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to brine or not to brine

Sun Devil BrettSun Devil Brett Posts: 440
edited 8:09AM in EggHead Forum
Good morning everbody. Wanted to get your thoughts on brining. We were watching the food network this a.m. and a cook had brined her pork chops for three days. They looked good when they came off but I don't know. Is it worth it? I've not had any complaints of dry meat coming off the egg. Just wondering. Thanks for any input, have a good day, Brett


  • Mike in AbitaMike in Abita Posts: 3,302
    Most of my cooks are based on ideas that have inspired me.

    If this inspired you then I say go for it. Play around with your brining ingredients and see how it tastes. I have only brined a turkey, and it was good IMO.
  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    Once you brine, you will always brine. It is totally worth the effort! Chops, and especially chicken. Two parts salt, one part sugar. You can add other flavors as well...pickling spice, cajun, whatever....use your imagination. Whole chicken, brine for up to 3 Hours, chops brine for one hour, two tops. (Three days is for a corned beef brisket. This meat will actually be cured, not brined.)
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit for BRISKET HELP
  • I was watching the same show. Just happens that I was thinking of ideas for the pork chops. I will be trying the brine idea, I hope I do not regret it.
  • run4jcrun4jc Posts: 107
    I never brine to keep food moist - it's purely a flavor thing. Chicken and turkey brined in salt and sugar water - maybe some pepper - will absorb some of the salt flavoring and just plain taste better. I'm brining a batch of wings right now.
  • FiretruckFiretruck Posts: 2,678
    I tend to agree with run4jc the chicken and turkey is awsome brined.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428

    I believe in brining chops, but I don't think I've ever gone 3 days....then you are approaching "curing". Anyway, try brining for 2 or 3 hours, rinse, then rest in the fridge an hour or so. Then you can adjust your times if needed. A good starter solution is:

    1 quart of water
    3 tablespoons of Morton's kosher salt
    2 tablespoons of sugar

    Seasonings like pepper, garlic powder, sage, lemon slices, onion slices, fresh herbs etc. are optional. A few ounces of flavored vinegar, wine, apple juice or even beer can be added as well.


    There is a flavor brine page on my cookin' site with some background and a couple more recipes.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • OKCeggerOKCegger Posts: 38
    As I write this, I am brining baked potatoes for my meal tonight. Can't wait. :P
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,206
    Ditto what thirdeye says. Several days of brining seems more like pickling the meat, than just enhancing it with some extra juiciness and flavor.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428

    Here are some chops I cured in the buckboard for 48 hours (I realize this is stronger stuff than a flavor brine), but anyway, they come out like a smoked ham steak.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,206
    Your earlier posts on the Buckboard cures started me thinking about making my own bacon, etc. Now, I've just started reading "Charcuterie," and am determined to find some fresh pork belly and try to make my own bacon.

    As a side note, I recently ate at a fine place in Bloomington,IN, called "Smokin' Jack's Rib Shack." It was a very busy place. The ribs were, on the whole, very good, but tasted like ham. Not bad, but odd. I can only suppose that they had been rubbed well in advance, so enough would be ready.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    That is a good book. I wrote a book review for TCK back in '06. Later, AZRP sent me a taped segment of a cooking show with one of the authors as the guest. I believe they did the belly bacon.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,275
    I smoked a bone in turkey breast Thursday and did not brine. We usually brine for 8-12 hours. Even though we did everything else the same, the bird was noticeably not as juicy nor tender as our usual result.

    Just started brining pork chops this year and LOVED them. I won't go back to my old method.

    We did a slight variation on a brine for pork chops found in the recipe section of this forum.
    2 cups Water
    1/4 cup Salt
    3/4 cup Sugar turbinado or brown
    2 cup Apple juice
    2 tablespoon Pork rub Billy Bones Competition

    We let them soak for 4 hours and they were so tender, tasty, and juicy. I can't see needing 2 or 3 days for chops although I do have a recipe that calls for brining a turkey for 48 hours.
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
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