Brine AND dry rub chicken?
August 15, 2013 6:11 PM   Subscribe

I always brine my chicken before BBQing, like any good cook. I have a new jerk dry rub from the farmers market that instructs me to leave it on the chicken for 24 hours. How can I get the benefits of the brine and of the long dry rub exposure both?
posted by Cosine to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Are you looking for a more complicated answer than brine first and then use dry rub? In my experience, you'll see a benefit from even just an hour's brining--but you can surely brine overnight or longer in the fridge and then dry rub for another 24, provided that you're within the use by date of your chicken.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:21 PM on August 15, 2013

Thank! I guess I was wondering, if I brine first, remove from brine, dry rub 12-24 hours is the chicken still briney?
posted by Cosine at 6:26 PM on August 15, 2013

Yep, it will be. I have done this with great success.
posted by Piano Raptor at 6:31 PM on August 15, 2013

Most of the nerdier science cooks have given up on brining and are salting instead.

Salting vs brining at Serious Eats.

Cooks Illustrated is also salting instead of brining after similar experiments.

So in light of that, I'd use the rub and a favor amount of kosher salt and let it sit for a day.

(Note: I grew up salting meats and thought brining was too much of a pain, so I don't have a direct comparison.)
posted by advicepig at 6:33 PM on August 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

yep - I'd dry brine and dry rub and leave it uncovered in the fridge.
posted by JPD at 6:40 PM on August 15, 2013

Yes, I was going to say that I've moved from brining to salting (dry brining) poultry. The flavor of the meat gets concentrated. Yes, brined poultry is juicy, but the juice is water; same as injecting salt water into meat.

By "BBQing" do you mean grilling, or low-and-slow smoking? The above assumed you meant grilling. If low-and-slow, I'm a bit more inclined towards brine, but not if you're cooking above 300 or so.
posted by supercres at 6:42 PM on August 15, 2013

If the rub is salty, which most are, you will be essentially double salting if you brine then rub. You should specifically use a rub that doesn't have salt if you are really set on doing this.
posted by jclovebrew at 7:08 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would agree that if the rub has a good amount of salt you are dry brining and the wet brine maybe a bit much in addition to the dry. I too have switched over to dry brine, if I have the time but, if I am pressed for time I will do a wet brine.
posted by jadepearl at 7:12 PM on August 15, 2013

The very best jerk chicken is done with an at-minimum overnight marinade (but ideally a couple of days) in wet jerk preparation and then rubbed with the dry before barbecuing.

It's also done "low and slow", although grilling comes out all right.

I brine birds, too, and I'd rather have my jerk chicken this way than any other way.
posted by batmonkey at 8:16 PM on August 15, 2013

Actually, speaking of Serious Eats, they just had a feature on jerk chicken.
posted by supercres at 8:40 PM on August 15, 2013

I've been salting instead of brining ever since running into it in the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. The basic rule of thumb is 3/4 teaspoon of salt per 1 lb. of chicken, and let it sit at least overnight. Add your rub as part of the salting so that the salt draws the rub into the meat. It always works out great and the salting allows for a flexibility of flavoring that you don't get with a brine.
posted by bl1nk at 7:24 AM on August 16, 2013

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