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Brined Pork Loin Results

sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
edited 9:14PM in EggHead Forum
Hey all,[p]Just an update on the loin that I had to take out when I went to Chicago to see the new nephew. It was in the brine for 18 hours total, and that was a mistake by itself. Anyway, I took it out after 18 hours and put a rub on it and wrapped it in plastic wrap. It sat for about a day with the rub on it then I cooked it direct at 325 until the internal was about 160, turning it a couple of times. The meat was pretty good, tender and juicy, but it was definitely salty. I used about 3/4 cup of salt in a gallon of water for the brine, then some other mixed herbs and garlic. What I learned from the first attempt at brining is:[p]1 - Dont start to brine a loin if your sister is due in a few days[p]2 - Brine it for about 10 hours - OR - brine it for longer and use less salt in the brine[p]3 - It is definitely worth trying again as the meat is VERY moist and VERY tender and the brine flavor goes all the way through.[p]Will probably try a loin again and then a chicken or chicken pieces, looking forward to it.[p]Troy


  • BluesnBBQBluesnBBQ Posts: 615
    sprinter,[p]Did you rinse it before you rubbed it? If you don't rinse brined meat (and I mean rinse it well - 5-10 minutes in cold water is usually what I do) it will be salty.
  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    BluesnBBQ,[p]Yeah, I did rinse it, not for 5-10 minutes but several anyway. Maybe not long enough but I still think my problem was from too long a brine in too salty of a solution. Maybe not, others surely know more about this than I do and I'm willing to learn. Overall I'd give the pork loin a 6 out of 10. Still think that Chutney Filled Jelly Roll Loin is the best that I've done to date, thats on tap for this weekend just to get me back in the saddle again. Thanks for the follow up, THOROUGH rinse will be done on the next brine that I do.[p]Troy
  • sprinter,[p] Just out of curiosity, what concentration did you use? I brined some country style ribs (basically, these looked like a shoulder that had been cut into big slices) for well over a day last weekend and had no horrible results. The brine I'm using for pork at the moment goes something like this:[p]1 can (~15oz.) Irish Stout + enough water to make 1 quart total
    1/4 cup cider vinegar
    1/4 cup kosher salt
    1/4 cup sugar (or packed brown sugar, if you like)
    4 (or more) cloves of garlic (sliced)
    1 "star" of anise (optional)
    2 bay leaves[p]Boil for long enough to get flavor out of the garlic, anise and bay leaves (at least several minutes). Cool thoroughly (I let the solution cool for about 15 minutes, then swish a ziploc sandwich bag full of ice around in it until it feels cold). Like I said, I was able to submerge the pork in this stuff for well over a day (in the fridge), then rinsed well (while rubbing the meat with my hands) and dried. Wasn't very salty at all after cooking. Of course, this meat is a lot fattier than what you used so that might affect flavor somewhat.[p]MikeO

  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    MikeO,[p]The recipe was about 3/4 cup of kosher salt, a gallon of water (half in the boil, half added after to help cool and to get the desired quantity of water, then some spices like minced garlic, oregano, thyme, bay leaf(s), and misc. others I cant remember now. I put it on the stove, boiled the salt and water and herbs, then cooled and topped off to the gallon mark. I then put the whole thing in a stock pot, with the loin, and put a plate on top to keep the loin under the brine. It was in the fridge like this for about 18-20 hours. I had tripple the amount of salt as compared to your brine but the concentration may have been about the same as your liquid was less it appears. I also had no sugar in the brine or vinegar, both would have somewhat masked the sodium taste. Oh well, nothing to do but try again, and I shall. Thanks for the input.[p]Troy
  • sprinter,[p] Your problem is the lack of sugar. It is necessary to help reduce the salt taste of the brine. The vinegar doesn't seem to help the saltiness, but does seem to help to tenderize the meat (it is a weak acid, after all). I put a link below that will get you to some good turkey brining information (you may have to click through one front screen to get to the info) that applies just as well to other meat. Don't give up on it![p]MikeO
    [ul][li][url=[ST_rn=if]/getdoc.xp?AN=551034924&CONTEXT=943281945.2143223815&hitnum=1]Turkey Brining FAQ[/url][/ul]
  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    MikeO,[p]Great information, thanks for the link. Looks like the lack of sugar thats the problem. Is is common that the salt to sugar ratio is 1 to 1 or somewhare thereabout? Looks like it in the link that you provided, and in the brine that you made it is as well. Just curious, these ingredients may be the basis for the brine, after that the ingredients are up to your imagination? Thanks for the help, cant wait to try it again.[p]Troy
  • sprinter,[p] Yep, normally 1:1 on the sugar:salt. I normally go with 1 cup of each per gallon of liquid if I'm brining overnight or longer. And the rest is up to you![p]MikeO
  • BluesnBBQBluesnBBQ Posts: 615
    You can use other sweeteners besides sugar. Sometimes I use molasses or honey in my brine.
  • sprinter, when I get home, I will send you the link that Cat sent me. After reading the info, I had a better idea of what takes place and why notable chefs are using brine. The experts suggest a basic brine of 1 cup salt to 1 gallon of water. I did 2 pork loins for 12 hours and they were perfect. I'll holler at you tonight.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    I saw a brine recipe that used no water, but a gallon of apple cider!! Curious about that one. Bet it's good!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
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  • King-O-Coals,[p] While you're at it, send it to me, too. Never hurts to learn a bit more.[p]MikeO
  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    King-O-Coals,[p]I've dug it out of the posts below, if its the same one that was posted to the forum a couple of weeks ago. If not, I'd love to see the one that you have. Thanks,[p]Troy
  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    Sorry, forgot to attach the link, here's the one that I have, actually had it bookmarked too. DUH. KOC, if you have yet more information I'd love to see it.[p]Troy
    [ul][li]Great Article on Brine[/ul]
  • sprinter, that's it. I get the pork loins from Sam's and cut them into 2 pieces. It says you can brine them for a day or two,, but so far, I have treated them like tenderloins and give them 12 hours. Also, my mustard&buttermilk paste protects the outer surface from heat, so you can blast them babys until the internal gets to your desired temp.

  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    K.O.C.,[p]After reading the link that Cat gave us, I think that my problem was that I put the brine on too hot. It was not hot to the touch but it was definitely not COOL or refrigerated as they recommend. It was warmer than it should have been. I'm ready to try it again and this time I'll be sure to cool the brine and refrigerate it before putting the meat in. Thanks for the point in the right direction, I learned something new today.[p]By the way, that buttermilk mustard paste sounds interesting, care to share it with me? [p]Troy
  • sprinter, I take enough yellow mustard to cover the meat,, mix in just enough buttermilk to make it thick enough to stick,, but not thin enough to run off in pools. I mix my favorite spices in the mustard/buttermilk and smear it on the top side of the loin. I usually put my pork loin in a plastic or glass container, morter it with the mixture and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap for a day. Don't worry about coating the bottom. I use creole, cajun, or zydeco spices on mine. Oh,, in my brine, I boil 2 quarts of water with the 1 cup salt,, crush a whole bunch of fresh garlic, cut up an onion, 5 or 6 bayleaves or a handfull of crushed bayleaves,, favorite spices,, then boil all that together. Let it boil slowly for a half hour if you can. Then I add my other 2 quarts of cold water,, or even ice enough to make it work out to a gallon. Once that is very cold,, I put the loin halves in. I have a nice plastic container that will accept the halved loin and still have enough room to cover them in brine. I asked my butcher what he thought about brining and he started going and I forgot most of what he said. He has been in the meat business since 1949,, and if he thinks it a great idea, who am I to argue. My next brine will be chickens,,,,, young chickens this time.. Good luck, and remember,, use your imagination. Nobody knows your favorite tastes like you..

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