Brining a butt?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by dougbennett, May 28, 2008.

  1. dougbennett

    dougbennett Smoke Blower

    So I'm watching the Food Network's BBQ show tonight, and the guy's doing Boston butt. And the first thing he does is brine it. I thought brining was mostly for yardbirds. Anyone here ever brined a butt? Does it make a difference?
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I don't brine butts or briskets but guess to each his own
  3. smokin out the neighbors

    smokin out the neighbors Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I never brined a butt, but the Food Network also told me to smoke ribs for 2 hours in a smoker. Maybe they did it a 350*?
  4. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brine it ifin yer lookin fer a ham type taste. I would not brine it myself. Beginin ta dout the food network some, seems they are gettin alot of no it all no nothins on there. Just my two coppers worth.
  5. dougbennett

    dougbennett Smoke Blower

    .. whose advice I'm not keen on to begin with. He's probably never been near anything but a Big Green Egg anyway! [​IMG]

    Plus, brining with molasses, water and sugar just doesn't SEEM right to me. But I 'cue by instinct and experience, not recipe books and TV shows...
  6. I've never brined a butt before, but I do what I call a steam brine in my smoker for butt and they come out great.

    Basically I use 1 Webber chimney of coals in my basket and put about 1/2 pan of hot heavily salted water (I use the good sea salt) directly on the coals. I usually make a small circle in the coals so the pan fits nice and snug. I also put some fresh herbs in the water from the garden depending on how I feel that day. Parsley, cilantro, oregano, rosemary or thyme. Once the water gets boiling it sort of steams the meat for about an hour or so putting in a slight hint of the herbs, but more importantly adding moisture back to the meat in preparation for the long smoke yet to come. Since the meat doesn't sit in the water it doesn't give it a salty ham taste, but does give it that extra hint of flavor and moisture.
  7. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    FOLKS.........i brine ALL the time, and it does NOT come out like ham. ask smokebuzz. he put it in his top 5 ever butts he's tasted. i also inject with my brine. try it just once..........i have been advocating brining butts on here for a LONG time. i will never ever do a butt withOUT brining.
  8. carpetride

    carpetride Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Would you mine sharing your brine recipe?
  9. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    1/2 jar molasses.....non sulphur kind
    1 cup brown sugar
    3 Tbs Kosher salt
    1 Tbs freshly ground c u m i n
    heat above ingrediants till sugar disovles
    put into a large container
    add two trays of ice
    let come to room temp
    Add meat
    Add cold water until meat is covered

    i also now inject with this same brine.........i also use this brine on my chicken and turkeys
  10. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, Dudes brine does work, not enuff salt to "cure" and give the hammy texture and flavors. as a inject, it would work well and does in his case. i prefer to inject something like it. the only reason i dont brine butts, is so i can pi$$ with him over it.

    Try it!
  11. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The same with Bon Appetit. They screwed with the temps in my recipe, or maybe I hijacked [​IMG] it to keep the competion at bay It was a long time ago.[​IMG]
  12. bbqgoddess

    bbqgoddess Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is great to know, I have been afraid to brine, and I did my first turkey this past weekend and I won't do another turkey without it from now on..I did not know you could use it on a butt....can't wait to try it now..thx for the recipe too..
  13. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do what ya want, but it's not called a brine...more like a marinade. [​IMG]
  14. I'm not in a position to read the rest of the replies tonight, but Alton Brown's pulled pork episode is awesome. No matter how I cook a butt I use the brine and it turns out awesome very time. Water...pickling salt...molasses...and then I add what I like. AWESOME! You can't go wrong brining a butt. It is the best insurance policy.
  15. I agree typically a "brine" calls for at least 1 full cup of salt. That's why I was a bit confused when you said you always brine your butt.

    Here is a sample of a standard brine that I would probably never use on a butt.

  16. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm always up for an experiment if it involves firing up the smoker! Have never brined my butts before smoking them but am intrigued. Will have to try your recipe, Steve.

    If you brine it, would you still use finishing sauce [​IMG]
  17. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    i TOTALLY depends on how much salt each individual WANTS to use.........there is NO set brine recipe............i have found that a full cup, sometimes, in some meats, is WAY to state that it MUST use a full cup of salt is misleading, to say the least...........
  18. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    yes sumo........i do use slofla's finishing sauce.........i don't add it to add moisture........i add it to add flavor of a DIFFERENT sort...........thats what is great about this be able to try different takes on so called..ESTABLISHED recipes, and make them better, to each of our own individuals tastes and requirements............nothing should be wrote in think/believe so, is just being stagnant........imho.........
  19. That's why I said TYPICALLY as not ALL recipes call for a full cup just most of them. [​IMG]
  20. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All the recipes I have seen were 1 cup salt, per gallon. You should use kosher salt or sea salt. I don't think it's the amount of salt, but brining time that makes the difference.

    JMHO though, I'm still learnin'

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