Click here to join the FareShare Recipe Exchange Group

FareShare Recipe Exchange Group

Home | Chat | Recipes | Metrics | Cooking Temperatures | Links

Return to the FareShare Recipe  Master Index

Plank Cooking
Behind The Brine

Search our Recipe Archives.  Click Here!


This Material Comes From the Cuisine Magazine
A Consistent Source of Good Recipes and Food Ideas

Photo Album Index: Alphabetical | Category


Table of Contents

Curtis chose chicken breasts and used a large plastic re-sealable bag to marinate them. Every so often he would flip the bag over. This worked out very well and made clean up much safer and easier.

Behind the Brine

Brining, like plank cooking, is also an old technique. Soaking meat in salted water was an early preservation method which prevented bacterial growth and gave meat a longer shelf life. Brining still happens today, especially before smoking things like ham and fish, but mostly to enhance flavor and texture.

This brine has three elements to it: salt, sugar, and spices. Here’s what you should know about all three, plus a few brining tips.


The driving force behind a brine is salt. Besides contributing flavor, salt’s main purpose is to draw moisture out of the meat. Have you ever salted a steak then let it sit before cooking? That film of moisture on the meat’s surface is natural meat juice that the salt has drawn out of the cells.

That doesn’t sound so great but don’t worry. Liquids have the ability to flow in and out of cells. So as the meat soaks in the brine and the salt draws out the juices, the brine naturally flows right back into the cells. Besides drawing out moisture, salt also unwinds (denatures) meat proteins, causing them to swell and reabsorb even more moisture. The proteins take on more water than what the salt draws out. This results in meat that is seasoned throughout (not just on the surface), and firmer because of the additional liquid.


A brine doesn’t have to contain sugar but this one does, primarily for flavor. In brines this high in salt, there needs to be a balance so the foods don’t taste overly salty. The sugar also helps promote browning during cooking.


As for the spices in the brine, don’t get too hung up on the measurements for them. They’re just for flavoring, and a little more or less won’t make a big difference either way.

Chicken breasts marinating in a brine mixture.

Tips: Making and using brine is a cinch but it’s helpful to know a few things.

  • First, when making the brine, warm it just enough to dissolve the sugar and salt, then let it cool completely. Hot brine poured over chicken and left to sit creates a prime environment for bacteria to grow, even though everything chills during brining.

  • Second, piercing the chicken helps the brine seep into the meat faster. Otherwise, the brining process would take a lot longer.

  • Finally, be sure the brining container is non-reactive (plastic, glass, or stainless steel). Salt reacts with other materials, like aluminum, causing off flavors. And then be sure the chicken is totally submerged in the brine — I use a tall plastic container and weight down the chicken pieces with small glass bowls.


Plank Cooking Table of Contents

Picking a Plank
Plank FAQs
The Brine
Cooking on Wood
Plank-Cooked Chicken
Plank-Cooked Brie

From Cuisine Magazine

Top of Page

Disclaimer: The operators of the FareShare Website are not responsible for the content or practice of any website to which we link for your convenience.

Art Guyer operates this project.

Provide feedback here.

Home | Chat | Recipes | Metrics | Cooking Temperatures | Links

Search our Recipe Archives.  Click Here!