Pork Brine and a Little Rest

If you have ever competed in a competitive sport, like golf or tennis, you know how important it is to try to “keep it all together.” It is sometimes quite a feat! For instance, in golf you may get your putting game down, but then all of a sudden your fairway shots seem to fall off. In tennis, your backhand might be killer, but your volleys never land where you want them to.


Such is the case in cooking competitive BBQ. The General has been
whining bemoaning about not winning the Georgia State Championship last month by less than two points. After considerable agonizing, it seems as though our pork was a little off. Sometimes it is the simplest of things that might cause your product to go askew. I was reading the July/August edition of Cook’s Illustrated and they had an article on Cuban BBQ Pork. In the article it stated that you should always allow your finished pork butt to rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour to allow the juices to re-distribute through the meat.


All of a sudden, a bell went off in my head! Why have I been taking my pork straight from the pit and pulling it…not allowing the juices to re-distribute? TG knows better than this! Could this be my missing secret?


In the same article, they gave a recipe for pork brine that I think may be worth trying:


3 C sugar

2 C table salt

2 medium garlic heads, separated and crushed

4 C orange juice


Dissolve the sugar and salt in six cups of cold water in a stock pot. Stir in the garlic and orange juice. Submerge pork in brine and refrigerate eighteen to twenty-four hours. **Be sure to rinse off the brine before smoking due to the high content of salt and sugar.


Perhaps I can fix my pork?


This backs up the case that TG argues repeatedly (and doesn’t always follow)…keep strict notes because when things start to go wrong you can always refer back to your notes!