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I have been playing with Smokins brines and chicken breasts. I like the Simple Brine III best, substituting brown sugar for the maple syrup & molasses. In my testing I brined boneless, skinless breasts then lightly dusted with the CS Chicken Rub and its the taste I need for next month. My question is, how many chicken breasts can I fit into a 1 gallon brine mix? Im doing another wine pairing like I did last year and will need to be really prepared. Last year we served about 425 people... this years will be over 600+. I will be working the brining in a 36* walkin cooler so proper temps isnt a problem. I was even thinking about brining these for 1 hr, then pulling them out of the brine and putting them in a small holding "tub" awaiting the cooker. Then starting the next batch. Thoughts? Ideas?

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If you're "reusing" the batch, you'll be diluting it somewhat. The process of brining replaces the moisture inside the chicken with the brine, so that solution that WAS in the chicken is now in the brine.

I have no idea about how unsaturated it becomes (read that as how many times you could reuse it like you're mentioning). I'm sure a food scientist could test the solution for salinity and tell us, but that sounds like work.

Just guessing, but let's say you can put 50 in (is that singles or doubles?) I like a little longer than 1 hour per, but it's your choice. But I would progressively lengthen the time because the brine will change each time you add new chickens.

Are you doing one breast per? or over 600?

Salt/sugar, etc are reasonably cheap, I would go with larger batches and wouldn't reuse more than 1 maybe 2.

And larger batches need to go longer because the solution isn't touching all pieces of chicken (aggitate often)
Thanks for that quick reply. I wont be reusing a brine batch. I can agitate them.. I never thought of that. I used 1 hour brine cause that what the 101 said. Smiler The chicken breasts will be chunked after the cooking process, so Im guessing right now I will be using about 300-400 breasts over a 2 day period. So far my test batches have been 2 breasts per brine, and the 1 hr brine time was working well. People here are about tested out with me sayin.. here taste this! lol
This is a follow up post I started weeks ago. My original interest in brining these chicken breasts was for a 2 day wine tasting tour. I actually prepared 6 different types of chix breasts and sent them home with the winery owner to see which taste best paired with the wine they were showcasing. I also sent home 8 types of beef, but will detail that in a separate post. The chicken breast they liked best was non brined, Head Country rub, apple wood smoked, no sauce. So I headed out there last Friday with 120 lbs of chicken and 140 lbs of beef eye round, 2 CS smokers (008 & 050) and 1 large charcoal grill. Sat morning I cranked up the 050 with 36 chix breasts in it while I was cooking beef over charcoal. It only takes 45 min in my 050 at 250* to bring the chix up to 160*. When I opened the door I found one hellova mess. Icecicles of white Chix fat had covered the bottom 4 racks of breasts and I was to start serving in 10 min. I grabbed 1 of the lower chix in the tongs and removed it from the smoker. Most of that white fat fell off but it was still ugly looking. Then I had an idea... lets throw this one on the grill... just maybe a min per side and see what happens. I did and all the white spots disappeared and I had very nice looking grill marks on both sides. I cubed this one up and tasted it. It was delicious. Moist. I could taste the apple wood it was in my opinion perfect. So I went ahead then threw 12 chix on the grill and just got the lid shut when the owner comes by. He said... hows it going? And I answered great.. here try this and held out the sample breast I just cubed. He tasted it and rolled his eyes and said that is better than what he tasted 2 weeks ago. Then I opened the grill and flipped over the 12 breasts and his eyes popped open. What happened he said.. so I opened the 050 and showed him the mess in the smoker. Then I explained what happened and what I was going to do. I ended up cooking 12 breasts at a time in my 008 while using the 050 to hold 4 foil trays of meat (2 each beef and chix). As soon as the chix in the 008 was done I would blast the fat off with the charcoal grill and seal in a foil pan and put in the 050. I used the approx heat setting of 140* on the 050 thermostat and checked that with a temp probe in the smoke hole. This is the best part. Cause I pulled the chix at 160* internal AND they were already brined (the bag said solution added) these smoked breasts would keep for 5-6 HOURS sealed in the foil pan and in the moist cooking CS 050. What a perfect holding oven it made. When we needed more I would take 1 foil pan out and cube up 8-10 breasts and reseal the pan and back in the 050 it went. All day long I got comments on how moist and tasty the chicken was. I bet I had 20-25 requests for my recipe. Smiler The 2 day event went without any further hitches.


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