’re cooking. This why it’s important to understand the different types or methods of cooking
The reason I brined my ribs prior to roasting its because:
1) Moisture Retention: by being submerged in water for a good amount of time the meats absorbs water which then comes out or leeches during cooking giving you a better moisture yield and to not dry the actual muscle tissue causing the meat to get hard and crusty.
2) Flavorur Injection: The spices and ingredients in the water are absorbed into the meat. This means any flavour added to the brine will result in burst of flavor.
I prefer brining when grilling and roasting. Rubs are great for dry heating methods like smoking or BBQing. Marinades on the other hand is not a great way to season your meats. Usually marinades consist of oils, acid and spices plus a LONG period of time in order to infuse flavour. I find the marinades stays on the surface and the oils are not absorbed by the meats giving you a shallow flavour profile and the acid starts to “cook” the meat.
If you like really moist flavourful BBQed meats try a good brine it might just make your day!
What’s your preference when you BBQ?