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Benefits of brining?

boblloyd91

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Hi, I've brined pork roasts twice now, and have some questions: First, what are the actual benefits of brining? How would a pork roast that has been brined be better than one that isn't? I ask because several months ago I brined three roasts for about two days, with some of the meats losing its normal color and taking on a brown color. When I smoked them, they were bland and tasteless, and required a good deal of sauce to taste like something. I don't know if the brining caused that, maybe I did it wrong. Thoughts?
 

jeffinn

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Hi, I've brined pork roasts twice now, and have some questions: First, what are the actual benefits of brining? How would a pork roast that has been brined be better than one that isn't? I ask because several months ago I brined three roasts for about two days, with some of the meats losing its normal color and taking on a brown color. When I smoked them, they were bland and tasteless, and required a good deal of sauce to taste like something. I don't know if the brining caused that, maybe I did it wrong. Thoughts?
Its a matter of personal preference. I recently did a did by side comparison with 6 of our friends and two pork butts. One was injected and one was brined overnight. Both were placed in the same smoker and smoked for the same smount of time. The pork was then pulled and placed in separate trays. Folks tasted pork from each tray and picked the one they liked best. All of them picked the injected pork as being "better".
Lots of folks here brine their pork and swear by it but for me it didnt bring anything extra to the pork in terms of flavor or moistness.
What did you use for your brine?
Pork is pretty flavorful all by itself so it seems odd that yours were bland and tasteless. How long did you smoke them for?
A little more info might be helpful in determining where you went wrong.
 

chipmanbbq

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Brining essentially allows different cuts of meat to absorb salt and extra moisture. That being said, I believe your pork roast problem was because you brined for too long. Two days is way too long. Try ~12 hours next time and see how you like it.
 

SmokinAl

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What kind of spices did you use in your brine.

The salt will pull the spices into the meat & will flavor it accordingly.

Al
 
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chef jimmyj

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Brine Seafood in 30 minutes. Brine Chicken in a couple hours to overnight, sure. But considering Brine Curing a Pork Loin takes WEEKS for the Salt to penetrate you are not going to get much effect brining Pork a short time. The only way to increase the brine speed is to use A LOT of salt and then you have to soak it to remove some and let things equalize. Injection is a much faster method to get whatever in Pork or Beef but then you need to make sure your smoke goes flawlessly. If the smoker or fire dies, smoking injected meat can lead to safety issues...JJ
 

westby

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Vinegar may have been your problem - along with the meat brining too long. Basic brine is 1 gallon water, 1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar. I also add about 1/2 cup of my homemade rub.
 

chipmanbbq

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I agree with the vinegar comment. It will actually "cook" your meat which is probably what gave you the brown color. Leave it out next time.  
 

dwdunlap

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 If the smoker or fire dies, smoking injected meat can lead to safety issues...JJ
Please expand. Still learning...

David Dunlap
 

chef jimmyj

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Hello David. There is very likely some amount of Bacteria on the surface of meat, but otherwise the interior is sterile. When we Inject meat or punch holes for garlic, herbs or whatever, some of that Bacteria will get pushed into the meat. The bugs are in a Happly Place with plenty of food and moisture. As we Smoke low and slow, the temp rises slowly, the bacteria get happy and start to multiply. Now this is not a problem as the smoker will keep heating/cooking the meat and everything is killed...BUT...Fall asleep and neglect the fire, or have something go wrong with the smoker and that meat stops heating and the meat and Bacteria will spend untold hours in the Temp Happy Zone, 80 to 100°F. The Bacteria grow unchecked and as they do give off Toxin that can be Deadly. So IF you Inject meat, care needs to be taken to make sure the cook goes smoothly...JJ
 

rybro

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I brine a lot of pork chops, especially being from a pig state like Iowa 
. From my personal experience, you never really want to brine more than 24 hours. The meat can get too salty and really doesn't penetrate much more. Like it was stated before, vinager is most likely the suspect of the color change. You have to be pretty accurate when trying to add vinager to a brine, needs to be balanced well. I would recommend just doing a basic salt and water brine. Make sure the meat is fully covered, place a plate or somethign on top to keep it under the water. My rule of thumb is 1 cup of salt per gallong of water. Maybe some of my experience helped.
 

GaryHibbert

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Just me saying but brining smaller cuts like pork chops for 24 hours makes a HUGE difference. Until I started brining my chops, they were always dry---not anymore.

Like JJ said injecting butt and roasts is the better way to go.

Gary
 
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