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5 from 1 vote

A New Way Of Brining Pork

Everyone can enjoy a nice piece of smoked pork in any of its forms. Ribsbuttpork loinpork tenderloinpork chops, or whatever your preference might be, they can all become even more delicious when you toss them on a smoker. 

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Brining Pork
Servings: 4
Calories: 160kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6

    lbs

    Pork shoulder

  • Dark brown sugar (1/2 cup)

  • Garlic Powder (3 tablespoons)

  • Onion Powder (3 tablespoons)

  • Dried oregano (2 tablespoons)

  • Cayenne pepper (2 tablespoons)

  • Kosher salt (1 cup salt plus 1 tablespoon)

  • Freshly ground black pepper (1 tablespoon)

  • Yellow mustard (1 tablespoon or enough to coat the meat)

  • Frozen orange juice concentrate (12 ounces or one can)

  • Lime juice (6 teaspoons or 3 limes)

  • Apple juice (1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons)

  • Cold water (2 gallons)

Instructions

  • As with any recipe involving brining, you'll first want to make the brine in question.

  • The secret is that this brine lacks the signature sugar of most, replacing it with the natural sugars found in the fruit juices used.

  • Combine your lime juice, half a cup of apple juice, and your orange juice concentrate in a large bucket, then fill with two gallons of water and a cup of salt.

  • Mix everything together until the juice has incorporated and salt dissolved with no frozen chunks left and you'll get a unique flavor brine for your pork recipe.

  • When the brine solution is ready, submerge your ​whole pork loin​.

  • If needed, add extra water to cover the meat completely.

  • Place on a lid and store in a cool, dry place for up to three days.

  • The brining time might seem long, but it is so worth it.

  • After your meat has brine for the amount of time you want, remove it from the brine and pat it dry thoroughly with paper towels. Discard the leftover brining liquid.

  • While the brine itself adds plenty of flavor to your pork, you should know by now we can always go one step beyond.

  • For this, we'll make a simple spice rub for the outside of the meat, both flavoring it and creating a fantastic crust as it cooks.

  • Mix together the sea salt or table salt, pepper, cayenne, brown sugar, garlic and onion powder, and oregano, then coat the outside of the pork in yellow mustard.

  • Press the spices into the meat liberally, making sure to cover as much of the meat as possible.

  • After that, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight or up to a full day to intensify the flavor.

  • The day of smoking, take your meat out of the fridge about half an hour earlier than you intend to put it on the heat.

  • This lets the meat warm up slightly, producing a more even cook and reducing the risk of overcooking and excessive moisture loss.

  • Additionally, soak your wood chips in hot water around this time if you're using them instead of wood chunks.

  • Fill your smoker halfway with charcoal and light it, closing the lid and opening the air vents fully to give the coals a chance to burn.

  • After they've burned down some, fill the smoke the rest of the way with charcoal and add your wood, placing the grill grate over top and filling the tank with water.

  • Close the lid once more to give the new fuel a chance to burn and fill the smoker with smoke.

  • If you have a digital thermometer, the target temperature inside the smoker should be around 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Once the smoker is ready and your meat has had a chance to sit out at room temperature, you're ready to cook. 

  • Place the meat into an aluminum baking pan large enough to hold it, giving a place to collect juices as they run out during cooking.

  • Transfer both into the smoker and close the lid.

  • Over the next several hours, continuously monitor the levels of wood, charcoal, and water in your smoker, adding more as needed.

  • Additionally, adjust the air vents as needed to keep the temperature within the smoker consistent.

  • Every half hour or so, spritz the meat down with the remaining apple juice in a spray bottle.

  • This helps to keep the outside of the meat moist and adds some additional flavor.

  • If at any point the meat looks to be burning or getting too dark, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

  • Your pork will be finished cooking when it reaches a temperature close to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • When your thermometer reads that, remove the meat from the smoker. 

  • Alternatively, just stick a fork in it and take it off when there's little to no resistance from the meat.

  • Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil and allow it to rest wrapped in a towel inside a cooler for the next hour.

  • While it might seem like a while to wait, it'll be worth it not to loose moisture. The longer you rest, the better the pork will taste once it's eaten.

  • When your meat's had a chance to rest, you can begin pulling it apart.

  • Using two forks, simply rip and tear the meat into small pieces, removing the shoulder bone from the middle.

  • Another way to do it is with Cave Tools Shredder Rakes.

  • Mix the pork pieces with the juices collected at the bottom of the pan and add a bit of apple juice or apple cider if desired for some extra flavor and juiciness.

  • With your pork pulled, it's finally time to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 160kcal