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Aug 26, 2013 06:01 AM

question about Pork

hi can brine pork tenderloin, then marinate it? if so what marination/brine combo can i use? , im thinking of something like a red wine glaze, btw the starch is mashed potato tower

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    1. I understand Americans brine meat to help tenderise it. Wouldnt have thought a tenderloin needed tenderising - it's the tenderest cut of pork, hence the name.

      14 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        It's very tender, yeah, but can dry out pretty easily. Maybe that's the motivation.

        1. re: TroyTempest

          It only dries out if you cook it incorrectly. Not sure brining would help that.

            1. re: TroyTempest

              I've had/made perfectly good turkeys without brining. I think it comes down to cooking it correctly. And, as already mentioned, there is no reason to do a brine AND a marinade. The marinade will take care of anything the brine would.

              1. re: juliejulez

                I agree. I never brine. And. i'd never brine and marinate, but some do brine, and they swear by it. It does help "their" turkey, pork chops, etc. stay moist.

                1. re: TroyTempest

                  It helps everyone's stay moister, and to cook faster, actually. I've never cooked a dried out turkey or chicken, but brining takes the flavor and texture to a wonderful, different level. That's one reason most folks find kosher chickens so much more tasty.

                  1. re: mcf

                    So why is Kosher chicken same as brine chicken?

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Brining is part of kosher processing.

                      1. re: mcf

                        Thanks. I didn't know that. I thought Kosher is about placing Kosher salt on the meat without liquid, whereas brining a chicken using do so in a brine (liquid). Let me know what you think. Thanks.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          I've read both; dry salting, then a soak in cool water. My mother did it with whole chickens and left them salted overnight in the fridge before a good rinsing. Much more flavorful than unsalted or brined birds. There is a difference, but honestly, my dry brined turkeys are as brined as my soaked ones, so far.

                          1. re: mcf

                            I dry brine my whole chickens for a few days but never do this with pork tenderloin although I guess it couldn't hurt.

        2. re: Harters

          Brining isn't for tenderizing, it's for flavor and moisture retention.

          1. re: mcf

            One of the things that makes meat tough is that heat causes the protein strands to shrink, forcing out the water that is contained in the meat. Brining makes the meat retain more water so in effect, it helps keep the meat tender. There are other tenderizing methods, like using a jaccard or pounding, both of which break up protein strands, and enzymatic and acidic tenderizing.

            1. re: greygarious

              I've never noticed a softening of the meat that I associate with tenderizing, just a moister texture. I guess that can be perceived as tenderizing, but I associate that with breaking down fibers, which I usually don't like, unless it's pounding out flank or chicken for rollups or cutlets.

        3. A brine is essentially a marinade, just add spices/flavorings to the brine. No need to make it a two-step process.

          1. Dumb question... can't you brine and marinate at the same time? Unless you want a very salty brine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Yes you can. Put your marinade ingredients into the brine with no added salt of any kind.

              The flavor or the marinade will permeate the protein through the salt water.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                This is what I do with one of my turkeys each Thanksgiving. I brine/marinade in apple cider with seasoning (including a brine's worth of salt.)

                Works for me.

              2. No you cannot. Brine only if you are not doing a wet marinade. It's very common for marinades to include salty ingredients like soy sauce. That takes the place of the salt in a simple brine. You CAN do a simple brine, then rinse and dry the meat, then apply a dry rub or paste before cooking.
                The glaze need not be applied until the end of cooking.

                You are referring to your required cooking school demonstration, right? This is worrisome, because if you do not understand the concepts of marinating and brining, it seems you have not paid attention to lessons, or the school has an inferior curriculum and/or instructors. Frankly, from your Chowhound posts, it does not sound as though you are ready to cook professionally. If you aren't learning enough in class, there are books, like McGee's "On Food and Cooking", Corriher's "Cookwise", and Ruhlman's "Ratio", that you can study from.