Avoiding Dry/Tough Pastured Chicken — Brining Quick Tip

By Jeanie Rose | Food Profiles

Oct 04

Chicken Brining Tip at FreshBitesDaily.comYou’ve probably noticed that free-range organic chickens have drier meat than their more commercially processed counterparts.

Here’s the scoop. The giant chicken processors brine their chickens before sending them to market. Brining is rather like marinating. With brining, the chicken soaks in a salt water bath for a couple of hours. During that time, the flesh of the chicken absorbs and holds water.

Brining has two advantages:

  1. The meat of the bird will be moist and juicy when cooked.
  2. The weight of the bird is increased by the water and you get to pay more for it.

What about the free-range chickens? Brine your own!

The process is super simple and you will end up with the most amazing chicken.

  1. Place 1 gallon of water in a large container.
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup of salt.
  3. Place your uncooked chicken in the brine for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Discard the brine, rinse and dry the chicken, and you are ready to go.

Chicken Brining Tip at FreshBitesDaily.comBrining can get a bit more sophisticated, but that is not necessary for fantastic chicken results. For more brining savvy check out Brining 101 at Cookshack.

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Lotte Oldenburg
Lotte Oldenburg
11 years ago


Thanks for all your recipes and info!

I was just wondering… Can you still get crispy chicken skin with this method? I usually dry the chicken with a paper towel and put it in the fridge without covering it up the night before, which always gives it the most perfect crispy skin. Maybe I can combine the two methods?


11 years ago

Nice tip, but if you don’t want all the salt you can also set a bowl of water in with the chicken when you cook it in the oven or grill.
Or even better a dark beer, that will with a barbecue rub take the chicken to a whole new place.!

Cheryl P
Cheryl P
10 years ago

I love the way brining makes my pasture raised chicken turn out moist and tender! I’ve been using this recipe for a 3-4 lbs whole bird: 1/3 C vinegar (any kind), 1/3 C sugar (any kind), 1/3 C sea salt (I’ve been using half the salt and turns out fine). Mix in 4 cups of water til dissolved, place bird in container, cover with brine, cover and refrigerate for anywhere from several hours to overnight (I usually aim for about 6 hrs). Drain and rinse, pat dry, proceed with cooking.

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