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  1. #1

    OT: Brining a Boston butt

    I've done a brine before and liked the results. I thought that it retained moisture and was more tender than usual.
    I was wondering if anyone else does this and how long they would brine an 8-10 lb butt.
    I've read conflicting opinions but wanted to know what the Pack thinks about it
    I planned on brining for 24 hours and then rinsing the meat. Rub down with mustard and then apply my salt-free (since brining) rub the night before putting it on the smoker in the morning.
    What say you?

    PS: I can't get my hands on any Dale's*****


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  2. #2
    Brining is always a good idea. 24 Hours sounds like a reasonable time period for a big butt and I like to include peppercorns, bay leaves and brown sugar in my brines. There are no exact percentages -- it's all by eye. If it's a pig or a bird, they really benefit from a swim in the salty pool.


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  3. #3

    Can't get Dales?



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  4. #4
    MaroonCrusader's Avatar
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    Daleís or GTFO


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  5. #5
    Can't go wrong with the brown sugar, kosher salt, water, bay leaves, and pepper corns. I got 10 pounds of chicken taking the salty bath for about 30 hours.


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  6. #6
    That salad dressing they have at Olive Garden goes great with everything.


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  7. #7
    aTotal360's Avatar
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    Brine it for 3 weeks. Then cook it on the stove top. Serve with A1.
    90 percent of college football teams do not cheat...the other 10 percent are ranked.


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  8. #8
    Beretta's Avatar
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    I brine some, but always inject....

    from my personal experience, the butts that i inject are near the quality of taste and moisture of the ones i inject, so i rarely do it anymore....only time I brine is when I'm short on time or materials to cook up something to inject....and then just throw in in a tub of something....if you brine it, i would still inject it a few times before putting on the smoker....brine birds, not butts




    Quote Originally Posted by RingN2012 View Post
    I've done a brine before and liked the results. I thought that it retained moisture and was more tender than usual.
    I was wondering if anyone else does this and how long they would brine an 8-10 lb butt.
    I've read conflicting opinions but wanted to know what the Pack thinks about it
    I planned on brining for 24 hours and then rinsing the meat. Rub down with mustard and then apply my salt-free (since brining) rub the night before putting it on the smoker in the morning.
    What say you?

    PS: I can't get my hands on any Dale's*****


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    Benedict Arnold | Scott Stricklin Yes | No

  9. #9
    Like another guy said, I don't brine butts, just birds. I'm fairly new to it but I'm getting it pretty damn good. I inject apple juice rub mix, cover in mustard, and dry rub (brown sug, kosher, pepper, mustard, onion, garlic, paprika, cayenne, cumin, couple of things). Put it in at 225 and don't open until it hits 203. I've started doing it for parties and holidays and people tell me every time how it's the best they've had. Wood is a big part for me too. Hickory and apple.


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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by BIGDAWG44 View Post
    Can't go wrong with the brown sugar, kosher salt, water, bay leaves, and pepper corns. I got 10 pounds of chicken taking the salty bath for about 30 hours.
    Please elaborate. Whole chickens, halves? How will you cook them?


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  11. #11
    SixPack's Official Farmer DesotoCountyDawg's Avatar
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    I never brine a butt. I tried once and didn't really see a difference.








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  12. #12
    I've brined a few over the years but now I use a mix of Apple Juice and Tony's Creole butter injector. I inject it, let it sit for 3-4 hours, rub it down with my home made rub, and smoke it at 225 for 5-6 hours. Then I'll wrap in foil after a good coat of brown sugar until it hits 195 internal. Once it hits 197, wrap it in more foil, a big beach towel and into a dry cooler for a couple hours. You can leave it in the dry cooler for 6-7 hours and it'll still be hot


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  13. #13
    Dr. Death DerHntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonDon View Post
    I've brined a few over the years but now I use a mix of Apple Juice and Tony's Creole butter injector. I inject it, let it sit for 3-4 hours, rub it down with my home made rub, and smoke it at 225 for 5-6 hours. Then I'll wrap in foil after a good coat of brown sugar until it hits 195 internal. Once it hits 197, wrap it in more foil, a big beach towel and into a dry cooler for a couple hours. You can leave it in the dry cooler for 6-7 hours and it'll still be hot
    I do everything the same as this except no creole butter (apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and rub) and rather than brown sugar for the wrap I use a quality honey topped with a mix of black and red pepper.


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  14. #14
    Thanks guys. The Pack has the same split decision as I have read on meat smoking forums. SpotDawg, we are on the same level. I use the exact same brine recipe.


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  15. #15
    HotMop's Avatar
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  16. #16
    AssEndDawg's Avatar
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    I brine 24 hours with kosher salt, a little brown sugar and local honey.

    I also inject with my secret blend but I honestly can't tell if injecting does a damn thing, my butts seem to taste pretty much the same either way so I wouldn't get too hung up on that.


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  17. #17
    Brine. In the past I do not brine and then after reading the Pack I started to try the brine and I think it's great. As others have said, don't put too much salt in your rub. My brine is water, salt, brown sugar, apple juice or cider, peppercorns.

    Always brine turkey or chicken. I use some bourbon in my turkey brine and it's delicious.


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  18. #18
    Quartered up chicken. Gonna throw them in the smoker with some apple chips. Then rub them down with my homemade Dr. pepper BBQ sauce. I use to debone the quarter but it takes so long to do so I just leave the bone in.


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  19. #19
    aTotal360's Avatar
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    Remember, always splattercock on your chickens.
    90 percent of college football teams do not cheat...the other 10 percent are ranked.


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  20. #20
    I prefer brining and prefer 24 hours if I plan that far ahead...I brine anything I am going to smoke for an extended period - butts, briskets, whole chickens, hams, ribs. I think it adds flavor and moisture and is part of the fun of smoking. I won't cook a whole chicken or brisket without brining it anymore.


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  21. #21
    I never brine boston butt but always brine poultry and then spatchcock if whole birds.


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  22. #22
    My opinion is that if you brine a butt/shoulder, make sure that your only goal is to add a little flavor. Between the fat content that a butt already has in addition to using a water pan, you're not going to make the meat any more moist by brining. Also, while I have zero science to back this up, I think that the fat content in a butt is going to severely limit its ability to absorb a liquid anyway. This is exactly why so many people use an injector instead

    Anyway, more power to anyone that wants to go ahead and brine a butt. There's definitely no harm in it, but for me, brining is much better served for chicken and some of your leaner meats


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  23. #23
    brining a butt is stupid... juicy butts come from cooking to a temperature of 198 degrees. the juiciness is fat. now you can add salt or a rub that already has salt in it and it will penetrate the meat. the flavor comes from the smoke. use a thermometer cook at 225-250 and when it gets to 198 degrees take it off smoker let it sit for 45 minutes or so then pull it. I prefer to smoke for 4-6 hours wrap it then put it in the oven to conserve wood. after 6 hours or so it stops taking on smoke flavor or around 145 degrees (I think). Using a brine for birds or wild game is the only time worth using when smoking meats. Below is a pretty good recipe for a rub and somewhat of a how to. I prefer mixing cherry with pecan for butts and strictly cherry for ribs. To each is own tho

    http://barbequelovers.com/recipes/po...ed-boston-butt


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  24. #24
    Brine in Dale's. Gamechanger!!!


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  25. #25
    HotMop's Avatar
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    I use this in my dry rub for a unique flavor:

    https://www.thailandunique.com/canned-mole-crickets


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  26. #26
    They're leaving out one crucial ingredient:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  27. #27
    aTotal360's Avatar
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    If Dale's is too salty for you, cut it with some soy sauce.
    90 percent of college football teams do not cheat...the other 10 percent are ranked.


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  28. #28
    The water pan has zero effect on the internal moisture level of meat. It does two things. First, it provides a barrier between the heat source and the meat (especially needed in barrel smokers or other stacked arrangements). The second is that it acts as a thermal capacitor and keeps the heat level from getting too high. Given the boiling point of water is 212 and you generally want to smoke at 225, this is beneficial.

    If you think I'm wrong about this, boil the mess out of a piece of meat in water. It can be dry in the middle even though it was cooked in water.

    Brining is useful for lean meats because the salt breaks down proteins, allowing the meat to absorb more moisture. It's counter to the principle of osmosis where you would expect water to move from a less saline environment (inside the meat) to a more saline environment (the brine). If you don't have salt in your brine, you do not affect the proteins, so when it comes time to cook the moisture you added by brining comes out quickly. You don't need a whole lot of salt, but you do need some.


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  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Ruckus View Post
    Like another guy said, I don't brine butts, just birds. I'm fairly new to it but I'm getting it pretty damn good. I inject apple juice rub mix, cover in mustard, and dry rub (brown sug, kosher, pepper, mustard, onion, garlic, paprika, cayenne, cumin, couple of things). Put it in at 225 and don't open until it hits 203. I've started doing it for parties and holidays and people tell me every time how it's the best they've had. Wood is a big part for me too. Hickory and apple.
    I'm in the same boat. Brining boston butt to me makes it tast like ham, which I like fine, but that's not what I'm going for. Marinate or inject, but don't brine.

    Chicken, on the other hand, I think benefits a ton from brining, as it just doesn't have the natural flavor of pork and also doesn't suck up flavor the same way.


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