How to Brine a Roast

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Brines improve the quality of meat by helping to tenderize and increase moisture. Brining also adds flavors and aromas that spread through the meat during the cooking process. Beef roasts, which tend to be naturally tough and chewy, particularly benefit from brining: The salt helps to dissolve any sinew or cartilage left after trimming, and what remains slowly melts away during cooking. The most important ingredients in a brining mixture, in addition to liquid, are sugar and water. Seasonings, such as cumin or cloves, can be added to suit your taste.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. white granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Add 1 cup water, white sugar, light-brown sugar, salt, ground cloves, star anise, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, ground coriander and ground cumin to a saucepan. Mix well.

  • Bring the spice-water mixture to a boil.

  • Stir with a whisk until sugar melts and dissolves.

  • Remove from heat. Add 3 cups cold water, allow the brine to reach room temperature and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to cool further.

  • Place up to a 2-1/2-lb. roast in a large sealable food storage bag, pour the brine over it and seal. Standard brining proportions call for using 4 cups of brine for every 2 lbs. of roast.

  • Refrigerate the brined roast for a minimum of 12 hours but not more than 24 hours.

  • Turn the roast over halfway through the brining process. At the end of brining, remove the roast from the package, rinse the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Proceed according to intended preparation method.

References

  • "The Professional Chef 8th Edition"; The Culinary Institute of America; 2006
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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