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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 08-29-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
NCSU-Q
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Default 12-hr brine butt test cook results

Posted a couple weeks asking for advice about about brining in competition where I will only have about a 12-14 hour window for the pork to soak. I got varying responses, from "you are wasting your time", to "we always brine and highly recommend."

Ordered some Kosmos Q Pork Soak and dropped in 2 butts for 12 hours prior to a test cook this weekend. They turned out great, but I don't know that I saw any identifiable increase in moisture. Minor change in flavor profile in my bark. They were good, but I can't say I really endorse it with that small of a brining window.

I've tried injecting before - same thing, no real appreciable difference in the end product, but I was just using recipes I found online... maybe I will order a commercial injection to try.

I promised to post my results, so there they are... thanks again to everyone who gave input.
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Unread 08-29-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
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I have never brined a pork butt. I use the freshest pork available. I do not use any pork that has the sodium nitrate pumped "solution" added. However, on the Friday of a competition, I inject a mixture that contains salts, sugars, juices, flavorings, etc. which I'm sure acts as a "brine". I inject about 6-8 hours before the meat goes on the cooker. I've had decent success in the Pork category this year. I honestly don't think you'll be able to have enough time for the brining process to work it's magic in a competition if you're trying to do it by soaking it in the solution. The meat is just too big. Hence the reason that most of us inject.
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Unread 08-29-2011, 07:22 PM   #3
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I also have done the dance of brining, injecting, not injection/not brining. Many times doing direct comparisons on 2 butts and I, like many, cannot tell any semi-noticeable difference. We didn't inject this last weekend and had 2nd place pork in backyard. Now others say they can tell a difference and I do believe them, but it is just I can't and don't think it adds enough to help us. Maybe my opinion will change, but for now we will spend the extra effort where I know it can make a difference like getting good quality meat and focusing on cooking it as perfect as I can and also making the appearance nice.
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Unread 08-30-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
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I know it's a little late here, but inject is the way imho. When I inject butts or shoulders, they jiggle like jello with so much liquid pumped into. Try Chris Lilly's as a starter and try to go where you like in the flavor profile. I use fruit juices spiked with seasonings. Works for me. Good luck and remember comp cooking is for 1 or 2 bites, not a plate full. Steve.
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