Here’s how to brine chicken legs!
For poultry meat lovers, knowing how to brine chicken legs is essential. This method is standard for turkey meat, but actually, brining can be done to any meat (you can brine any kind of meat). You can submerge some chicken breasts into a brine solution to add some freshness, tenderness, and juiciness to them. And oh, having such meal is a sure delectable feeling to the tummy.
What Is Brining?
For beginners in the kitchen, brining is a process of submerging any meat to a solution (which we call brine). The solution is simply a composition of water that has dissolved salt on it. By immersing the meat, it can get more liquid and salt, hence tastier and juicier meal.
Moreover, this technique is ideal if you have lean cuts of meat. This type of cuts easily dries out when you cook them.
Preferable water-salt ratio in a brine solution
You can have some estimations when it comes to creating your brine. This is especially true if you are already familiar doing it. But for starters, you can follow this ratio: 4 cups of water to 4 tablespoons of salt. This amount will produce the kind of flavor that you want to taste to chicken legs.
How To Brine Chicken Legs: Ingredients
- 3 pounds of chicken legs or drumsticks (actually, you can decide for this part)
- 4 tablespoons of kosher salt
- 4 cups of water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Whisky (optional)
How To Brine Chicken Legs: The Process
When it comes to brining, time is an essential factor. When you brine chicken and other poultry meats, the minimum time is 4 hours. For whole meat, you need to brine it for up to 12 hours. In this way, you can ensure that your chicken has absorbed the enough flavor and juiciness that it needs.
For smaller cuts like pork chops and chicken breast, you can brine them for at least 2 hours.
Moreover, when brining, you need to get a large bowl that can contain both of(both) the brine and the meat. You don’t want spills to happen or else, your meat won’t absorb the maximum flavor output that it can have. Also, the container should have a lid so that sloshing won’t take place.
In creating a brine solution, you only need water and salt. That’s the typical solution. However, if you want to experiment flavors (to satisfy your gourmet side), adding apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of sugar is also an option. Moreover, you can pour small pints of whiskey to add a little kick to the chicken legs! By stepping out from the conventional way of brining, you may discover a whole new world of flavors.
Of course, pouring some extra spices can also infuse your chicken legs with additional flavor. But before doing this, make sure that the spices you will add will complement to the desired dish that you want to make. Some of the spices that you can put are gingers, lemon rinds, sprigs of rosemary, and thyme. As we have mentioned, experimenting won’t do you any harm.
In brining, you need to put the chicken legs in a container and let is submerged entirely in the solution. You have to cover the container completely and let it cool over inside the refrigerator. As you can see, the more you let your chicken legs bathe to the brine, the more its flavor will be enhanced. Always remember that you have to submerge the chicken legs completely in the mixture!
Furthermore, we have to remind you that brining is just a step of the process. It is not the final dish that you are waiting. To fully munch the legs, you need to cook them further after brining.
Apparently, the brining technique is an ideal preparation for heat-based cooking such as grilling and roasting. You can thoroughly enjoy brined meats if you do such cooking methods. In the same manner, no additional flavor and texture can be added to your chicken legs if you braise or poach them into a liquid.
How To Brine Chicken Legs: Ideal Brining Recipe
One of the best ways to serve brined chicken legs is to grill them. And with that, the Grilled Barbecued Chicken Legs is the only thing that comes to our mind.
The reason brining is a perfect combination with grilling is because of the flavor they can create. And if you furnish your meat with a thick caramelized sauce, you can expect that it will be infused with smoky, savory, and sweet flavor. If today is summer, then this would be anyone’s top meal choice! Who can just resist licking the deep flavor coming from a barbecue sauce? No one!
A Piece Of Reminder
- Do not immediately grill chicken legs if they came from the package. You have to prepare them (via brining or other preparation methods) so that you can avoid massive disappointments to your tongue and tummy. If you want to grill chicken legs, brine them first.
- Some people who tried grilling drumsticks without brining them first experienced severe regrets. Yes, they did the grilling right. They created the best barbecue sauce and charred the meat just right. Of course, they are excited to dig their dish. But apparently, only the appearance of the drumsticks is tasty. When the meat got into their mouth, they tasted nothing but raw chicken. Their hunger was gone, and their appetite turned into waste
- The truth is, you can’t just barbecue chicken legs with only 15 to 30 minutes to the grill. This time and preparation would never meet even cook the insides of the meat. Moreover, this kind of rush cooking will never respond to the expectations of your tummy.
- The bones of a drumstick are thick; thus it requires more preparations and cooking time before you can eat it. In fact, chicken legs take longer to cook than a single piece of a boneless chicken breast. This is the reason why you need to brine the chicken legs first. In this way, they can have more fulfilling flavor when you grill them.
Grilled Barbecue Chicken Legs Ingredients
- 8 cups of brine
- 4 pounds of chicken legs
- Olive oil
- Pepper or salt
- Any barbecue sauce (preferably your favorite brand)
Right after brining, remove the chicken legs into the solution and rinse its water. To dry them, use a paper towel.
- Place a baking sheet with foil and grease using olive oil. Afterward, you put your dried chicken legs and drizzle it with olive oil too.
- Preferably, you can massage each of the drumstick with oil fully. Also, add seasonings like pepper and salt too.
Heat an oven to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the chicken legs there for 40 minutes.
- While doing the above process, you need to start heating the grill to its maximum temperature.
- To prepare the grill, slowly pour tablespoons of olive oil to a paper towel. Using this, grease the grate of the grill.
After you bake the chicken legs, brush them completely with barbecue sauce. The more sauce you baste, the more flavor you can taste.
- Before you place the chicken legs on the grill, reduce the heat to medium or low temperature. Your grill should have a lid to cover the drumsticks while cooking.
- Also, each side will take 7 minutes before being cooked. When you can notice that there are grill marks on your chicken and the sauce has fully caramelized, then it is already good to eat!
Knowing how to brine chicken legs properly is an addition to your skill as a chef. This method will further improve your cooking style as well as the myriad of delicacies that you can create. Since brining can be done to any varieties of meat, knowing it is an advantage to the kitchen.
Do you have any questions or recipes to share? Ask us! We love to hear from you!