Originally Posted by smokeyokie
I always brine my shoulders 24 hours if possible, it make the meat more juicy and adds a flavor base to the meat( I know pork doesnt need it) Well try it!.. 1 gallon uncholorinated water 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1 cup brown sugar. The ratio is 1 cup salt, to 1 cup sugar to 1 gal. I use less salt because my rubs I make have salt in them and I want that flavor in my bark. Anyway, mix that up throw the shoulders in and stick in fridge. You will be happily surprised at the extra moisture and flavor, IMO it just helps take it over the top... OBW I am not an injection fan. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Just not my style.Never tried it on ribs? brisket doesnt need it.Again my opinion
And ^^^THIS^^^ brings up a point that I was hoping to get at with this thread. BRINE vs INJECTION. A fellow Brethren PM'd me and asked my opinion on this very thing, which got me thinking and why I posted this thread.
I've only injected once and I've only brined poultry so I can't speak from exerience, but I'm curious about what those who have or are willing to think this through have to say.
Injecting (at least in my mind) works like a marinade that is simply inserted into the meat. I don't know if the flavor really gets INTO the fibers of the meat or just hangs out among them. When I did inject, I did a pork loin. I noticed that after I cooked and sliced the loin, the meat was discolored in patches as a result of the injection. Here's a pic of a slice....
I don't point this out to suggest that it's good or bad, but only that it may suggest the distribution of the marinade/injection among the meat itself. You wouldn't normally see this after a butt is pulled because, well.....it's pulled and the texture of a butt is different than a very lean loin roast. Perhaps I didn't inject enough, or at least not as many places and that's what caused the intermitent distribution?
Now brining......that works in a totally different way, right? The salt in a brine will draw out the moisture in the meat and then the void that is left gets filled by drawing the moisture in the brine (with all it's flavors) BACK into the meat fibers. In theory, it's more evenly distributed, right? ALL the meat (given the necessary time) will have the flavor and added moisture throughout, unlike an injection where the flavor is only where you put it. When I brine poultry, I do a simple recipe. My thinking is that I'm really after the salt (which, itself enhances the flavors of whatever it's used on) and the added moisture that a brine gives.
Then, of course, there's the issue of mass. A chicken leg only needs about an hour in the brine. A whole chicken usually gets brined for 5-8 hours. A whole turkey gets the soak for 18-24 hours. If you think about it, doesn't a whole butt have a lot more GIRTH than even a whole turkey? I mean, since the turkey has a hollow cavity and all? I'd think you'd want to brine a butt for 30-40 hours? ???
THAT brings up the issue of timing. If I'm planning on doing a butt at home on Saturday, it's only a bit of planning that's necessary to dunk the roast in a brine on Thursday and let it sit for 2 days. BUT, even if I'm only brining for 12 hours, this is something that can't really be done for a competition, right? I mean (and correct me if I'm wrong competitors) KCBS rules say that at the time of meat inspection the meats cannot be marinated, right? This (I assume) would include brines? SO, if you're wanting to go with additional flavor for a comp, you'd opt for injection vs/ brining, simply because of the time constraints.
OK....I've rambled long enough. I was just hoping for some great discussions on this topic, not necessarily on if you brine or not (although that's GREAT if you'd like to offer up your experiences) but some thought provoking discussion on the subtle differences between these two methods. Perhaps I should have titled the thread "brine vs injection" huh?