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Dry Brine Pork Butt

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  • DriverWild
    Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 7
    • Omaha

    Dry Brine Pork Butt

    I tried the recommendation of dry brining pork butt for about 24 hours 1/2 tsp per pound with kosher salt and found that it gave the meat a beautiful smoke ring and texture but the flavor was somewhat hammy. Am I doing something wrong? Is 24 hours too long for big meats? What timeline should I consider for ribs, the suggestion was for several hours? I like the color and texture but don't want my meat to cure.
  • Huskee
    Pit Boss/Manager
    • May 2014
    • 14264
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

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    #2
    Did you use a rub also for seasoning after brining? What smoke wood did you use? It could be the combo of smoke type and salt flavor gave you a ham vibe. If you used kosher salt as directed it shouldn't cure the meat. 24 hrs should be a good timeframe. With ribs there's no need to go that long. I dry brine mine with my rub for about 1-2hrs or maybe 4 or 5 if I have time. Ribs don't need that much time since they're so much thinner than a cube of pork butt.

    I will forward this to Dr Blonder to see if he has some advice on the hammy pork butt....stay tuned...

    Comment

    • docblonder
      Moderator
      • Jul 2014
      • 103

      #3
      Ham flavor varies around the world. In some countries it is mostly the flavor of smoke and nitrites, in others oxidized fats, in others sour notes from bacterial fermentation. In almost all cases, the meat is dry and dense. American country style hams get most of their flavor from smoke and the breakdown of fat molecules. Salt, if kept to levels less than 0.5%, will not make pork taste hammy, but levels 1.5% and above will to some extent. Was there any salt in the dry rub? Did you use a water pan? If the meat moisture levels drop too early in the cook, the fats may oxidize early. If you have a strong smoke ring (lots of nitrite) but washed the smoke flavor off of the surface, the porkier flavors predominate.

      All that being said, "porkiness" often depends more on the meat more than the seasoning. Some pigs taste hammy due to their feed and aging affecting the fat composition. A different butcher, or different day, will change the flavor.

      Comment

      • Pit Master Apprentice
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 49
        • Way Upstate, NY
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        #4
        Every time docblonder opens his mouth or writes something down my cooking IQ goes up 10pts.

        Comment

        • Jerod Broussard
          Moderator
          • Jun 2014
          • 9281
          • East Texas
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          #5
          Mine would too if I could remember all the info. No wonder I had to study 80 hours a week in college.

          Comment

          • DriverWild
            Former Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 7
            • Omaha

            #6
            Thank you for the responses! I used a rub with zero salt knowing that I needed to keep the salt content at 1/2 tsp per lb. I didn't use a water pan so water content could have been the problem. Next time I will try a water pan. Also, the butts were not injected by myself or the processor so the salt I added was it. Thanks again for the helpful information, I will be sure to add a water pan to my next experimental cook. I might also try a different brand of pork in another experiment. Thanks again everyone!

            Comment

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