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Can you leave a 4lb pork butt in the brine for 48 hrs. before smoking?

baldbert Jun 30, 2010 06:06 PM

Wondering if the small size makes a difference? Thanks.

  1. sbp Jul 1, 2010 09:45 AM

    I've been curing meats for about a year now, so I do a lot of brining when making bacon, pastrami, smoked turkey, etc.. Since the amount of time it takes for a cure to really penetrate the cut of meat varies, the brining times tend to be pretty long. Occasionally, this results in too much saltiness. The solution, if you have the time, is to give it a freshwater soak. I've brined/cured a brisket for a week, then gave it a one day soak (several changes of water) and it solved the over-salted issue.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sbp
      baldbert Jul 1, 2010 12:09 PM

      thats what i wanted to hear. now I'm going to smoke it on sunday and fresh water soak on saturday. thanks. i'll let you all know how it comes out.

      1. re: baldbert
        baldbert Jul 4, 2010 06:39 PM

        reporting back. to rehash: brined the pork butt for 2 days. washed it and then let it sit in fresh water before patting it dry. dry rubbed it and let it sit over night (in the fridge). smoked it the next morning. it spent 4 hours on the grill ( hickory smoke)and was done.

        and the envelope please.

        amazing bark
        nice smoke rings
        moist, moist, smoky meat
        big hit all around

        sbp know his/her stuff

    2. c
      CocoaNut Jul 1, 2010 06:14 AM

      I'm kind of wondering why you'd brine a pork butt at all since they have such wonderful natural flavor...... Brining is usually left to dryer and/or less flavorful meats: poultry, loins, etc.

      If anything, I'd just give it a liberal "rub" and not sure I'd even do that - maybe just a good douse of salt/pepper/and questionably, garlic.

      Edit: There's another current topic about "smoking a pork shoulder" on a Weber. I haven't read through it, but there are currently 64 replys, none of which refer to brining - at least according to a search. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6086...

      6 Replies
      1. re: CocoaNut
        bushwickgirl Jul 1, 2010 06:52 AM

        Yup, I prefer my pork butt marinated a bit and/or dry rubbed; don't see much sense in brining it.

        1. re: bushwickgirl
          CocoaNut Jul 1, 2010 07:10 AM

          Like your avatar. Was in a store recently that had all 3 of those on their shelf.... along with wax lips, wax "soda" 6-packs, the long, wide, flat taffy wrapped in wax paper (it's shrunk) and several other of my childhood faves!

        2. re: CocoaNut
          tommy Jul 1, 2010 07:33 AM

          People brine pork butt for the same reasons they brine other meats. It doesn't step on the wonderful natural flavor.

          If you go to a BBQ competition, you'll see lots of uses of injections as well. To each his own.

          1. re: tommy
            CocoaNut Jul 1, 2010 08:58 AM

            Injections, yes.... brine.... uh.......

            1. re: CocoaNut
              tommy Jul 1, 2010 09:13 AM

              Yeah, if moisture and denaturing and adding salt is good for meats, then moisture and denaturing and adding salt must be bad pork butt. uh.

              1. re: tommy
                CocoaNut Jul 1, 2010 12:12 PM

                Yea! You got it!!!

        3. kaysyrahsyrah Jun 30, 2010 10:38 PM

          All depends what you mean by smoking. Cold, hot, wood type?

          2 Replies
          1. re: kaysyrahsyrah
            baldbert Jul 1, 2010 04:54 AM

            I put it in the brine last night and want to hot smoke it tomorrow, or even Saturday. I cut down the salt a little with that in mind. other brine ingredients are: sugar, honey, pepper, smoked paparika, garlic, bay leaves, and maybe a couple of other spices, I can't remember. I'm smoking it on a Weber w/ hickory chips

            1. re: baldbert
              Bryan Pepperseed Jul 1, 2010 06:00 AM

              I'm by no means a bbq expert, but I am pretty good at forgetting to "rinse after brining" and for reasons I can't explain, it makes a big difference.
              The flavors in your brine sound great, but I suggest a good rinse before cooking and remembering what Tommy said above about not rubbing with salt even if you did cut back on the salt.

          2. John E. Jun 30, 2010 10:06 PM

            Be sure to let us know how it turns out. My first inclination would be to say it will get too salty. My second inclination is to wonder if I am correct. In other words, I don't have a clue, but I'd like to know how it turns out.

            1. rabaja Jun 30, 2010 09:56 PM

              No. Do a dry-brine with spices, chiles, salt, etc.
              What's the reason for brining so long?
              Just to be contrary.

              1. tommy Jun 30, 2010 08:39 PM

                Yes. Don't rub it with salt. Other than that, don't listen to anyone else who suggests contrary. They don't know what they are talking about. Plain and simple.

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