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Feb 16, 2011 09:25 AM

brining before freezing

buenos dias. . .

any opinions on brining pork chops before freezing them? I bought one of those monster family packs on sale and it would save me time to brine everything in one batch then freeze the extras.

lots of things (poultry especially) comes like this from the freezer section so i'm thinking its fine.

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  1. I have not intentionally frozen brined meat before, so you can take my advice with a spoonful of saltwater.

    I'm sure the pork should be safe after freezing. However, that's probably not what you're asking.

    I suspect that since brining forces extra water into the cells of meat, freezing will cause a little more mushiness and tissue damage from ice crystals with brined than un-brined meat. You also might even have some difficulty getting a good sear on the meat after thawing due to the brined-then-frozen meat's tendency to ooze liquid as it cooks (I believe I've seen this effect with frozen seafood, but I'm not 100% positive).

    I don't know how drastic this effect would be. Obviously, you'll have better results and less damage from ice crystals if your freezer is especially cold - a lot of the freezer section stuff is frozen very quickly by very powerful commercial processes, and these limit the formation of big ice crystals. Home freezers are typically more problematic.

    1. Aren't Buterball turkeys brined and frozen? I'm sure it's OK to do...

      1. Well they are brined and in the freezer. I'll update with results if I remember.

        I think i'll flour the chops to get some brownness when searing . .

        1. Brining & freezing is fine, but there's IMO there's a great reason not to do it - when you're ready to consume your frozen chops, you can quickly defrost them by dunking in warmish brine. Brining and defrost in 1 easy step.

          1 Reply
          1. re: joonjoon

            You beat me to it, Joonjoon, though | have never done the thawing in brining solution that was anything but cold. I just make up the solution, chill it and pop the frozen chops in, top shelf of the fridge. Mind you, I do have to think this all through the day before we eat the chops as even thin chops take a full day in the fridge.