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Old 07-03-2014, 10:16 AM   #1
greasy pork goodness
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Join Date: 06-10-14
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Default Meat Quality

At my local grocery store there is always a couple of options for pork ribs. There is one labeled “moist and tender” or “moist and delicious” and the other has no such markings. It is simply pork spare ribs or pork ribs St. Louis. I asked the butcher what the difference was and he tells me the “moist and tender” are packaged in some kind of brine to make them more tender and juicy.

Now I tend to lean toward the most natural options whenever possible, but what do you all think? Brine bag meat or just regular meat?
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:20 AM   #2
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:21 AM   #3
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I'm in your camp,My sweet Ma GRHS tole me when I was a wee lad " Sonny boy don't be letin no one play wif your meat cause you know how you like it"
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:33 AM   #4
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Uh oh Aussie - did I open a can here?
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:50 AM   #5
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I have cooked the Kroger moist and tender with solid results (but certainly not any better than non-enhanced). The big problem is that you are paying for the water weight. It is just a marketing gimmick and a way to jack the price. They can taste a little off due to the brine/injections as well.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #6
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Humm, the water weight - didn't even think about that
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:35 AM   #7
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I go with meat that has not been treated. I prefer to control the salt myself, and I feel the best meat texture and taste comes from non-enhanced meat. That being said, if it is done with just a very light brine, I am not sure I could tell the difference once it is cooked. The really heavy brined stuff is pretty noticeable
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:36 AM   #8
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:41 AM   #9
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Oh those look nice!
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I go with meat that has not been treated. I prefer to control the salt myself, and I feel the best meat texture and taste comes from non-enhanced meat. That being said, if it is done with just a very light brine, I am not sure I could tell the difference once it is cooked. The really heavy brined stuff is pretty noticeable
This ^^^^

Also, the enhanced meats, especially ribs, tend to taste hammy to me.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
This ^^^^

Also, the enhanced meats, especially ribs, tend to taste hammy to me.
I also prefer un-enhanced meat. About the only enhanced meat I buy is chicken parts.
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:37 PM   #12
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5th part harmony here; unenhanced always! The Kroger ribs taste hammy to me and also when cooked low n slow (under 300) vs. grilling the saltiness of the brine seems to shine through and frankly conflicts a little with my rub.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:13 PM   #13
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I'll use the moist and tender butts in a pinch, but from what I can recall, they'res a lot of brine in those packages which means you're paying for a lot of water.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:42 AM   #14
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I don't understand. Why would I buy anything that wasn't fresh?
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:21 AM   #15
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I agree, fresh is always better.

However we are a nation of misled sheep. We are told the salt solution is for moistness and tenderness, but the main underlying reason they add the salt solution at packaging is yes a very small added profit but also: (From USDA Website)

2.1. Salt Solutions

Salt inhibits microbial growth by plasmolysis. In other words, water is drawn out of the microbial cell by osmosis due to the higher concentration of salt outside the cell. A cell loses water until it reaches a state first where it cannot grow and cannot survive any longer. The concentration of salt outside of a microorganism needed to inhibit growth by plasmolysis depends on the genus and species of the microorganism. The growth of some bacteria is inhibited by salt concentrations as low as 3%, e.g., Salmonella, whereas other types are able to survive in much higher salt concentrations, e.g., up to 20% salt for Staphylococcus or up to 12% salt for Listeria monocytogenes (Table 5.3.). Fortunately the growth of many undesirable organisms normally found in meat and poultry products is inhibited at relatively low concentrations of salt (USDA FSIS 1997a).

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