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tashby


Feb 15, 2011, 7:01 PM

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The Miracle of Brining

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First a disclaimer: I never learned how to cook in the United States.

That said, I could always follow a recipe, and one thing I do know how to do is grill on the BBQ. But now that we live in Mexico, I've been frustrated sometimes because meat is different here, trending toward much leaner. (I've almost killed myself, and perhaps the unfortunate dinner guest, trying to choke down a dry/tough pork chop.)

Anyway, all of you experts probably already know this, but for the rest of us, I've discovered that brining meat is making an enormous difference. I've had two tremendous successes with cheap pork loins (not tenderloins) on the BBQ after having brined them.

I knew about brining a turkey in the U.S., but I had no idea it could make such a huge difference with other meats. It's night versus day. Extraordinary.

ˇProvecho!



Rolly


Feb 15, 2011, 7:19 PM

Post #2 of 6 (5626 views)

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Re: [tashby] The Miracle of Brining

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Tell us how you did it to the pork loins.

Rolly Pirate


tashby


Feb 16, 2011, 11:06 AM

Post #3 of 6 (5587 views)

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Re: [Rolly] The Miracle of Brining

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The first time, I dissolved 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of sugar in a quart of water. (A little heat from the stove makes it dissolve quickly. But then let the water cool before putting in the meat.) Put the meat and brine in a tupperware dish - or whatever, a sealable baggie - making sure that the whole thing is under water and completely covered. Then stuck in in the fridge over night.

The next day when I was ready to BBQ, I took it out of the brine and patted it dry and....that was it! It was incredibly moist and juicy and I think even more tender than it would have been otherwise. I don't know what kind of pork loin (lomo) this was, but it was a rectangular shape, almost like a big brick. Put a little BBQ sauce on it toward the very end of cooking - about 25-30 minutes total on the grill. Then rested it on a plate for 5 minutes before cutting it in slices against the grain.

And that's it!

The second time, I tried it using just 1/4 cup of salt and a 1/4 cup of sugar, and it worked just as well, I think. There is a ton of info on brining available on the internet. I've only just now read about it, and see I didn't really even do it correctly. Ha. Below are a couple links to articles that explain it in much more detail and which meats it's especially good for, etc. The first one even explains the chemistry behind why it works so well.

I think I'm going to have to buy salt and sugar in bulk now. You can use more expensive kosher salt - or sea salt - if that makes you feel fancy but I just used cheapo table salt and it worked fine. The meat, naturally, needs no additional salt after having been brined.

http://www.finecooking.com/...eeps-meat-moist.aspx

http://bbq.about.com/...tips/a/aa112000b.htm


(This post was edited by tashby on Feb 16, 2011, 11:38 AM)


bournemouth

Feb 16, 2011, 11:44 AM

Post #4 of 6 (5580 views)

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Re: [tashby] The Miracle of Brining

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Next time you make a trip to the coast from the Chapala area, pick up some Colima sea salt along the way. I think 3 bags sell for around 35 pesos at the stalls north of Manzanillo.


tashby


Feb 16, 2011, 1:07 PM

Post #5 of 6 (5568 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] The Miracle of Brining

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Exactly what I was thinking! When I discovered how well this works, I immediately had visions of those stands along the highway. Never had reason to stop before, but now I do.


chinagringo


Feb 16, 2011, 4:18 PM

Post #6 of 6 (5550 views)

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Re: [tashby] The Miracle of Brining

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As a BBQ enthusiast, I first started experimenting with brining about 10 years ago. One of the very first brine recipes was emphatic about using only natural salt without iodine or other additives and that stuck with me. My personal preference is sea salt with Kosher being a close second. As to sugar, I have never used regular white sugar but prefer either brown sugar or Turbinado raw sugar. Most all of my brining recipes use either poultry or pork. One does have to be careful not to extend the recommended brining time as more isn't better in this case. While I have brined many a turkey for the BBQ, I still prefer our old family recipe of rubbing the turkey with spices inside and out and then slathering the turkey with real mayonnaise both inside and out. A little more pepper and seasoning salt on the surface of the mayo and it is ready to put on the BBQ. You end up with a very moist turkey and a nicely browned skin when slow cooked properly.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM

 
 
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