Discussion in 'Pork' started by jimmybh, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. jimmybh

    jimmybh Fire Starter

    I bought my first smoker earlier in the year. Thus far I have done a 3 day brine on all my pork butt. Today I am smoking a 9lb butt without the brine. I am very interested in how much difference in moisture, bark and flavor between the two different methods. I have heard argument pro and con for both methods. Enclosed is a photo of most recent brined butt. I will post on upcoming results.

  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Will be interesting what you think.  I do not brine those nor do I inject....don't see the reason to do so.

  3. I'll be watching for your thoughts also. As Kat said I don't see the reason to brine or inject butts either...

    Still like hearing how other people do it even if I have no intentions of doing it myself...
    beeflover likes this.
  4. jimmybh

    jimmybh Fire Starter

    I am waiting for another 30 degrees and then will give my opinion. If the moisture, flavor, and smoke ring are equal to the brine, I won't bother brining anymore.
  5. Sounds good  [​IMG]   I'll be standing by for your official opinion...   [​IMG] [​IMG]   [​IMG]      
  6. jimmybh

    jimmybh Fire Starter

    Pork butt just finished at 195* in 9 hours. It has a nice smoke ring and is nicely moist. The difference from the brined is the flavor. More of the pork flavor comes through without the brine. The brine contains dark beer, dark brown sugar, pickling salt, apple cider vinegar, and ground pepper corn. I have yet to restore the  expelled juices and to add a vinegar based finishing sauce. I can enjoy it either way at this point, but will have more opinion after juices are restored. My wife really likes the natural pork flavor and when time is an issue I would cut out the three day brine. [​IMG][​IMG]

  7. No brine for me, ever. 
  8. I brine butts because the last one I did SWMBO said it was the best BBQ she's ever had. With that comment I think I've found what she likes. She's happy means I get to cook more. Play to your audience.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  9. jimmybh

    jimmybh Fire Starter

    Well, I restored the drippings, applied the finishing sauce and my final decision is that I like the brine method better and will continue that method. There is something in the brine that I really like. The flavor from the dark beer, vinegar, and brown sugar lingers on after the brine and smoke.

    Not Brined

  10. Nice looking butts  [​IMG]   & even though I don't brine mine thanks for the comparison  [​IMG]
  11. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for the effort too.  Looks like the one that was not brined had better bark tho.  Just from looking at the q-view.  But...cook to your family's tastes.  That is what matters.

  12. I don't brine either but I do appreciate the comparison!
  13. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good! There must be something to it. I never injected butts until this past 4th of july. I was blown away and will inject from now on.
  14. hmmm...I don't brine either, but maybe I'll try it one day. My wife gets frustrated that I change it every time (have injected once, slathered in mustard a few times, different woods, etc), but I'm trying to find the "magical" one, lol. I do like the natural flavor but may try out a brine next time.

    Thanks for posting this!
  15. jimmybh

    jimmybh Fire Starter

    Thanks for all the replies and opinions. [​IMG]
  16. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I don't brine but yours sure looks good
  17. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fixed it for ya.  [​IMG]
  18. Nice comparison test - thanks for posting!
  19. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice comparison. Pork butts are very versatile. So with the inclusion of the pickling salts, are you trying to get a "hammy" or "pastrami" like flavor from the butt?
  20. jimmybh

    jimmybh Fire Starter

    The salt for the brine does not leave a lot of salty flavor. It helps to maintain the moisture in the butt. I have been smoking for about 6 months and my pulled pork is actually my first taste of pulled pork, so I really do not have a lot of flavor experience to draw upon. The dark beer also adds a nice dimension of flavor. I just finished a pork sandwich with home made N.C. BB sauce, really good. Both methods yielded some really good tasty pork. I am not certain, but the brine may have caused the pork to fall apart more easily. I plan to experiment more with both methods since there are so many factors involved.[​IMG]

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