Traditional recipes

Master Buttermilk Brine

Master Buttermilk Brine

This recipe makes enough brine for one 3½–4-pound chicken or 4 pounds of chicken pieces.


  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Whole chicken and/or chicken pieces

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine buttermilk, salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain before using.


  • Add 4 teaspoons curry powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, and 2 teaspoons ground turmeric.


  • Add 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo.


  • Add 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons Tabasco, and 2 teaspoons celery seeds.


  • Add 2 thinly sliced lemons, 4 finely grated garlic cloves, and 2 cups chopped fresh dill.

Reviews SectionI tried the curry version of this brine, and it turned out quite lovely. Roasted my chicken as per Samin Nosrat's buttermilk-brined recipe. I then used the leftover brine in a stir-fry for an awesome, super easy curry!atimidtempestSacramento, CA06/08/20What makes them racist? and this recipe is great.I don't make recipes from racistsAlexandra RangelGerbil, KY05/12/20

A Crowd Pleaser: Buttermilk Brined Beer Can Chicken

Beer, chicken, and the Summit Charcoal grill. What better combination can you ask for? Anytime these words are used together it is sure to be a good time with great food. Right now we are going to look at a great tasting, easy dish: Buttermilk Brined Beer Can Chicken.

This recipe combines a number of flavors including garlic cloves, buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, beer and much more. Brining the chicken will add flavor and ensure the chicken remains tender and juicy throughout the cooking process. The Gourmet BBQ System Poultry Roaster allows the chicken to soak up all of that great flavor from the brine while still leaving plenty of room on the perimeter of your grill for anything else you desire with your meal.

Check out the recipe below and get your friends and family together for a day filled with a great grill, and great fun!

What are some of your favorite ways to make Beer Can Chicken?

Buttermilk Brined Beer Can Chicken
by Jamie Purviance

Prep time: 10 minutes
Brining Time: 12 to 24 Hours
Grilling time: 1¼ to 1½ hours
Special equipment: Gourmet BBQ System&trade Poultry Roaster
Serves: 4 to 6 servings


6 cups low fat buttermilk
8 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
¼ cup coarse salt
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 Turkish bay leaves, crumbled

1 whole chicken, about 4½ pounds, giblets and any excess fat removed
½ cup beer


1. In a large bowl or large lipped measuring cup, combine the brine ingredients. Place the chicken in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag with head cavity down and the leg cavity up toward the bag&rsquos opening. Pour the brine into the bag, making sure to fill the chicken&rsquos cavity so all the brine will fit. (If your chicken is bigger than 4½ pounds, you may need to use a larger bag.) Press the air out of the bag, seal tightly, and set in a bowl to guard against leakage. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours, turning the bag once or twice, if possible.

2. Remove the circular Gourmet BBQ System&trade grate insert, and prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350°F to 450°F).

3. Place the poultry insert on a rimmed baking sheet for ease of transport. Remove the chicken from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the chicken dry inside and out, with paper towels. Pour the beer into the center cup of the poultry roaster. Place the chicken, leg cavity-side down, wings-up, on the center cup so it sits firmly. Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken&rsquos back.

4. Transfer the poultry roaster to the grill and set it securely in the grate with the back of the bird facing the flames. Grill over indirect medium heat with the lid closed. At the halfway point, put on BBQ mitts and swivel the roaster 180 degrees to ensure even grilling. Cover the neck and wings with foil if they begin to darken. After 1¼ to 1½ hours, insert an instant-read thermometer to the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone) to check for doneness (160˚ to 165°F). Carefully remove the poultry roaster from the grill and set on a clean rimmed baking sheet. Let the chicken rest 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully lift the chicken from the roaster and cut into serving pieces.

© 2016 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from The Weber® Summit&trade Charcoal Grill Cookbook. Used with permission.

How to Smoke Chicken Wings

What I love about smoking chicken wings is you can do it on any grill you have. Whether it’s an electric smoker, a kettle, gas grill, or a pellet smoker, they all get the job done. You just need a little smoke.

Because wings are, well, small, they don’t take long at all to cook. So the smoke flavor won’t be intense. But it is good.

I like to cook my wings over a medium-hot fire, mainly because I love a good crispy skin. The trick though, is to ignore all of the rules you know about grilling. Because if you are cooking wings over a hot fire, you are going to have to check on your wings and make sure they aren’t setting themselves ablaze.

I will put them in with the meatier side down and close the lid. Then when I think they are ready to turn, I give them a gentle nudge. If the skin sticks, I don’t flip. When they are ready, I will usually dance them around the grill a bit, moving the ones from the back to the front and vice versa.

If you are using an electric smoker or pellet smoker, pop the chicken in and let it do its magic. I have always had great success with crisp skin in my electric smoker so no need to do anything after they have temped. If you feel like they could be better, pop them on a hot grill and get a little char on the skin.

Can you smoke on a gas grill?

Yep. And it’s don’t tell anyone, but it’s super easy. All you have to do is build a smoker packet (or use a smoker box).

For these wings, I turned a traditional gas grill into the perfect smoker by using a little pro trick. Making a smoke box out of aluminum foil to infuse that smoky flavor even with a gas grill.

To build a smoker packet, I laid down a piece of aluminum foil and placed a handful of dry chips in the center, then I wrapped it, much like you would a burrito, fold the edges over and pinch the ends shut, leaving a pocket where air, or in this case smoke, could escape. Toss that baby on the grill and let it sit for 20 minutes and tell me a gas grill can’t smoke.

Want more kicking wing inspiration? Try some of my favorite recipes

Can I use my Buttermilk Brine after?

Quick, gettin ready to throw a pack of boneless chicken breasts on the smoker that have been in a bomb buttermilk brine for 36 hrs. Smells awesome, but id love to use it for some other part of my mid-week short smoke!

Be back in ten, gotta get these girls in the smoker!


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster

Alecia, afternoon. I think the bad stuff in chicken would carry over and contaminate the next food group. I have heard of folks using an acidic marinade for pork and then cooking it down for a sauce. using a high temp for the reduction to kill stuff. Of course the marinade was refered the entire time. and reduced for that pork meal.

Holding a milk based sauce over time scares me, but then I don't know squat about it. I wouldn't do it unless a food expert lined out the critical elements to it's saving, and it's specific uses.

Maybe if you heated it in a double boiler to 185 for an hour or two immediately after removing the chicken, to pasteurize it, MAYBE it would be safe.

Second thoughts. Send me your e-mail and I will pay-pal you the cost of a new quart of buttermilk. I'd lose sleep at night if you weren't here to post your recipes and Q-Views.

Rotisserie Chicken Brine

Brining chicken before cooking it is a great idea, especially when grilling whole chicken. When cooking a whole chicken you are cooking a variety of parts. Not only are you cooking light and dark meat, but you’re also cooking the wings, breast and more. Everything on the chicken cooks at different times, so the brine maintains juiciness while it cooks, and it keeps things juicy even when they’re done and you’re waiting for the other areas of the chicken to reach temperature.

The buttermilk in this recipe is truly the secret ingredient. Buttermilk is acidic, so it acts as a tenderizer and will help the meat become nice and tender before it is cooked. It also has a good amount of fat in it as well which adds flavor to the chicken. When you combine the buttermilk, salt, and seasonings together they make a perfect brining mixture for the chicken.

Here’s what you’ll need for the chicken brine (exact measurements provided in the recipe card below):

  • Buttermilk
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Celery Seeds
  • Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients for the brine in a zip-top bag and massage to combine. Add your whole chicken to the brine and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the chicken to brine for 4-12 hours.

In Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, Samin recommends Diamond Crystal kosher salt, and she shares one reason why in this snippet from her book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. I cannot find Diamond Crystal salt at my grocery, so I order here on amazon.

Excerpt and image from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Chicken in Diamond Kosher Salt

Buttermilk Grilled Chicken

  • alcohol-free
  • egg-free
  • low-carb
  • fish-free
  • peanut-free
  • shellfish-free
  • pork-free
  • gluten-free
  • wheat-free
  • soy-free
  • tree-nut-free
  • red-meat-free
  • no-oil-added
  • Calories 334
  • Fat 18.9 g (29.0%)
  • Saturated 5.6 g (28.1%)
  • Carbs 15.2 g (5.1%)
  • Fiber 0.6 g (2.4%)
  • Sugars 13.1 g
  • Protein 25.3 g (50.6%)
  • Sodium 510.1 mg (21.3%)


freshly squeezed lemon juice

coarsely ground black pepper

bone-in chicken (preferably 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks, about 2 pounds total)


Whisk the buttermilk, sugar, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes together in a large bowl or resealable plastic container.

Add the chicken, making sure each piece is submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

Light one half of a gas grill to medium-high heat (about 375°F). Alternatively, prepare a chimney's worth of charcoal and fill one half of a charcoal grill with lit charcoal. Cover the grill and heat for 20 minutes while you prepare the chicken.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. When the grills is ready, place the chicken on the unlit side of the grill. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken, cover, and cook for 20 minutes more. Check the chicken for doneness it should register at least 165°F in the thickest piece. Grill for 10 minutes more if needed.

Move the cooked chicken to the lit section of the grill and grill until the skin is crisp and charred, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a serving platter and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The marinated chicken can be stored in the refrigerator overnight.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Meghan is the Food Editor for Kitchn's Skills content. She's a master of everyday baking, family cooking, and harnessing good light. Meghan approaches food with an eye towards budgeting — both time and money — and having fun. Meghan has a baking and pastry degree, and spent the first 10 years of her career as part of Alton Brown's culinary team. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about food and family called Didn't I Just Feed You.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 turkey (18 to 20 pounds), rinsed, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver reserved for stuffing, if desired
  • 3 quarts buttermilk
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme

Bring 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool 5 minutes.

Line a 5-gallon container with a large brining bag. Place turkey in bag with 4 quarts water, salt mixture, buttermilk, onions, garlic, and thyme tie bag. (If turkey is not submerged, weight it down with a plate.) Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.

Remove turkey from brine discard brine. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tie turkey legs and tuck wing tips under. Transfer to a large roasting pan fitted with a rack. Place in oven, legs first, if oven permits. Roast 45 minutes, then lower temperature to 325 degrees and roast, rotating and basting about every 30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Let stand at least 30 minutes before carving.

Buttermilk brine?

I do a buttermilk brined chicken wings, and have posted the recipe technique here somewhere, not sure where to find it since the software change.

I did a search and it comes up, if I wasnt @ work and busy Id post the direct link to the threads. search "buttemilk brine".


Smoking Guru

Since Jim is busy at work, here is the link to his recipe:




Legendary Pitmaster


Smoking Guru

Since Jim is busy at work, here is the link to his recipe:


Epic Pitmaster

I with Rich and Dutch on this one too. I would use the butter milk but not as a brine but then what is it if you just stick the chicken in some liquid and let it soak for a couple of hours. maybe a brine or is a marinade.


Master of the Pit

Since Jim is busy at work, here is the link to his recipe:

I still cant get used to this new layout, no quick click to get the history of threads I may have started make backtracking to link posts, or to find your own recipes a p.i.t.a.

As for the brine it works great(chicken pops with flavor, and juice), just remember to rinse it off before applying your rub.




Smoking Guru

I love chicken and buttermilk, they marry up very well.

I don't like the way the word brine is used. Two types. One for flavor and one for preservation. As long as everyone knows that brine is used for both purposes I have no problem. If people think brine means preservation, things can get dangerous.

As for marinade, does buttermilk have the acid content to consider it a marinade. Dang, I need a beer or I am going to get a terminology headache.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (3 1/2) pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 ½ quarts peanut oil for frying

Toss together chicken pieces, black pepper, salt, paprika, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, white pepper, and cayenne in a large bowl to coat.

Stir in buttermilk until chicken is coated. Refrigerate for 6 hours.

Combine flour, salt, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, white pepper, and onion powder in a large shallow dish.

Remove chicken from the buttermilk and dredge each piece in the seasoned flour. Shake off any excess and transfer to a plate.

Heat peanut oil in a large Dutch oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Add all the chicken to the pan and cook for 10 minutes.

Turn chicken pieces and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Remove chicken from the oil and transfer to a cooling rack set over a paper towel lined baking sheet. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Watch the video: How to Make Buttermilk at Home (December 2021).