Spicy Chicken Brine (5 Easy Steps for Succulent Chicken) 

If you prefer a little bit of a spicy kick to your chicken, a spicy brine could be your answer!

Soaking chicken in brine guarantees juicy, tender meat, crispy skin, and a touch of flavor.

If you’ve never tried to brine before, or usually stick to the basics, this recipe is for you.

Why Brine Chicken?

Chicken, being lean meat, tends to dry out, especially when grilling.

Soaking in a brine helps tenderize the chicken, keeps in moisture, and is a great way of adding extra flavor.

Sometimes we can get distracted and overcook the chicken. If treated in brine, the chicken will still remain tender, juicy, and full of flavor.

The salt in the brine will help dry out the external skin so it will crisp up beautifully when cooking. 

The sugar added to the solution will also help make the skin crispy as it caramelizes while cooking.

Adding some extra herbs and spices is a fabulous way to add a flavor kick to grilled, roasted, or fried chicken wings.

Is there a reason not to brine?

How Is Chicken Brine Made?

To make a brine, the salt, sugar, and flavorings need to be combined in water. Leave it to simmer in a large pot until all ingredients dissolve.

Once it’s cooled back down to room temperature, it’s safe to add the chicken. 

Then just refrigerate the whole lot. 

You can use a whole chicken, chicken pieces, or boneless chicken pieces.

Smaller chicken pieces won’t need as long in the brine solution as a whole chicken. 

For a dry brine, it’s a matter of mixing all the dry ingredients. Apply a light coat of oil, or something similar, and coat the chicken in the dry mix.

Leave overnight in the refrigerator, then rinse off before cooking.

How Long Does It Take To Brine? 

A whole chicken should soak in the brine for at least 8 hours, but no more than 24 hours.

After 24 hours, the meat tends to become too salty and inedible.  

If you aren’t ready to cook when the brine time is up, remove and drain the meat. Store it in a resealable container or zip lock bag.

If using smaller chicken pieces, brining time only needs to be 2-4 hours. 

How to Cook Brined Chicken

After soaking in the brine solution, you can cook the chicken any way you like. Using brine won’t affect the cooking process.

Whichever way you choose, the chicken will be succulent and crispy-skinned every time.

Go easy using a season with salt though, as the chicken will be salty enough.

Spicy Brined Grilled Chicken Recipe

Ingredients for Brine:

  • Water
  • Table or Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper Corns or Ground Black Pepper
  • Brown Sugar
  • Hot Sauce
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper flakes
  • Lemon
  • Cloves Garlic
  • Fresh Rosemary

Ingredients for Chicken:

  • Whole Chicken or Chicken Pieces
  • Butter
  • Dry rub of choice

Method:

Step 1 – Making the Brine 

Pour several cups of boiling water into a large pot or pan.

Add the salt and sugar and stir until it all dissolves.

Top up with cold water to bring to room temperature.

Mix in the hot sauce, lemon juice, and lemon rind.

Stir, then add the remaining brine ingredients to make the spice mixture.

Submerge the chicken and cover.

Refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

Step 2 – Prepping the Chicken

Remove the chicken from the brine mixture and drain it off on a wire rack.

Discard the leftover saltwater solution.

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.

Rub the softened butter all over the chicken skin.

Sprinkle with the light dusting of dry rub, covering all areas.

Step 3 – Preparing the Grill

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, 350°F.

Add wood pellet chips of choice – hickory or pecan work well with chicken, adding a great smoke flavor.

Step 4 – Cooking the Chicken

Smoke the chicken in indirect medium heat.

Cook until golden brown, or until internal temp is 165°F.

Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, in the thickest part of the flesh.

Step 5 – Serving the Chicken

Remove the chicken from the grill.

Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes, to let the internal juices settle.

Cut and serve as desired.

Spicy Brined Grilled Chicken

Soaking chicken in brine guarantees juicy, tender meat, crispy skin, and a touch of flavor. If you've never tried to brine before, or usually stick to the basics, this recipe is for you.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Resting Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq
Servings: 1 servings
Calories: 224kcal
Cost: 7

Ingredients

Ingredients for Brine

  • Water
  • Table or Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper Corns or Ground Black Pepper
  • Brown Sugar
  • Hot Sauce
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper flakes
  • Lemon
  • Cloves Garlic
  • Fresh Rosemary

Ingredients for Chicken

  • Whole Chicken or Chicken Pieces
  • Butter
  • Dry rub of choice

Instructions

Making the Brine

  • Pour several cups of boiling water into a large pot or pan.
  • Add the salt and sugar and stir until it all dissolves.
  • Top up with cold water to bring to room temperature.
  • Mix in the hot sauce, lemon juice, and lemon rind.
  • Stir, then add the remaining brine ingredients to make the spice mixture.
  • Submerge the chicken and cover.
  • Refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

Prepping the Chicken

  • Remove the chicken from the brine mixture and drain it off on a wire rack.
  • Discard the leftover saltwater solution.
  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
  • Rub the softened butter all over the chicken skin.
  • Sprinkle with the light dusting of dry rub, covering all areas.

Preparing the Grill

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, 350°F.
  • Add wood pellet chips of choice – hickory or pecan work well with chicken, adding a great smoke flavor.

Cooking the Chicken

  • Cook the chicken in indirect medium heat.
  • Cook until golden brown, or until internal temp is 165°F.
  • Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, in the thickest part of the flesh.

Serving the Chicken

  • Remove the chicken from the grill.
  • Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes, to let the internal juices settle.
  • Cut and serve as desired.

The chicken carcass makes a great broth base!

Spicy brined chicken is a great way to add some kick to your meal, without being too overpowering and hot. 

As an added bonus, you’ll have chicken that is tender and juicy and sure to be a showstopper!   

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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