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will brining change my life?

i tend to throw things together at the last minute, so i've never tried brining a pork roast. is it worth it to plan ahead and do it? do you briners notice a huge difference?

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  1. Yes, I notice it with pork and chicken. Just a simple brine will work - I don't notice much difference with the flavored brines

    1 Reply
    1. re: momskitchen

      Maybe. Brining does not work well with meats that are already injected with extra water/juice. If you are purchasing meats already packaged at the supermarket read the labels or go to the meat counter and get unaltered meat so you can really see what brining can do. Depending on what liquid is used for the flavored brines seems to be a big influence - apple cider, beer, etc. as opposed to water.

    2. I'm wondering if there's much difference between brining and salting your meat on each side before cooking? I usually do the latter - which does make a huge difference from not salting at all, especially if you let the meat sit a little with the salt on it before proceeding - but is brining better than that?

      1. Brining can make the difference between shoe leather and tender meat, but only for certain cuts. You don't mention what you're cooking, but if your cut already has a good bit of fat in it (e.g. butt, picnic), it will practically baste itself in the oven. If your roast is on the leaner end, then yes, brining with even a basic brine will change your life.

        1. At this point, I wouldn't think of roasting a chicken without first brining it for an hour or so. I also brine pork--chops, roast--and although it does produce a noticeable improvement, the results aren't as striking in my experience as they are with chicken. Budser makes a good point about pork that has already been injected with a saline solution. Brining a cut like that will make it taste awfully salty.

          1. I do not brine pork roast, but I always marinate it for several days in a marinade that contains soy sauce, which contains a lot of salt so there is a similar effect. It's much better than plain roast pork. I agree that there is a more dramatic difference in juiciness with brined chicken.