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Can I wet brine a chicken overnight?

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    Can I wet brine a chicken overnight?

    I want to make some smoked chicken to take to the in-laws on the 4th, but we're expected there @ 2PM and I don't want to get up early on my day off to brine for 4 hours, then smoke for 2, then drive over and party. I'd rather brine from midnight til 10AM, then cook from 11AM until 1PM or so.

    No big deal, or big deal?

    No big deal. IMO but wet brin and a chicken only takes an hour or two really. It happens pretty fast.


      Totally agree with Jon. For a whole chicken: 2hrs @ 1 Gal water, 1 C table salt, 1 C sugar. Pat dry the skin best you can. Light coating oil or spray PAM. Cook hot, 325-360 until breasts are 160. Wood the whole cook.

      Be ready to count the "OMG"s. Lol.

      EDIT: For a whole chicken, you may need to adjust the volume of the brine to fit the chicken, to fully submerge it.

      If so, adjust all equally but keep the time the same. For instance, maybe the bowl or tub you'd use won't cover the chicken at 1 gal water. If so, use 2 gal water, 2 C table salt, 2C sugar...but 2 hrs should do it. If you're using an unusually large chicken, say over 5 lbs, 3 hrs should be fine.
      Last edited by Huskee; July 2, 2015, 04:51 PM.


      • Jerod Broussard
        Jerod Broussard commented
        Editing a comment
        I only see one "OMG" in this post. Just sayin'

      • DWCowles
        DWCowles commented
        Editing a comment
        Mosca the "Chicken King" Huskee has spoken.

      • fuzzydaddy
        fuzzydaddy commented
        Editing a comment
        I haven't cooked any whole chickens (yet) on my kettle & SnS. I've got to give this a try. I like to hear OMGs. Thanks "Chicken King" Huskee!

      I have done it overnight but I also do what I do with salmon and that is to quick rinse the outside so that it's not to be too salty on the surface.


        Thanks. I'm trying out a recipe from the Southern Living Cookbook, and I'm combining what I see there with some of what I know from here. This one calls for brining, then rubbing with applesauce and rub, and cooking lower and longer. So I'll be at 260* for two hours instead of 350* for one. I'm going to be brining in 2 gallon ziplock bags, if I have to I'll cut the birds into pieces.

        The "chicken slather" is 1 1/3 cups applesauce, 1/3 cup BBQ rub, 1/3 cup melted butter. How can you go wrong.


          Butter and bacon make everything better.


          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            ...and whisky

          • Steve Vojtek
            Steve Vojtek commented
            Editing a comment
            Bourbon of course??? Maker's mark??
            Last edited by Steve Vojtek; July 3, 2015, 07:31 AM.

          I've wet brined chicken breasts in a 6% wet brine solution overnight but i started with frozen breasts. I personally thought they were a little too salty but others loved them. I generally like less salt than others so i guess they were good but i did start with frozen breasts. That changes the absorbtion rate i guess...


          • Powersmoke_80
            Powersmoke_80 commented
            Editing a comment
            Frozen chicken breast seem to be thinner compared to the monster fresh ones, around here anyways.

          • Steve Vojtek
            Steve Vojtek commented
            Editing a comment
            I bought fresh ones and froze them for later use. I think by starting with frozen they don't absorb salt till they defrost so they seemed ok but for my taste i will change the brine to 4% salt next time. I can always add salt if i need to.

          I brine a full chicken overnight on a regular basis. chicken breast no more than 4 hours



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