Basics

Basics

By
Ben Tish
Contains
13 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
978 1 84949 715 2
Photographer
Kris Kirkham

Brines and cures

Salting and brining are age-old processes that were used to preserve meat and fish in the days before refrigeration, as salt naturally stops bacteria from growing by dehydrating the cells in the proteins. We now mainly use this process to add intrinsic seasoning and flavour to whatever we are working with. Due to salt’s dehydrating properties, it also changes the texture of proteins and makes them easier to cook when grilling or pan-roasting.

Salting is an important part of the cold-smoking process, particularly if what you are cold-smoking won’t be cooked afterwards.

We usually dilute wet brines before using them for larger cuts, such as a whole chicken, so the meat can spend longer in the brine without becoming too salty. The recipes include diluting instructions where needed.

Make sure any containers you use for brining are non-reactive – that is, not aluminium – as this can react with the brine and taint the meat.

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