I have been busy recently doing some research into brining meats. This new mania started out with an experiment on brining wild game. Some of the most well known brined meats are corn beef and pastrami. For lean meats such as pork and venison it can add a lot of juiciness to the cut of meat.
Ok... So just what is the difference between brining and marinating? Both are a wet precooking process; each method has it's special usage. So I counted off the various items that are needed for each method. In the end it looks like a question of Ph whether you use an Acid or a Base.
Brines versus Marinades
Is the process of soaking meat in a saline solution. The brine solution permeates throughout the meat to enhance moisture. Other spices can be added to the saline solution to impart flavor. Whether or not the spices impart any significant flavor is debated by some. The primary ingredients used for a brine are water, salt, sugar, and spices.
Is the process of soaking meat in an acidic solution, typically a vinegar and oil solution. Other spices are usually added to the solution to impart flavor. The meat is tenderized by the acid breaking down the cell structure of the meat. The primary ingredients used for a marinade are an acidic liquid, oil, sugar, and salt.