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Brining Half Chickens

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    Brining Half Chickens

    Hey guys, it's been a long long time since I have been on here. With moving, and school, I honestly kind of forgot about this site (shame on me). I am having some folks over for a Fantasy Football draft next weekend and will be smoking a bunch of Whole chickens, cut in half. I have made them before and never used a brining method but I really want to knock the socks off these chickens next weekend. Does anyone have a recipe per say and should I do a dry brine or wet? I am open to ideas and would love some input. Thanks in advance! BTW I am smoking on a Pit Barrel Cooker.

    I like to brine under the skin on the breast and the thighs, pulling out any extra fatty deposits near the neck. I just put the salt on the skin on the wings and drummies.

    I let the Pit Barrel get to about 400 degrees before I hang the birds. And then I try to keep the temp above 325.

    Nothing amplifies the flavor of white breast meat like dry brining.


      And it doesn't end up too salty? how liberal are you with the salt?Sounds like an easy solution. Thanks!


      • Jerod Broussard
        Jerod Broussard commented
        Editing a comment
        Just a light sprinkle is all you need. No more than if you were salting it to serve.

      I have had great success with wet brining chickens. Disolve 6 tablespoons of table salt and 6 of sugar in 1quart of cold water for each chicken. Put the chickens in one gallon ziplocks and add the quart of brine. Squeeze out the air as you zip it and put it in the fridge for at least one but not more than four hours. Take it out, drain, rinse and dry the chicken. Put on whatever rub or seasoning (without salt) and cook till done. I have done this for oven cooking, grilling, smoking, etc. and it always comes out flavorful and moist. Good luck.
      Last edited by Onenemesis; September 5, 2015, 08:39 PM. Reason: Fix spelling errors.


      • emil.glatz
        emil.glatz commented
        Editing a comment
        This is very close to what I do and quite like.

      I have two fryer chickens in the freezer right now. I would like to know, what the best way to safely thaw these babies out. I assume it would be under refrigeration? Thanks.


        Spinaker that, but allow 2 days cuz sometimes one doesn't quite get it all the way...or a cold water bath, much quicker.


        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          Gotcha Husk. Thanks. You like how I just wrote that question on the first chicken thread I could find? Throwing all kinds of wrenches into the pit......

        Spinaker dodging wrenches can be fun !


          Very true


            I was going to smoke some chickens tonight. I have the uncovered chickens brining right now in the fridge, put them in last night. My question is, How long can they safely stay in the fridge? If I cook tomorrow night, will I still be okay. My fridge is running pretty cold right now, but what you guys/gals think?


              Originally posted by Spinaker View Post
              I was going to smoke some chickens tonight. I have the uncovered chickens brining right now in the fridge, put them in last night. My question is, How long can they safely stay in the fridge? If I cook tomorrow night, will I still be okay. My fridge is running pretty cold right now, but what you guys/gals think?
              Spinaker (Assuming the fridge is safely at 34-38F) I always go by the 'sell by' or 'use by' date on the package with any meat. If they're good until at least tomorrow (11/20), you should be fine waiting and cooking them tomorrow. If they were frozen try to remember when you froze them. When I freeze meat I always mark how many days pre-exp they were at freezing time, then I know how many days they can sit thawed before I must use them. For instance, if I freeze meat today that expires on say 11/22, I'd write on the bag "11/19/15 3 days <exp".


                GOTCHA, i should be fine then, I picked them up late yesterday. So they should be good until Friday, I like the idea of marking the birds before freezing. Good idea. Thanks man. Huskee


                • Huskee
                  Huskee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yw. Those guys will have a nice long dry brine! I'm dry brining chicken myself right now. Tonight I'm doing a lime-marinated chicken fajita attempt. About to put my chicken into lime juice and garlic, then later add my home-spun fajita blend.

                • Danjohnston949
                  Danjohnston949 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Spinaker, Huskee. Here We Go Again, My Wife, Eunice's Bithday Is Today Now I Know What To Get Her An Autographed Copy OF Your Chicken Fajita Recipe! I Was Thinking Of Going All Out, and Getting Her A New MOP!
                  😚🤔😇🤔😚. Dan


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