Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine | TigerDroppings.com

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tigermojo
New Mexico Fan
Town o' the Cow
Member since Sep 2003
6331 posts

Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine



I could swear there was a thread on this, but it didn't come up.

So, I'm going to brine my pork shoulder tonight before I smoke it tomorrow. I've never done the brine thing, and I'm wondering if y'all have an opinion re: effectiveness.

I'd imagine it's biggest impact is in taste, as I slow smoking makes it fall apart anyway.

Thanks in advance.







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Hero0831
LSU Fan
225
Member since Aug 2008
881 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


Brining will make the meat moister but will have no effect on the flavor.

With that said, brine away.






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cook
LSU Fan
God Fearing USA
Member since Sep 2008
207 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


What is brine and how do you do it. :dunno





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tigermojo
New Mexico Fan
Town o' the Cow
Member since Sep 2003
6331 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


quote:

Brining will make the meat moister but will have no effect on the flavor.


See, I was just reading up on it due to the lack of responses -- thanks for yours, btw -- and I read that it can enhance the flavor of turkey but for pork, etc., not so much.

I wonder does it have any impact on the bark, i.e. does it cause it to be crispier?






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tigermojo
New Mexico Fan
Town o' the Cow
Member since Sep 2003
6331 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


quote:

What is brine and how do you do it.


It's a salt/water and other stuff mixture that you submerge meat in prior to cooking. And by prior, by all accounts at least 12 hours.






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el tigre
LSU Fan
your heart
Member since Sep 2003
49712 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


I wouldn't waste my time brining a shoulder you are going to smoke. I find brining to be more effective on poultry, which tends to dry out. For the flavor, it seems like if you are smoking i wouldn't want to alter the natural smoke flavor.....and pork shoulder strays pretty moist as it is.





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Tbobby
USA Fan
Member since Dec 2006
3529 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


Brining is not worth the time or effort. Smoke a boston butt for about 8 hours and try not to let the temp get above 275 degrees.





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Loubacca
LSU Fan
sittin on the dock of the bay
Member since Feb 2005
3504 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


A pork shoulder will have enough fat in it to keep it moist as long as you don't let the temp get too high. Like tigre said, I also only brine poultry.





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FriscoKid
LSU Fan
Red Stick
Member since Jan 2005
4640 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


quote:

get above 275 degrees


i wouldnt get within 50 degrees of that number. I like to smoke meat at or around 200. I wouldnt brine but I would inject it with some apple juice or something.






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andouille
LSU Fan
A table near a waiter.
Member since Dec 2004
7363 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


Here is where cheatin' pays off. I don't brine mine, but I do put a rub on the night before, preferably something spicy with no sugar in it. Then I put it in one of those disposable aluminum pans and smoke it around 200-215F for 3 to 4 hours. Now the cheating part, I take it out of the smoker and put a tight aluminum foil cover on the pan and put in a 250F oven for 3 to 4 hours, depending on size.

If it doesn't fall off the bone, keep cooking. But there will be a very nice au juice in the pan to pour over the pork after you chop it up.






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Martini
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2005
28171 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


A rule of thumb on brining is one cup salt to one gallon of water and have enough to make the meat submerged, keep refrigerated or in an ice chest full of ice and best to do for 24 hours. Then rinse well, pat dry and cook, season, as you would normally. As long as you rinse it the meat will not be salty.

That said, poulty, turkeys especially, are the best to do but any pork is good as well. It really is a time issue and if you have the time to do it then why not? While a butt does have plenty of fat to stay moist if you brine it you will still notice a big difference so I recommend it. As I said it's really a time issue.

Not recommended for lamb or beef. Just pork and poultry. Mostly larger cuts or birds.

Keep this in mind for your Thanksgiving turkey. Some brines call for other seasonings as well as even sugar but I just stick to salt and water. Works well for me and I do it frequently. Not always but as much as I can.






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Aktig
LSU Fan
Alaska/Louisiana
Member since Feb 2008
2190 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


I dated a chef once. Briefly. She walked out of a place once because she demanded anything tossed on a grill to be brined and the employees couldn't follow her directions.....So I learned quickly that a women with a knife is worth listening to. I brine everything, even salmon. You can do varieties, but a basic salt/sugar mixture overnight works for me.





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tigermojo
New Mexico Fan
Town o' the Cow
Member since Sep 2003
6331 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


quote:

It really is a time issue and if you have the time to do it then why not? While a butt does have plenty of fat to stay moist if you brine it you will still notice a big difference so I recommend it. As I said it's really a time issue.


I went ahead and brined it because I had the time and, really, it's easy to do. It was in the brine 12 hours.

The I rubbed it as always and smoked it for 10 hours at 225 to 250. I took it off the smoker, wrapped it in heavy duty foil and then in a towel and put it a cooler to keep.

2 hours later I opened that baby up and it was amazing.

Gave the Direct TV guy working in my neighborhood a sandwich of pulled-pork on a bun w/ homemade coleslaw and just s drizzle of bbq sauce. He came back 30 minutes later wanting to know how I did it and asked me to open a restaurant.

I consider it a success.

For the record, I've smoked five shoulders previously. All came out tender, but this one I almost didn't need to "pull" the pork.

So, to agree completely w/ Martini, if you have the time, brine. I didn't notice an improved taste, but it was as tender as I've ever had while still getting a wonderful bark.






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charlied
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Dec 2007
3822 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


brining can do nothing but help and improve almost any meat if done correctly and u use enough of the right kind of salt in the correct proportions.only down side is when u brine the roast poultry the skin doesn't brown/crispen up like on a turkey but that is it. i have been brining for 25 years and it is a wonderful thing.i do not however brine beef, here is a great website that explains it all plus there are many others.
brining is the killa!!!
LINK







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tigermojo
New Mexico Fan
Town o' the Cow
Member since Sep 2003
6331 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


Thanks for the link.





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charlied
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since Dec 2007
3822 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


i just use salt and water as well,not other decorations,use only kosher salt and as was said earlier,if the meat doesn't sink, there isn't enough salt.





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CreoleGumbo
LSU Fan
Faubourg Bayou St. John
Member since Sep 2003
1655 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


quote:

only down side is when u brine the roast poultry the skin doesn't brown/crispen up like on a turkey but that is it.


baste the bird with melted butter and sage a few hours before and the skin will krisp like a mofo.






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Mike da Tigah
St. Denham Rougeville
Member since Feb 2005
41277 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


quote:

I wouldn't waste my time brining a shoulder you are going to smoke. I find brining to be more effective on poultry, which tends to dry out.



I tend to disagree. I brine pork a lot to get herb flavor into the meat and I find it does have an effect on the moistness of the meat when smoking. Shoulders have nice fat in them, so I'm not sure it's as much for the moistness in the end as it is the flavor it infuses it with, but I do find it makes a difference. After the brine I rub it down with similar herbs and spices, S&P, and smoke it.






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Martini
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2005
28171 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


Good lord y'all dug deep to find this thread.

If you dry the poultry completely the skin will brown and crisp as well as any other time. No different than just washing chicken and drying. It has to be very dry though.






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CreoleGumbo
LSU Fan
Faubourg Bayou St. John
Member since Sep 2003
1655 posts

re: Smoked Pork Shoulder: To Brine or not To Brine


i just started brining whole chicken that i get from the farmers market and smoke it on the BGE...night and day. will never eat bird again without da brine.





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