Reducing brine amount
All the brines I have seen call for 1 gallon of water and so forth, but I don't need that much to brine these pork chops I've got.
How much salt and sugar would I use if I just use 3/4 or 1/2 gallon of water. Would I just halve the amount of salt and sugar?
I know it's a dumb question...
1 gallon of water, 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of sugar
1/2 gallon of water, 1/2 of salt and 1/2 cup of sugar
1 Quart of water, 1/4 cup of salt and 1/4 cup of sugar
Rons suggestions will work just fine but you should understand that there is no "one" recipe for a brine. The suggestions that you read on forums like this are starting points. The final amounts of salt and water are determined by the meat you are brining and the time you have to brine the meat. The sugar has nothing at all to do with the osmotic effect that we call brining. The water and salt are the brine.
You could do a micro brine for just a few chops. Make slurry of your spice and water in a zip lock bag. Place the chops in the bags and squish the slurry all over the chops and let sit in the fridge for a few hours. It works great.
Tough to beat Alton Brown's pork chop brine. It's a favorite at our house.
I use a 5 quart plastic ice cream pail for this.
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tbsp. dry mustard
2 to 2 1/2 cups of ice cubes
You can skip the ice and use 2 cups of water. Just allow plenty of time for the brine to get cold in the fridge before you add the chops. I've also substituted table salt for kosher salt...I used about 2/3 cup.
Heat the vinegar in the microwave (it doesn't have to boil) Stir in the dry ingredients until dissolved and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the ice and stir or shake to finish cooling down. Add chops, cover, and let them sit in the fridge for 2 hours. Rinse chops and pat dry.
I pull them at about 145-150 internal temp.
A brine is water and salt...
Then you add other ingredients for flavors.
If you are really serious about the science behind and the art of brining I suggest you read the Chapter on Brines in Michael Ruhlman's book Ratio. It explains the ratios that make brines work best.
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