This easy brine for the chicken wing is also quick to make and will transform your plain chicken wing into a juicy and tender chicken wing on any day.
I love chicken wings either fried, baked, smoked, grilled, or air fried. They are affordable, easy to add flavor and so many ways to use them for a meal. The easiest way to add more flavor to chicken wings and make them tender is to brine them. This easy brine is perfect for any chicken or chicken wings recipe. it is quick to make and you can add different spices to the brine.
What is Brine?
Brine is a mixture of salt and water solution; and with other added ingredients such as herbs, spices, sugar, and vinegar. Brine is usually used in food processing and cooking. They have been used to preserve and season food since the olden days. Today I’m talking about the use of brine in cooking meat.
What is Brining?
Brining is the process of infusing proteins with salt, sugar, and flavor. In addition, it tenderizes and moisturizes meat. Typically, the protein is soaked in a solution of water (or another liquid such as apple juice, beer, or wine), salt, and spices for a few hours in the refrigerator (source: foodnetwork.com).
Uses of Brine in cooking
Brine is a common agent in food processing and cooking. Brining is used to preserve or season the food. Brining can be applied to vegetables, cheeses, and fruit in a process known as pickling. Meat and fish are typically steeped in brine for shorter periods of time, as a form of marination, enhancing its tenderness and flavor, or to enhance shelf period (source: wikipedia.com)
Why Brine chicken wings?
Brining is not necessary, but the brine gives your chicken wings more flavor, making the chicken more tender, moist, and juicy.
Watch How TO Make the best brine for Chicken Wing
Ingredient for Chicken Wings Brine
Salt: salt helps tenderize the chicken wings and also makes the wings juicy. Table salt was used but you can use kosher salt if it is available to you.
Sugar: it helps create crispy and uniform browning or caramelization of the chicken wings. The sugar enhances and complements the salt flavor in the chicken.
Vinegar: you can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. The vinegar also helps tenderize the chicken wings further.
Spices: red pepper flakes and black pepper add some kick to the chicken wings. other spices that work for chicken are lemon zest, thyme, garlic, and tarragon.
How to Make Brine for Chicken Wings
The first thing is to gather all your ingredients. Then prepare the chicken wings if it is already prepared. watch the video to see how to cut and prepare the wings for brining. In a large nonmetal bowl, Add the red pepper flakes, black pepper, white wine vinegar, sugar, and stir to combine. Add the water to the mixture and mix until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Combine the brine and the chicken wings making sure the chicken wings are completely covered. You can brine the wings in either a resealable bag or a large bowl with a cover. A resealable bag will save you some space in your refrigerator.
Cover and refrigerate the chicken wings and brine for at least 2 to 4 hours. Remove the wings from the brine and rinse well. Discard the remaining brine.
Pat the chicken wings dry, add the seasoning you like, and cook as desired.
Tips for Quick brine for Chicken Wings
• Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel before applying the seasoning or rub to get a crispy and well-caramelized chicken when cooked.
• Brine the chicken wings for at least 2 hours before cooking for more flavorful and tender wings.
• Do not brine the chicken wings for more than 24 hours. When you brine the chicken in salty brine, then the meat becomes too salty.
• Brined chicken wings can be baked, grilled, smoked, fried, and air fried.
• It is recommended to use kosher salt for brine but table salt works fine too.
• You don’t need to add extra salt when seasoning the brined chicken for cooking since the brine is very salty.
• If you accidentally make a very salty brine, add more water, or shorten the brining time.
• Brined chicken wings can be cooked immediately after brining or you let it dry out before cooking. when you leave the chicken to dry out for a couple of hours in the fridge—with a seasoning on it—can result in even more flavorful and tender meat.
• This brine adds a lot of flavor to the chicken wings but for even more flavor, you can replace the salt with soy sauce.
• Frozen chicken wings can be brined in the refrigerator without thawing. You can also thaw the frozen wings before brining, which is the preferred method.
Substitutions for brined chicken wings
You can skip the water and replace it with chicken broth, pickle juice, or apple juice. The chicken can also be brined in buttermilk as well
If you are on a salt restriction diet, then reduce the amount of salt used. You can also make a salt-free marinade that uses acidic ingredients as a meat tenderizer.
How to store the best brine for chicken wings
This brine can be made ahead of time for later use. Once the brine is made, transfer it into a plastic container or resealable bag, or glass jar, and store it in the refrigerator for about two weeks. The brine can be stored in the freezer for about 6 months.
What is the difference between Marinade and brining?
Marinades and brine are two different ways of adding flavor to the meat. Marinades don’t contain as many salts as brines. Brine is a mixture of salt and water, marinade is made up of oils and acid like lemon juice, vinegar.
FAQS about this easy chicken wing brine
How long to brine chicken wings?
You can brine the chicken wings for as little as 2 hours and long as 24 hours. But I don’t recommend going beyond that since the chicken wings will end up being very salty.
Can You Dry Brine Chicken Wings
Yes! You can dry brine chicken wings and keep them refrigerated for up to 3 days in advance. You can also store them in the freezer for a longer time. Dry brined chicken keeps longer than wet brine ones.
Is it worth brining chicken wings?
Brining is not necessary, but it gives the chicken wings more flavor, makes them tender, moist, and juicy.
Does brining chicken wings make a difference?
Yes! Brining add more flavor and produces more tender and moist chicken wings. Therefore brining chicken makes a difference.
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Brine for chicken wings
- chopping board
- 4 cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar optional
- ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds chicken wings
- In a large nonmetal bowl, Add the red pepper flakes, black pepper, white wine vinegar, sugar, and stir to combine. Add the water to the mixture and mix until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Combine the brine and the chicken wings making sure that the chicken wings are completely covered. You can brine wings in either a resealable bag or a large bowl with a cover.
- Cover and refrigerate the chicken wings and brine for at least 2 to 4 hours. Remove the wings from the brine and rinse well. discard the remaining brine.
- Pat the chicken wings dry, add seasoning that you like and cook as desired.
This brine can be made ahead of time for later use. Once the brine is ready, transfer it into a plastic container or resealable bag, or glass jar and store it in the refrigerator for about two weeks. You can keep the brine in the freezer for about 6 months.