When I brine proteins I usually brine them for 24 hours, unless the size of the protein dictates a shorter or longer brine time. After brining, I rinse the protein under fresh running water, blot it dry with paper towels, and allow it to completely air dry in the refrigerator, usually overnight.
This does a couple of things. First, it allows the salt in the protein to reach a point of equilibrium within the protein. Second, by thoroughly air drying, the skin or outside of the meat, will develop a better maillard reaction, it caramelizes better.
This is why brining takes planning, I can't just decide at 3:30 in the afternoon that I am going to make brined arctic char, for dinner that same night.
However, the benefits more than outweigh the inconvenience because the meat always comes out moist, tender and juicy which is the whole point of brining in the first place.
Notice the flesh is opaque. It will lose that opaque look and revert back to its natural color once the salt in the fish achieves equilibrium. This is why the air drying step is so important.
You can see that the flesh is already recovering its natural look.
Fish and seafood are delicate and easily overcooked. When seafood is overcooked it dries out and takes on a rubbery texture. This is especially true of shellfish. Learning how to brine will help your seafood stay moist and flavorful. This fish brine is perfect for salmon and shellfish, or any fatty seafood.
Tags: fish brine, how to brine