Brand new member with a question...

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by gadawgsr1, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. Good day all! I am so looking forward to learning some new things from you folks here at SMF. This is indeed my first post and my first visit. I am in my infancy when it comes to smokin meat so be easy on me. I am a quick learner though.

    I have smoked meat (pork ribs) a total of 1 time and it was a couple of weeks ago. While the ribs turned our great, I am hoping to find some ways to expand my knowledge. After doing some research on the web, I have some questions I hope to have answered here.

    First of all, to soak in a brine or not to brine before cooking? Secondly, does brown sugar or sugar of any kind in the brine or any other mix make the meat sweet or does it act as an offset to the salt? What purpose does it really serve? I have to admit I don't want my meat sweet. I like a really good robust smoked flavor. I want to taste meat not candy... I think you get the picture. To this point I have only used hickory chips in my propane upright cooker (which is also brand new) and I understand mesquite yields a stronger smoked flavor (some say it is best on beef).

    The reason for my question about soaking the meat in a brine first is because the first set of ribs I smoked I simply washed and rubbed them with a Cajun season and tossed them in the smoker. They turned out great. I still need to work on my ability to keep the temp where I want it.

    Sorry to be so long winded but I have many questions... More to come. Oh and thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. deer meat

    deer meat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Welcome, If you are talking about brining ribs I would say no, but if it were chicken or turkey for example then brining yes.

    Maybe someone on here has tried to brine ribs. There should be more answers along any time now.

    again welcome to SMF
     
  3. chris_harper

    chris_harper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    first, welcome to SMF. head on over to roll call, where everyone will see your "newbie" thread.

    i only brine poultry. beef and pork simply don't need it. i use jeff's rub on everything i smoke. the best way to do it, imho, is to slather it with plain ol' yellow mustard, then cover in the rub. wrap it in plastic wrap and into the fridge for an overnight stay. next morning, get the meat out (so it can get to room temp) and get the smoker to temp. place the meat in there, and get down to business. i don't know what putting sugar in the brine does for it. i use sugar in the rub, it helps to create the "bark", or crust, we love. i am sure someone that knows more about brining will be along shortly.
     
  4. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    NY
    Welcome to SMF. I always brine all my poultry. It draws so much moisture into the meat that for me it is hard to have it any other way. Besides the water the salt in the solution is what draws the moisture into the meat. The sugar may add to this, I am not sure, I know it changes boiling temp but not sure how it affects the osmosis. The sugar as well as anything else you add to a brine does get drawn into the meat along with water. I wouldn;t say it necessarily sweetens the meat, it just adds flavor. My brines usually have brown sugar and maple syrup which are sweet as well as the salt, and orange juice (tart) to add more flavor.

    Everyone's tastes are so different the best way is to experiment and see what you and your family like.

    Good luck with it.
     
  5. kew_el_steve

    kew_el_steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    You really should sign up for the FREE 5-day E-course. It'll get you "on-center" with smoking meat and then you can explore the tangents like brining, marinating, injecting, searing, other stuff like vegetables, vacuum sealing, etc. It really is informative.

    Sorry, forgot about fatties and ABT's.
     
  6. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF, the smokin' capital of the net. If you've got questions, we probably have more than enough answers. Have a good weekend.
     
  7. smokin for life

    smokin for life Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I only brine poultry, I will some times brine thick pork chops if I'm going to grill them. Oh yea... I'm sorry, "Welcome to the SMF" I know you'll like it here, so many helpful people.
     
  8. hawgheaven

    hawgheaven Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome aboard the SMF! [​IMG]

    I only brine poultry and fish, no need to do pork and beef IMHO...

    Have fun!
     
  9. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Welcome Again

    As for your questions there can be many right answers depending on what your going for. There is no one right way to cook - even if it is on a smoker! That being said I will try to answer you questions based on my experiances.

    First of all, to soak in a brine or not to brine before cooking?

    I highly recommend bring chicken. t makes the meat moist, tender and juicey. I also recommend you crank up the heat to sy 300 to 375 whatever you can handle on your smoker. Poultry doesn't gain anything from a long slow smoke except to expose it longer at dangerously low temperatures.

    Here's a little page I did to help explain how I do poutry:
    http://www.deejayssmokepit.net/Poultry.htm

    and one on brining:
    http://www.deejayssmokepit.net/Brining.htm

    Pork can also benefit from brining. Chops are especially good brined and take on a flavor closer to ham. I would suggest trying a few with and without the bring so you can see what the difference is. It's a nice change from time to time. The difference between a pork tenderloin and a Canadian or Buckboard bacon is a brine mixture. Some brines are wet and some are dry.

    Secondly, does brown sugar or sugar of any kind in the brine or any other mix make the meat sweet or does it act as an offset to the salt? What purpose does it really serve?

    The addition of some sugar is primarily to offset the harshness of the salt however if you add more than say 1/2 cup per gallon of water you will begin to go beyond the balancing act between salt and sugar and begin to add flavoring to the mix. This is not necessarily a bad thing like maple syrup flavoring bacon for example. It depends on what your going for.

    To this point I have only used hickory chips in my propane upright cooker (which is also brand new) and I understand mesquite yields a stronger smoked flavor (some say it is best on beef).
    I love hickory and it's plentful up here. I really like mesquite on chicken and beef but I like to mix it with something milder like apple, pear, or guava. It can easily become over powering so again try it with and without and you decide what you like best. Some people hate it! Go figure?

    The reason for my question about soaking the meat in a brine first is because the first set of ribs I smoked I simply washed and rubbed them with a Cajun season and tossed them in the smoker. They turned out great.

    IMHO the best place to go with ribs is Jeff's Naked Rib Rub Recipe and BBQ Sauce! It's really great stuff and you can't easily adapt it to suit you taste or to whatever your smoking. The rub is so rich it makes it's own sauce and the sauce can be added to alot of things besides smoked meats. I like t add it to my Italian salad dressing for a kind of SouthWestern style salad.
    http://www.smoking-meat.com/jeffs-na...ub-recipe.html

    I can't remember if it was mentioned eariler but

    Download Jeff's FREE 5 day Smoking Basics eCourse:

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/mod...ewarticle&id=3

    It'll go through the basics and get you off on the right foot!

    then subscribe to Jeff’s FREE Smoking Meat newsletter:
    http://www.smoking-meat.com/subscribe.html


    Second download and read Jeff's FREE How To Smoke Meat PDF it's also free and full of great information to get you going!
    http://www.smoking-meat.com/how-to-smoke-meat.pdf


    I still need to work on my ability to keep the temp where I want it. This will come with practice! Give youself time and you will feel right at home with your smoker!

    Hope this helps! ENjoy your new toy!
     

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