Pitmaster’s Secrets

By: Joshua Rooks

 

Short On Time? Try a brine!

Let’s talk schedules. If yours looks anything like mine, you’ve got a million and one things going on. And this is the problem with which I’d like to help. You see, most of us don’t have the time to smoke meat, no matter how delicious it might be, for the likes of 16 hours. On that note, I’m going to share a little something I picked up in my travels. This is the story of the brine.  

 

One of the best things about a low and slow 16-hour smoking process is how tender the meat becomes and the flavor and juiciness that is infused into the meat. A good brine can have the same effect! The key component of the brine is salt, and it’s a very simple molecule. Because of this it can carry your spices deep into the meat. It also locks in moisture that can be lost during the cooking process.   

Optimally, you choose the best meat and seasonings for the brine and your meal. Next, mix your brine. Then, you place the meat into the brine and into the fridge for anywhere from 1-24 hours. Now you can go about your day and let the brine work its magic. 

 

So why do Pitmaster’s love the brine? Here’s why: it can exponentially lower your cooking time. The brine does all the hard work for you in the fridge. You get to walk away without a care once you’ve taken 10 minutes to complete the brine and meat mixture.  

 

You now have the option to grill the meat outright, or do a shorter smoke time. It is legitimately possible to obtain tender, flavorful, and juicy meats with an hour or less of cooking. Give it a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! 

Below, you will find a Simple Brined Pork Chop Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 4 (1 1/2-inch-thick) center-cut pork rib chops, about 8 ounces (225g) each
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Apple Juice
  • Type of fire: two-zone indirect
  • Grill heat: high

Directions

  1. Sprinkle pork chops all over with salt, place in a Tupperware with Apple Juice, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
  2. Remove pork chops from refrigerator and season heavily with pepper. Lightly season with additional salt if necessary.
  3. Light 1 chimney full of charcoal.When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate. Place pork chops over hot side of grill and cook until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  4. Move pork chops to cool side of grill, situated with bones facing the fire. Cover and cook until meat registers 135°F (57°C) on an instant-read thermometer when inserted into thickest part of chop. Remove pork from grill, let rest for 10 minutes, then serve.

Brining is a Pitmaster’s Secret to shorter Cook’s!

 

 

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