If you are planning on brining meat and are wondering what you can or cannot do when it comes to mixing different meats, you are not alone. Many people who are brining meat for the first time have asked the question: can you brine different meats together?
You can brine different meats together, but it is usually wise to make sure the meats that you are brining together are from the same species â€“ this is to avoid hygiene issues such as cross-contamination. For example, you can brine beef with beef but should not brine beef with pork.
This may seem a bit odd, but cross-contamination can cause serious health issues when the meat is ingested, which is why experts have recommended that you do not cross species when it comes to brining different meats together. Let’s take a closer look at why that is.
The Risks Of Brining Different Meats Together
You can brine certain types of different meats together; however, you cannot brine all kinds of different meats together.
There are risks to mixing different types of meats together when you brine them. Some may be too big of a risk for you to take, and then some small risks that may be inconvenient but will not cause any big issues at all.
For example, it would be a big issue if you mixed chicken with another kind of meat because if the blood from the chicken mixes into the flesh of the other type of meat it can cause cross-contamination.
NOTE: Cross-contamination of chicken blood is incredibly dangerous as it can cause salmonella. It has been said before that raw chicken should be treated as a biohazardous contaminant since salmonella is present inside chicken flesh, as opposed to other meats, where you will only find microbes on the surface of the meat.
Then there are the less serious issues that can come from mixing different meats as you brine them together â€“ issues such as one type of flesh being more absorbent than the other.
When one meat is more absorbent than the other meat, one meat will be done sooner and begin to get very salty while the other meat is still being processed in the brine.
This is not a big issue, but it can be very inconvenient and unpleasant.
Which Different Meats Can You Brine Together?
As a rule, in general, it is best to keep meats from the same animal family together.
For example, you can brine any kind of beef with another kind of beef and any kind of pork with another kind of pork. You can also brine most fish together, and you can even generally brine most poultry together.
You can brine any cut of beef with another cut of beef, as they are both the same type of meat and will usually brine at a similar pace.
You will not need to worry about any kind of cross-contamination when it comes to brining different cuts of beef together, as when you brine meat of the same species together, there is generally a very low to no risk of there being an issue with microbes.
It is safe to brine different types of fish together, especially because they will most likely absorb the brine at a similar pace and be done at a similar time.
If you choose to brine other types of seafood, it is also generally safe to brine other seafood with your fish â€“ this is only if all seafood and fish are fresh and safe to eat, you do not want to mix old seafood with fresh fish or vice versa.
Chicken is the only poultry that you should be cautious about mixing with any other kind of meat due to the salmonella risk that was discussed above.
However, you can mix other kinds of poultry together. You can mix turkey with goose or duck or any other kind of poultry you desire.
Even though there is a salmonella risk, some people say that it is still fine to mix chicken with other poultry such as turkey in a brine, so the decision would need to be up to you and based on what you feel comfortable with.
Which Different Meats Should You Not Brine Together?
Now that we know what meats you can mix together, here are which meats shouldn’t be brined together.
The meats that you should not brine together are as follows:
- Any non-seafood meat with fish â€“ if you brine fish with any meat that is not seafood, it will generally make the other meat that it is being brined with taste like fish.
Not only is that unpleasant, because who wants their pork to taste like fish, but it is also very inconvenient because you would have wasted a whole piece of meat that you will more than likely now not want to use.
- Chicken with any other kind of meat.
- Meat that should not be brined – brining meat that shouldn’t be brined with meat that can be brined â€“ for example, you should not brine a piece of pork belly, that will be great being brined, with some pork sausages, which should not be brined at all.
- Mixed species â€“ some people say that it is fine to mix meats from different speciesâ€™ meat together, while others say that it is a bad idea.
For example, you might read that it is fine to brine pork and beef together, while other sources say you absolutely should not â€“ maybe it is then best to avoid mixing different speciesâ€™ meat.
NOTE: If ever you are unsure whether it is safe or not to mix two different types of meat in one brine, rather play it safe every time and make two separate brines, as raw meat is not something that should be messed around with â€“ so if it is not clearly safe, rather do not do it.
How Do You Brine Different Meats Together?
The way you would start to brine different meats together is by selecting the meats you want to brine together â€“ suppose that you want to brine trout and shrimp together.
Here are the basic steps:
First, make sure the fresh trout and shrimp are clean. Next, in a bowl, you will mix together water, salt, and sugar.
Once the salt and sugar have dissolved properly into the water, put the trout and shrimp in the water and make sure they are fully submerged â€“ if you need to, you can use a mug or bowl to weigh them down, or I really like to use these fermentation weights that can be ordered from Amazon.
Keep the trout and shrimp in this brine for 15 minutes, that’s all the time that is needed!
Take the fish out of the brine and pat them dry before grilling, frying, or pan-searing them.
NOTE: Pork is far tougher than a lot of other meat, and therefore needs more time for the brine to help make it tender.
If you choose to brine something like pork chops and pork tenderloin together, the brining process will look different:
First, use a large bowl or container to mix and combine water and salt and stir until the salt is fully dissolved to make the brine. This large container with a lid from Amazon works great!
Add the different cuts of pork to the brine, making sure that the meat is fully submerged. Set the bowl or container aside in the fridge for up to 12 hours.
NOTE: How you brine different meats together will entirely depend on the types of meat that need to be brined â€“ make sure you do your research and only match meats together that will brine well and at a similar pace together for the best success.
You can brine different meats together without any problems, as long as you do your research and make certain that the meats that you have chosen to brine together will actually work well together.
When you are choosing the meats that you will brine together, be sure that they will brine at the same pace and will not be harmful in any way to each other when it comes to hygiene and bacteria.
So now that you know that you can brine different meats together make the perfect match of meats and get brining!
Wondering if you can mix different kefir grains together? Find out in my article here!
If you are trying to heal your gut naturally, fermented foods might be the answer. There is a diverse range of fermented foods available out there and you might be wondering which fermented food will...
Kimchi is the national food of South Korea. Almost every household in Korea has this spicy fermented vegetable dish stored in their kitchens. It is becoming popular in the West and is now available...