Originally Posted by BlueWhisper
Once I brined a pork roast with some aromatics like cardamom and coriander, and it turned out tasting like a giant frankfurter.
If the taste reminded you of a frankfurter, that would be off-putting, unless it was your intention and you expected it, of course...assuming this was not your intent, lesson learned, and we learn what we do or do not like by trying new things.
Some spices just don't go well with certain preparations or meats, while others can make it shine. Keep your ingredients simple and basic if you want to experiment with a brine or dry rub. Taste and smell the blend as you build it, before settling on trying it...this will tell you much about the blend, and you can modify it to suit your preference. I never use a spice blend without smelling and tasting it first, bearing in mind the mingling of flavors from meat and smoke.
Realizing the subtle flavor characteristics, some spice blends may not suit your taste for a particular cut/species of smoked meat (or a specific type of wood) while it may give a better match for char-grilling. That same blend may be too bland when grilled over a gas flame where additional layers of flavor and aroma may be to your liking, as an example. So, if you really want to build a specific flavor profile, you need to consider the cooking method, type of (or lack of) smoke, and any additional flavors you will get from the fuel source, such as hardwood lump or charcoal. When grilling, I stay away from gas, mostly due to the lack of additional flavor potential.
I don't brine often...usually it's a spur of the moment situation where my previously frozen meat has thawed too early or will thaw too late for my original planned cooking date, which isn't normal for me...but when I do brine it is generally to extend the refrigerated life of the meat, and I try to follow a flavor profile which will enhance my final seasoning (dry rub and/or finishing sauce [which I also rarely use]) and intended cooking method. As for use of brines for enhanced moisture retention in the pork, yes it does help to some degree, but I noticed this mostly with pork that was not previously enhanced (not cryovac packed). I have refined my smoking method just to give me that extra assurance for moisture retention, and that is what I use faithfully now.