How about a little food science to improve your holiday turkey or every single chicken you cook in your kitchen. The secret? Submersing the meat in a brine for a nice soak before roasting.
So what’s a brine? It’s a simple solution of water and salt, usually about 5 to 10 percent of salt by weight. You can use a brine to sneak in extra flavor as well, by including sugar, herbs and spices in the solution.
Important safety tip: Make sure the meat is kept refrigerated during the brining process.
The raw meat gets completely submerged in the brine and gets to work soaking up the salty solution. As the brine moves in and out through the membranes of the individual cells in the meat, flavor and extra moisture are left behind, paying dividends in moist and delicious meat after roasting.
Sure it can be huge pain to brine something as big as a turkey for a holiday meal, but it has a dramatic impact on the tastiness of the resulting gobbler. Or chicken, pork loin and most other meats you have in your fridge’s meat drawer. Lean meat with low fat content benefits the most from brining.
So go ahead try this little science tip for your next big mealtime gathering and enjoy the accolades! If they ask your secret, you can choose whether to tell them it’s “magic” or “science!”