Food - Drink
Why You Shouldn't Buy Brine-Injected Chicken At The Grocery Store
By JENNIFER SWEENIE
While chicken is a lean, versatile, and heart-healthy protein, it's not exactly lauded for its amazing flavor, which is why the practice of “plumping” poultry with a saltwater solution became standard in the 1970’s. Brine-injecting seems like a harmless way to enhance chicken’s flavor, moisture, and tenderness, but the reality is far from it.
Chef Jon Sloan, culinary director at Crack Shack, says that plumping is commonly used on chicken that isn't high-quality to begin with. While injecting brine can mask some undesirable qualities in cheap chicken, it can also compromise the texture and water down the flavor of the meat, not to mention this practice isn't great for you nutritionally.
A brine injection can add up to one third of your daily sodium intake to your chicken, so not only are you paying for water weight instead of pure meat, but you're also adding too much salt to your diet. Look at the packaging on chicken to see if it has water or brine added, and once you find a good, clean chicken, just brine it at home.