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Awesome brine! I have used this 5 times now and EVERY time was great! Now here are some tips that I have learned so far...<br/><br/>1) Be sure and rinse the pork very well after the brine...those who are tasting like salt are most likely not rinsing it well enough. When you think you have rinsed it enough...rinse it again.<br/><br/>2) Leave it in the brine the full 2 hours, but no more. There is a chemical thing going on...so less then 2 hours can hurt the process. I use this for 2 whole pork tenderloins and it does not matter if one is bigger then the other...they both taste the same as long as I cook them to the same temp. (yes the meat will look greyish after brine...this is normal) (side note...if using whole tenderloins be sure and trim them very good to get rid of the fat and the silver skin stuff...I use my fillet knife...works great!)<br/><br/>3) Dissolve the salt and sugar all the way. To help with this I have changed a few things. First I add 3/4 cup water to the vinegar and preheat it and leave on a medium heat. Second I add only the salt...dissolve it all the way first, then add the brown sugar and dissolve, then add the pepper corns and let them steep for a few minutes. The salt dissolves easier this way. Then remove from heat and add about 2 1/2 cups ice and stir till melted...then refrigerate it to chill completely before adding meat. (Be sure and use a salt with no iodine or anti caking agent. Read ingredients list and it should only say salt or sea salt. I use Mortons Natural Sea Salt, All Purpose.) <br/><br/>4) Totally submerge the pork in the brine. If using a container like I do, just fill a quart ziploc bag with water and place it on top of the meat to hold it down into the brine. Or you can put the brine and meat in a large ziploc bag and squeeze all the air out.<br/><br/>5) Do not overcook. Pork is not like it used to be...you don't have to cook it medium well or well done. A little pink in the middle is OK. I cook whole pork tenderloins on high heat on the grill like a steak. And I cook it to a medium with a pink center. EXCELLENT! Even tender the next day heated up in microwave (heat whole tenderloin leftovers, then slice after microwave) BUT...this pork is still good even overcooked, thanks to the brine!<br/><br/>I hope these tips will help some. ENJOY!<br/><br/>Can't wait to make this again!!
Don't know why so many reviews complain of "too salty" or "too 'vinegary' "... I got nervous after starting this because of the reviews and shorting the time to just over an hour, wish I'd left for the entire two hours because these turned out really nice. I used boneless center cut chops about 1-1/2 to 2" thick, added some fresh thyme to the bryne, hit them hard in a hot cast iron pan, put some chicken broth in the pan (with the thyme from the brine) and put in the oven at 325 for 1/2 hour to finish... came out very nice.... Yes, the cider does make the meat a bit gray colored.
used this with extra thick boneless chops. Rinsed and broiled in the oven for about 7 minutes a side. Turned out yummy and moist as anything.
Awful, no taste and totally changed texture of meat. Marinated 3 pork chops for 2 hours and removed 2 more after 1 1/2 hours due to the change in look and feel of meat of prior 2. Cooked on grill, husband said it was good, his was smothered in BBQ sauce, mine plain with sauerkraut, never again, dry and strange texture of meat.
My family LOVED this recipe!! Although neither my husband or son liked the smell of the brine as the vinegar was heated up. I followed the tips from RSpencer2013 and used the super thick/big panhandle pork chops. I love the fact that it's only a two hour brine. This recipe is a winner!
After reading other reviews, we did not want to take a chance on our chops being too salty. We have a Cuisinart hand-held mixer (for blending drinks and fruit). After heating the vinegar, we added all of the ingredients and mixed them with the mixer. I personally believe this helped dissolve the salt and did not make the chops salty. We also used an electronic meat probe and cooked the chops at 350? on our Big Green Egg. Absolutely delicious.
Worked perfectly for me! I cut the recipe in 1/2 as I only did 2 pork chops and marinated for 1 1/2 hrs as pork chops were a little thin. The salt and sugar never really totally dissolve as you can always see them in the bottom of the container but the marinade does work. I then followed up with Aaron McCargo's Pork Chop with Mushroom and Maderia sauce. Another great recipe
I have used this recipe before and found it to be perfect. For those who have had less than desirable results, please note that Alton Brown's original recipe on The Food Network's website specifies 4 double thick bone-in loin end pork chops. If you use a different cut, you may have different results. Of course, taste is a personal thing, but when I follow Alton's original recipe, I haven't had any of the problems others have described here. I had almost given up cooking pork chops altogether until I used this brine method. I do add a salt-free spice rub to the chops before cooking for a little extra flavor. Once I ran out of vinegar so subbed apple juice--worked fine. Hope this helps! Happy cooking!
I tried this recipe with some pork chops and then smoked them in an electric smoker. I made two porkchops, thinking to eat one that evening and save the other one for the next day. They were so doggone good that I wound up eating them both.
Thank you once again, Alton. This one's a keeper!
Does it take an act of God to get the salt to dissolve?! I've made this 4 or 5 times and the salt never dissolves completely even though I have the vinegar the temprature of napalm....