Here's another experiment I wanted to try, in order to find out the difference in look and taste between brined/cured pork and unbrined pork. I had read that if you brined pork with cure, the end result would be a more "hammy" taste. At Costco, I found a great looking four-pack of pork sirloin tip roasts on sale ($2.00 off the marked price at the register). Each piece weighed approximately two pounds. I put two pieces in the brine (with Morton Tenderquick) and injected them and left them for a day and a half and left the other two pieces untouched. After thoroughly rinsing and drying the brined pieces, I placed them on a tray next to the untouched pieces and proceeded to put a light rub onto everything. At 225-degrees in the MES with a mix of charcoal and hickory and water in the tray, it took 116 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 150-degrees. At this point, I wrapped each piece in foil and towels and into the cooler they went for another hour to settle. When I cut into each piece, they were very juicy and tender. The brined pieces were definitely more pink in color and "hammy" tasting, but they were also a little too salty for my taste. The next time I attempt this experiment, I will leave the pieces in brine/cure for less time and, after brining, I will leave the pieces in fresh water for an hour or more to try to extract more of the salt from the pieces.
Four-pack of Pork Sirloin Tip Roast from Costco.
Two pieces in brine with TQ (also injected).
The piece on the left is plain/unbrined with rub. The piece on the right is brined/cured with rub.
This is the plain/unbrined piece, fully smoked.
This is the brined/cured piece, fully smoked.
This is the plain/unbrined piece, finished and cut.
This is the brined/cured piece, finished and cut.
The brined/cured slice is on the left (pink color and "hammy" taste). The plain/unbrined slice is on the right (white).