Serve up some delicious chicken wings with an extra-tasty twist! A simple brine can transform ordinary wings into something truly special. With this easy chicken wings brine recipe, you can take your next batch to another level! Transform regular wings into great ones with this solution that’ll have everyone raving about them all night long. Our recipe is simple, adds an extra layer of flavor and will leave your wings juicy and tender. Perfect for your next party or get-together! Let’s get started!
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What is brining?
Essentially, brining is a process that involves soaking proteins and lean meat such as chicken, pork and fish in a saltwater solution. This imparts flavor, locks in moisture and ensures tender meat. Brined meats tend to be some of the tastiest dishes with succulent textures and flavors that range from lightly seasoned to intensely salty.
Why do you brine chicken wings?
Brining chicken wings is an excellent way to inject them with much-needed flavor and moisture. Not only does it infuse the poultry with flavor, but it also prevents the wings from drying out during the cooking process.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for some crispiness, a good brine that includes sugar can help your finished product achieve this desired effect. When done correctly and with patience, brined wings makes a noticeable difference in both taste and texture.
What’s the difference between a wet brine and dry brine?
While we prefer wet brining, both options are very popular. Wet brines involve submerging the chicken wings in a solution of water, salt, and sometimes other ingredients, while dry brines skip the liquid altogether, only using salt and maybe other seasonings. Dry brines require less time than wet ones – usually only an hour or two – making them ideal for last-minute meals or quick weeknight dinners. Ultimately, whether you choose wet or dry will depend on your preferences and what kind of end product you’re aiming for.
Should you rinse chicken wings before brining?
Most people prepare chicken wings by washing them first. This is where we differ. When you wash the chicken wings, some of the juices and fat are lost in the process. This equals less flavor and juiciness in your chicken wings, meaning that you could be missing out on all of their deliciousness.
Additionally, if you use warm or hot water to rinse the wings, their skin can become tough when cooked due to losing moisture from the hot water. The best way to prepare these delicious treats is by laying them on a baking sheet and patting them dry with paper towels. In doing so, you’ll keep all of the flavor inside while still ensuring they’re sanitary enough for consumption.
The most important ingredient in any brine is water. The water should be filtered or distilled, as impurities in tap water can affect the quality of the brine.
Salt is the next most important ingredient, as it is responsible for drawing moisture into the chicken and ensuring that the meat is properly seasoned.
Sugar helps to balance out the saltiness of the brine and also aids in the browning of the skin when the chicken wings are cooked.
Spices such as garlic, onion, black pepper, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper can be added to the brine to give it more flavor.
Fresh or dried herbs can be added to the brine for additional flavor. Popular options include rosemary, thyme, and oregano.
An acid such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can be added to the brine to help tenderize the chicken wings. We opted for Hot Sauce as our acid.
How To Make the Chicken Wing Brine
Combine one cup of water, salt, brown sugar, herbs and spices in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved.
To the salt/sugar mixture add 4 cups of water and hot sauce. Allow the mixture to cool. Do not add chicken to warm water mixture as this can cause bacteria to grow by raising the internal temperature of the wings.
Add the chicken wings to the brine and make sure they are completely submerged.
Cover the pot or container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight. Any longer than that and you run the risk of the wings being too salty. Our sweet spot is six hours.
Remove chicken wings from brine and dry chicken wings off with paper towels in a single layer on a baking pan or cookie sheet. Make sure to give them an extra pat-down for crispier skin!
Cook wings using your preferred method.
What are some chicken wing brine flavor ideas?
Brining your wings is an especially tasty way to give them an extra boost of flavor. For basic brine recipes, you can use chicken stock, salt, and brown sugar. But why not have some fun with it? Try adding soy sauce for a savory depth or go for something sweet with a sprinkle of cinnamon. You can also amp up the tartness by adding cranberry juice or white vinegar; go sweet and smoky with chipotle peppers and chocolate; or make them extra spicy with chopped habanero peppers and garlic.
How can you tell if chicken wings are properly brined?
Brined chicken wings are among the tastiest to cook and eat – and you can tell if they are properly brined by a few easy-to-spot signs. Firstly, the best giveaways when it comes to brined chicken wings is their pale, yellowy hue. Secondly, they also should be quite tender and succulent on your taste buds when cooked through properly. Lastly, the tell-tale sign of proper brining is that delicious flavor profile that is distinctly different from non-brined chicken wings – the extra flavor brought out by brining really increases the complexity of the dish! With these three simple checks, you can be sure that your wings have been properly brined for an extra tasty treat.
What are some things to avoid when brining chicken wings?
When it comes to brining chicken wings, there are a few big no-nos that you should definitely steer clear of. Firstly, never use table salt when brining; instead, opt for a non-iodized version like kosher salt. Secondly, always make sure you don’t over-brine the chicken – the wings will become too salty and taste unpalatable. Finally, always pat dry any excess brine from the wings before you cook them up!
What is the difference between marinade and brine?
Generally, marinades are made with acidic liquids such as lemon juice or vinegar, while brines involve salt dissolved in water. Marinades are primarily used to bring out flavor in things like seafood, meats, and vegetables. Meanwhile, brining adds moisture and helps preserve food for a longer length of time.
What happens if you brine chicken wings for too long?
If you accidentally leave those chicken wings in the brine for too long, it could be a real disaster! The flavor of the wings will become overpowering and mushy at the same time – not a good combination. On top of that, the texture of the meat can become unpleasantly spongy.
Whether you’re cooking for a party or just want to treat yourself, this chicken wings brine recipe will definitely hit the spot. With our simple recipe, your next batch of wings will be taken to new heights! Be sure to try it out and let us know how it goes. What are some of your favorite ways to spruce up chicken wings? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for another quick and easy appetizer?
Simple Chicken Wings Brine
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- 4 cups Water
- 4 tbsp Kosher Salt
- ½ cup Brown Sugar, dark or light
- 2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- 4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp Black Peppercorns, whole
- 2 tbsp Hot Sauce
- Combine one cup of water, salt, brown sugar, herbs and spices in a large pot over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved.
- To the salt/sugar mixture add 4 cups of water and hot sauce. Allow the mixture to cool.
- Add the chicken wings to the brine and make sure they are completely submerged.
- Cover the pot or container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
- Remove chicken wings from brine and dry chicken wings off with paper towels.
- Cook wings using your preferred method.