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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.

            1. It changed mine. Every once in a while I get lazy and cook a chicken or pork chops without brining. I can really tell the difference. I brine all poultry and pork product--even boneless skinless chicken breasts. Nothing fancy--just water, kosher salt, brown sugar. I picked up a tip somewhere to marinate first and brine second...the brine helps the meat absorb the marinade. So that's what I do.

              1. I used to oven bbq pork tenderloins. They were great. One day I brined them first. They were greater than great! They were juicier and more flavorful. I never forget anymore. You need much more than 45 minutes to brine them.

                In fact I started brining mine with soy sauce and brown sugar. It's even better.

                  1. I always brine pork and poultry. For small pieces it only requires about an hour.

                    Brining uses the process of osmosis to bring more water and salt deeper into the meat. It results in a juicier more seasoned piece of meat.

                    As another poster mentioned you don't brine enhanced pork. Enhanced pork has been injected with moisture and salt and a few other chemicals at the packer.

                    It makes a huge difference. I invite you to do a side by side comparison. Brine some pieces and just salt the other. You'll find a huge difference.

                    1. Brining lean cuts of pork does work well.I wont smoke turkey legs or my thanks giving bird without brining.It gives the breast a fighting chance.Thanks to brining Im a God at thanksgiving.I use the Neelys smoke turkey brine .simple and good.