Want Maximum Flavor? Try a Dry Brine with Organic Spices
Time to read 5 min
Time to read 5 min
Who doesn’t love juicy, tender meat that’s just bursting with flavor? If you want to get the best flavor into your meat, you may want to try dry brining. In today’s article, we’re going to share what dry brining is, how to do it, and give you all of the best tips and secrets for perfecting the flavor of your dry brine.
Featured Image of Dry Brined Tomahawk Steaks by FreshJax Friend Marc (@ales.n.tails)
Dry brining is a method of seasoning and tenderizing meat, primarily poultry, by applying salt and sometimes other spices directly to the meat's surface and letting it rest in the refrigerator for a period of time before cooking. Unlike traditional wet brining, which involves submerging meat in a liquid solution, dry brining uses only dry ingredients to achieve similar results. It’s faster, easier to clean up, and produces amazing results for very little effort.
Here’s how you dry brine meat. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3– and most of the work takes place in your fridge without any effort from you!
Generously coat the meat's surface with salt. It’s important to get a good coating because the salt is going to draw out moisture to create the brine. You can also add other dry seasonings, such as herbs, spices, aromatics, or even seasoning blends, depending on your preference.
Place the seasoned meat on a plate, tray, or other dish. Let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator for at least a few hours– bigger pieces of meat need more time. If you’re seasoning something really big, like a whole turkey or an uncut beef tenderloin, you may want to leave it in the fridge overnight.
During this time, the magic of dry brining happens. The salt draws out moisture from the meat's surface through osmosis. It then dissolves and forms a brine that then gets reabsorbed by the meat. This process not only seasons the meat but also enhances its flavor and juiciness. The reabsorbed brine essentially seasons the meat from the inside out, resulting in a more flavorful and tender final product.
After the dry brining period is complete, you can cook the meat as you normally would. The dry-brined meat tends to cook more evenly and retain its moisture better, resulting in a juicy and flavorful end product.
Dry brining is particularly popular for preparing poultry, such as chicken and turkey, as it helps to improve the meat's texture and flavor. It also creates a crispy skin when roasted due to the moisture removal process. However, this method can also be applied to other types of meat, such as pork or beef, to achieve similar benefits.
Keep in mind that while dry brining can be a great technique for enhancing the quality of your meat, it's important not to overdo the salt, as this could lead to overly salty results. It's a good idea to experiment with the amount of salt and seasonings you use to find the right balance for your taste preferences.
The type of salt you use can vary, too. Many dry brine recipes start with kosher salt, but you can experiment with your favorite types of salt. Seasoned salts, like flavored salts or smoked salt, can elevate your dry-brined meat’s flavor profile
The type and quality of the spices you use determine the outcome of your dry brine. Any spice or spice blend can be part of a dry brine recipe, so think about the flavors you want and how they’ll combine with the natural flavor of the meat. In addition to salt, here’s a handful of the most popular spices used in dry brining.
Black Pepper– goes great with anything
Rosemary– goes best with poultry, lamb, and pork
Thyme– can be used with chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and pork
Sage– excellent with pork and poultry
Garlic Granules– perfect for every meat, and doesn’t have the risk of burning that fresh garlic might when cooked at high heat
Onion Granules– a universal favorite on any type of meat
Paprika– great on chicken and pork
Chipotle Powder– the right touch for any dry brine that needs a little heat
Oregano– oregano’s strong flavor pairs well with beef, lamb, and even some poultry dishes
You can also use your favorite seasoning blends, like a zesty Italian spice blend or a complex citrus pepper blend, to dry brine your meat. Just make sure that you’re paying attention to the salt content of your blend– a seasoning blend with a lot of salt added to the salt from the dry brine can lead to an overwhelmingly salty dish!
Using organic spices for dry brining can offer several potential benefits, both in terms of flavor and health considerations.
One of the biggest advantages of organic spices is flavor. Organic spices often have a more intense and vibrant flavor compared to conventionally grown spices. This is because they are typically grown in healthier soil with natural and sustainable farming practices.
Additionally, organic spices are typically grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This can result in a higher quality product with fewer chemical residues. When dry brining, you want the spices to infuse the meat with their flavors, and using organic spices can help achieve a more pronounced and appealing taste.
Organic spices are also less likely to contain artificial additives, preservatives, or flavor enhancers. This keeps any unwanted or artificial flavors out of the flavor profile of your finished dish, and lets the natural flavors of the meat shine through.
If you decide to use organic spices for dry brining, be sure to store them properly to maintain their freshness and potency. Always read labels and purchase from reputable sources to ensure that you are indeed getting certified organic products.
If you want to start dry brining meat, you’ll find everything you need at FreshJax. Our flavorful organic spices and blends will elevate your meat dishes. Check out our unique catalog for inspiration and ingredients for your dry brine recipes!
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