Does Brining Meat Make It Saltier?

You've just dissolved a lot of salt (and also some sugar) in a pot with other stuff, because you bought a nice piece of meat or chicken and you're making brine. Is the finished product going to be saltier because you brined?

Nope. Brine's saline content has nothing to do with how salty the finished product will be, it's way more scientific than that. Salinity, depending on its strength, partially dissolves meat's muscle fiber (that which makes it tough), making it tender. Ever learn in high school science that salt keeps muscles from contracting? That's why electrolytes, or salts which ionize in water, are good to replenish your system after a workout. Contracting means tough meat or sore muscles, but the salts that do it are only absorbed into the meat for a little while and help bring out the natural flavors, rather than seasoning it.

The softened meat is able to absorb some of the brine, adding about 10% more moisture to the pre-cooked product. While 20% or more of meat's moisture can be lost in cooking, the extra liquid retained by the meat thanks to brining will help "baste" it internally, help your beast stay juicy and flavorful. Now you just need to figure out which finishing salt to use.

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