What is brine?

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Brine refers to a solution that is made with water and salt.  The water from the sea is considered a type of brine because of its high salt content.  As a solution, brine is commonly used as a food preservative.  In the past, when there are no refrigerators yet, people would use salted water or brine to preserve various meat products like pork, beef, and chicken.  Any type of meat will be fresher for a longer time and will not decay or decompose if it is marinated with brine.  What makes brine a good preservative is its salt content.  Salt is considered a great ingredient to fight off bacteria which can cause food items like meat to spoil easily.  With brine being very high in salinity, it is found to be very good in preserving various food items.

Aside from its practical purpose of preserving food items such as meat, brine or the brining process also helps in tenderizing the meat.  If pork or beef meat for example is marinated with wet brine for example, it will become more tender compared to raw meat.  Brining of meat is also a great way to make it more tasty and flavorful.  This is especially true if meat items are marinated overnight or at least for several hours.  Some people may not like the idea of having their food too salty, but variations can be made in terms of the brine mixture.  Mixing salt with water can be done according to one’s preferences.  The amount of salt is typically high but one can reduce the saltiness with more water or by adding other ingredients like spices for example.  To produce a different flavor, people may add their favorite herbs and spices to the brine solution.

Brining of meat also makes it juicier.  This is due to the simple fact that the meat will be soaked with extra moisture from the brine solution.  The meat itself already has some water content and the addition of brine will further increase the water content of meat and therefore making it more tender and juicy.

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