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Pork Belly & Equilibrium Brining


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4 replies to this topic

#1 danelks

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 11:30 PM

I'm attempting ChefSteps' braised pork belly recipe here: http://www.chefsteps...ised-pork-belly


The pork is has been in the brine (equilibrium version) for a bit over 24 hours, but as I look over the math again I'm a bit worried about the final salt concentration - if my calculations are correct it should equilibrate at around 2.5%, which seems very high for a brine (my copy of MC seems to agree).


Has anyone attempted this before? Is my math off or does that seem high to anyone else? I suspect maybe the idea is to serve this in small portions as an accent rather than as a main protein...


Assuming I'm not out to lunch...to salvage I'm thinking I might be best to take it out after 48 hours, soak in a few changes of fresh water for 2 hours (per MC, roughly following the high-concentration brine method, though at a lower salt concentration and for less brining time...), then re-seal for 24 hours to let the salt concentration even out in the meat.


Last thing I want to do is oversalt and ruin this nice piece of meat, and it needs to be ready to cook by Thursday morning...any advice (or even words of encouragement) would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by danelks, 16 June 2014 - 11:37 PM.

#2 nickrey

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 12:05 AM

Carve a piece of the belly off and fry it. Taste it. If it is too salty, put the whole belly in water for a few hours; try again. Keep on going until you reach the desired level of saltiness.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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#3 Shalmanese

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 08:24 AM

I routinely equilibrium brine at 3% by weight and meat comes out perfectly seasoned. I wouldn't worry about it.

PS: I am a guy.

#4 danelks

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 10:28 AM

Thanks folks.


I will let it brine the full 72 hours then do the fry taste test and soak as needed, seems like a perfectly reasonable solution that I didn't think of late last night. 

#5 danelks

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:26 PM

For what it's worth, the meat did come out of the brine excessively salty to my tastes. After soaking for 1 hour, 2 hours, then eventually overnight, the salt had dropped to a somewhat more reasonable level, though still a bit on the high side compared to my usual level of seasoning.


It's in the circulator now sealed with additional water (double the amount called for in the recipe) in hopes of drawing out a bit more while it cooks.


Next time I'll probably use at most half of the salt concentration in the brine.

Edited by danelks, 19 June 2014 - 03:27 PM.

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