There are different reasons why you should brine the pork shoulder. This part of the meat is usually big and it might not be very easy to cook.
Brining is a vital process that you should perform if you want to improve the moist and taste of your meat after cooking. If you want to prepare your meat using the method of grilling or smoking, brining is an essential procedure.
When grilling your meat, high temperature may cause it to be dry in the interior. As such, the brine becomes essential before cooking to keep the meat moist inside while at the same time giving it a great taste.
Essentially, the process of brining is aimed at preventing the meat from dehydrating so that you can eat it comfortably.
Brining is also advantageous in that it improves the aroma of the meat and makes it juicy. The process also gives your meat a nice color such that you will enjoy every bit of the delicious meal. To prepare your pork brine, you should have certain ingredients that you should use.
Ingredients of Pork Brine
The basic ingredients of brine mainly include water, salt, sugar, onion, paprika, bay leaf, cayenne, garlic, peppercorns, and other seasonings. You can reserve some of the ingredients for the actual cooking of the meat.
The brining process involves some simple steps that you should carefully follow. To begin the brining process, you need to begin by adding water to a bowl where you will dissolve the salt and brown sugar. When the solution is ready, put it in a bag then place it aside.
The next steps involve mixing all the ingredients in a bowl while also making sure that the remaining salt and sugar in the bowl are properly absorbed. When all the contents have been thoroughly mixed, you then add them to the salt and sugar solution in the bag you set aside.
Before adding your pork to the brine, you must reserve two cups of the brine that you will use later for cooking. After this, you can then add your pork meat to the brine.
Make sure the meat is submerged in the brine and you should put it into the fridge for a minimum of about eight hours. It is still okay to leave the brine in the fridge for 24 hours.
How to Cook Brined Pork Shoulder?
After the lapse of 24 hours, while your brine is in a fridge, it will be ready for cooking. You begin by rinsing the pork with running water before drawing it to the cutting board.
You can either cook the pork slowly on your smoker at the temperature of 225 degrees F or use your oven at the temperature of 350 degrees F.
Make sure that the pork is completely dry before beginning to cook it. You can add your preferred flavors when you cook the meat. When you are using the smoking method for cooking, then you can apply paprika, sugar, salt as well as crushed peppers.
You can apply these ingredients direct to your meat to improve the taste regardless of the fact that they were also in your brine. The application of dry ingredients also helps to create a layering effect of different flavors on your meat.
The dry rub of ingredients on top of your meat also gives it a delicious bite. When you leave the brine to set onto the meat, it will reach even the center of the initial thick piece of meat.
Brining also helps to retain some moist in the meat during cooking so that it does not become dry.
Applying the Reserved Brine to Your Pork Shoulder
You can slowly cook the brined pork should for a period of six to eight hours using your favorite smoker. Alternatively, you can cook quickly the meat in a period of about two to three hours. When your meat is cooked, this is the right time to take that reserved brine.
You pour the contents slowly over the cooked meat or you use a brush to apply it. The aim is to increase the flavor content on your meat while at the same time making it moist for easy chewing. You should not overcook the meat such that it will exceed the recommended internal temperature.
The internal temperature of the meat should be about 160°F. When you attain this temperature, you can then pull off the meat then wrap it using a tin foil for a period of 30 minutes.
This process will allow the juices from continuing to circulate and set on the meat. When your brined pork is ready, you can serve it along with your favorite BBQ sauce.
You can also cut it into small slices that are easy to eat and you should serve it while still warm.