I brined chicken breasts overnight. When I grilled them they were too salty to eat. Any suggestions for the ones I brined and froze?

4 Answers 4


When you go to cook them, defrost them by the cold, moving water method, unwrapped. Give them at least a half hour or so soaking in clear, cold water. That should take care of it.


How did you brine them? What you did is likely the problem:

  • Was the brine solution too strong?
  • Did they spend too long in the brine?
  • Was there enough solution for the amount of meat?
  • Was it water-injected meat?

Time and concentration go hand in hand and whatever the concentration you want at least 4 hours. I would suggest:

  • 10% brine solution for a quick 5 hour brine
  • 7% for 8 hours
  • 5% for 10 hours

I'd also suggest a 3:1 ratio of brine solution to meat. So that said, for 1kg of chicken breasts, I would:

  • Dissolve ~200g salt in 1 litre of boiling water
  • Add that to 2 litres of iced water
  • Wait for it to cool and equalise and then add the chicken and leave in the fridge for 8 hours.

I have noticed that with cheap meat that it's either already lightly brined or has had water forcibly injected into it (you'll notice when you cook it). It's a horrible practice that makes meat appear weightier. Anyway, more water in the meat will affect how readily salt enters and if it's already brined, you might want a lighter brine (or longer time to ensure it's well equalised).

  • Consider adding a similar amount of sugar (compared to salt) to the brining mixture. I believe the sugar will both offset the salt flavor and help to change the uptake of salt into the chicken. As stated by Oli, the salt concentration and brining time will likewise affect the final taste (and texture) significantly.
    – user25333
    Sep 14, 2014 at 6:21

If Jolenealaska's suggestion doesn't bring them back to palatability on its own ... consider using the chicken breasts in a pot pie, casserole, soup, white chili, or other dish that would typically require additional seasoning.

Then just don't add whatever salt that the recipe might call for but instead season to taste.


If you wanted to just go straight to this route, you might consider poaching the chicken, and reserving the liquid for use in cooking rice or to start a broth for soup. Again, you'll need to adjust any other seasonings to compensate.


For your already brined chicken that is too salty, just soak in cold water for 1 hour. This will pull out much of the salt, and because the flesh has lots of salt in it, osmosis will draw water into the chicken and make it even more moist. Next time use much less salt and use some sugar. I use 1/4 cup coarse salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, in 3 litres (quarts ish) of water. After 24 hours in the fridge, it is not blatantly salty. Here is a link that describes just how much salt actually gets into the chicken. http://www.salon.com/2010/03/23/brining_meats_sodium_add_calculation/ I think that you may actually consume LESS salt if the chicken is brined, than if you add salt to taste after the un-brined chicken is cooked. This is anecdotal evidence, so take it with a..... grain of salt.... hee hee.

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