Labor Day Weekend Clearance
21 Members and 7417 Guests Online

Kitchen & Food Talk

Can you soak chicken overnight in salt water?

Started 1325809598.573 in Kitchen & Food Talk | Last reply 1325936992.293 by bazb

My aunt always soaks her chicken in salt water before she makes chicken soup. I'm doing a crock pot dish tomorrow and was wondering if I could soak my chicken overnight in salt water. Does anyone know if there's a benefit to doing this? Any opinions are welcome.Smile

Page 1 of 1
Jen S1325810388.4232091 PostsRegistered 5/24/2010WI

All I can say is my sister does it and her chicken is fabulous. I haven't done it because I don't cook that much so when I do, I don't 'try' things generally (but I'm working on that). She swears by it. Says it helps tenderize it. I wonder how much sodium it adds to the finished product by doing that. Hopefully someone will have more info on this.

Brabls1325810578.21714740 PostsRegistered 4/27/2007

It is called b rining. Read up on-line. I see why one would bo it for a roast chicken. Not so sure it would help a brasied or slow cooked chicken.

Kindaglitzy1325810886.6534359 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I always soak my chicken for several hours or overnight in salt water. I was taught to do this by my mother, she was taught to do the same by her mother. I do this for whole chickens and chicken pieces.

forrestwolf1325811057.3276004 PostsRegistered 6/20/2010Deep in South Georgia

I agree that brining is not needed if cooking in a slow cooker, as it will be off the bone tender any way...........Now for frying and baking.......different story.......Many brine trukeys over night, and my grandmother always cut up her own chicken and let in sit in salt water brine over night, then patted it dry, before coating and fryingCool

"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack"
1895 Rudyard Kipling
EDUCATE........NOT ERADICATE

Stargazer771325812432.4976205 PostsRegistered 10/24/2006

Thanks everyone!

kitkom1325813002.8575646 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Eeee gad! Salt water???? I am a devout salt-free cook. Why on earth does anyone add salt to anything is beyond me! I make a terrific chicken soup without any sodium whatsoever! No one needs any added sodium in their diet. {#emotions_dlg.thumbdown}

"Happiness is Lake Charlevoix!"

bourgs41325813794.12232 PostsRegistered 3/17/2009

I have never tried this method though I think I might. I put my chicken in milk for about 4 hours before sauteing for chicken francese and it makes the chicken so juicy. Salt water would be great to try too

SeaGal1325814116.8112715 PostsRegistered 6/5/2007

My MIL does this, soaks it in water overnight but am not sure she adds salt. She says it takes the gaminess flavor out of the chicken.

We dont have gamie chickens here in the NW, I think it depends on what part of the country they are raised, what they are fed...

Home of the 2014 NFL Champions
Go Hawks!

sfnative1325814179.555387 PostsRegistered 4/23/2007Portland, OR
On 1/5/2012 kitkom said:

Eeee gad! Salt water???? I am a devout salt-free cook. Why on earth does anyone add salt to anything is beyond me! I make a terrific chicken soup without any sodium whatsoever! No one needs any added sodium in their diet. {#emotions_dlg.thumbdown}


Soaking in a saline solution can actually kill bacteria. This may have originated with our plains relations who had no means of storing meat, except to dry it (jerky or salt cod). I'm not saying that's the way it was, just making an educated guess.

"We the People..."
Celebrate the Bicentennial of the "Star Spangled Banner."

Visaqueen1325814348.4579244 PostsRegistered 1/29/2007Suffragette City

I am very conscious of the sodium levels in my food, and my husband can't STAND anything overly salty. So I personally would not choose this method of marinating or brining before making a soup. And I make a lot of soups! But if this appeals to your tastebuds then go for it. It probably would taste delicious!

I have a fever . . . and the only cure . . . is more COWBELL!

golden mar­iposa1325816410.4271413 PostsRegistered 11/10/2007

I soak chicken in buttermilk. It makes it very tender.

"In order to be irreplaceable; one must always be different. " Coco Chanel

DaniM1325821045.73889 PostsRegistered 1/25/2009

Yes it is like brining, though I typically soak mine in buttermilk.

shoekitty1325823509.36712466 PostsRegistered 8/10/2006

Alton Brown had a show on brining, and he explained that brining leaves minimal salt in the meat itself. Practically none. You are suppose to rinse the poultry (or meat) well after brining. You can regulate the amount of salt in your brine recipe as well. Use cider vinegar with the salt.

Brining and a deep "rub" seal in all juices. But I agree that a buttermilk soak overnight can achieve almost the same results, maybe better. The acid, fat and such tenderize the meat big time. I saw a show on Tv where they soaked in buttermilk for almost 2 days. I forget though, do you rinse after a buttermilk soak??

life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving to death!"
Auntie Mame

Sooner1325864792.0214629 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I have never had any issues in cooking chicken that make me feel brining is anything I need to do. I do wash it well.

camochef1325866714.33579 PostsRegistered 3/28/2010Gettysburg, Pa.

I brine all my poultry and some other food products as well. The main ingredient in brining is salt and water. You may also add other aromatics if desired but you need salt to make the osmossis effective. (remember back in biology class).

The salt allows the moisture to penetrate the cell walls and it will continue to do so until they level out. (equal amounts to both sides of the cell wall). This also carries impurities including blood out of the cells. Just look at or smell the water after brining, its rather disgusting. On larger birds (turkey for example), I'll actually brine twice just to eliminate more impurities. The addition of more water not only creates a moister meat but it also eliminates the horrible smell and taste from reheated or microwaved poultry.

Today, brining is also recommended for beans. Soaking dried beans overnight in a salt water (3 tbsps to 16 oz water) allows moisture to penetrate bean skons and you'll find beans cook more evenly without some bursting while others remain tough. (picked this up in Cooks Illustrated and America's Test Kitchens).

If you've never tried brining, especially with poultry, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Not only will you be rewarded with tastier meat, it will be "cleaner" too. Be sure to rinse after brining and then pat dry! It doesn't increase the sodium level like you would imagine!

Enjoy!

Camo

sunala1325922071.74319222 PostsRegistered 11/13/2004

People who keep Kosher will soak their chicken in salt water. It draws out all the blood that may be lurking inside the chicken. It also makes the chicken taste delicious.

I never realized why my mom's chicken was so delicious. I believe it was from koshering her chicken before cooking.

Sunny

"This is the South, and we're proud of our crazy people."
~~Julia Sugarbaker

"I don't like to repeat gossip, so listen carefully."

sue521325936641.3531228 PostsRegistered 11/8/2004
On 1/6/2012 camochef said:

I brine all my poultry and some other food products as well. The main ingredient in brining is salt and water. You may also add other aromatics if desired but you need salt to make the osmossis effective. (remember back in biology class).

The salt allows the moisture to penetrate the cell walls and it will continue to do so until they level out. (equal amounts to both sides of the cell wall). This also carries impurities including blood out of the cells. Just look at or smell the water after brining, its rather disgusting. On larger birds (turkey for example), I'll actually brine twice just to eliminate more impurities. The addition of more water not only creates a moister meat but it also eliminates the horrible smell and taste from reheated or microwaved poultry.

Today, brining is also recommended for beans. Soaking dried beans overnight in a salt water (3 tbsps to 16 oz water) allows moisture to penetrate bean skons and you'll find beans cook more evenly without some bursting while others remain tough. (picked this up in Cooks Illustrated and America's Test Kitchens).

If you've never tried brining, especially with poultry, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Not only will you be rewarded with tastier meat, it will be "cleaner" too. Be sure to rinse after brining and then pat dry! It doesn't increase the sodium level like you would imagine!

Enjoy!

Camo


Yes, I agree; that's why I do it, too. I rinse it well, also.

bazb1325936992.2934228 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

You all have me craving roasted chicken. Never tried brining, but will give it a try. Blessings.

Page 1 of 1