Brine cuts of meat that tend to dry out during cooking

Brine cuts of meat that tend to dry out during cooking

Deborah Walker

(June 19, 2015) The diary of a chef is intimate and allows one to secretly acknowledge what is beneath the surface of daily routines.

It is important to give credence to present day thoughts; otherwise clarity is a thing of the past. Uncertainty will always be part of the kitchen, so staying in the moment and trusting oneself will emulsify to a state of productivity.

Some say chefs and their gastric skills are of a different breed. Passion is a word that is privy to those who crave cookery. Intriguing culinary possibilities blend from the wee hours of the morning to the very last thoughts of the day. Those who cannot fathom the ideas of obsession simply reduce it to another perplexity to be.

Every morsel is taken into consideration; nothing is too small for deliberation. Details determine fate and specificity is the ultimate test for success. Take heed, generality is a spice that can spoil the pot of creativity.

On that note, I am becoming one with my book of personal observations. My day-to-day notes secure references for future use. Pork loin is on the menu and planning is necessary for a fabulous meal. Should I spend extra money on the tenderloin or opt for the loin. The loin will definitely save me money but it is also a tougher piece of meat. A few seconds of contemplation points me in the direction of the loin, brining will easily solve this problem.

Brining is the practice of submerging a cut of meat in a brine solution, which is basically salted water. The meat absorbs extra liquid and salt, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful final dish. Brining is also good for lean cuts of meat that tend to dry out during cooking. Seasonings and herbs can be added to the brine for additional zest. The basic ratio of salt to water for a brine is 4 tablespoons of salt per 1 quart (4 cups) of cold water.

The next issue at hand is a rub for the pork after it has been brined. Dijon mustard is the perfect binder for kosher salt, garlic and other seasonings. The paste cannot be too thick, otherwise it will adhere to the racks on the grill and not the meat. It is imperative that the Dijon mixture and the exterior of the meat obtain a blackened sear; this ensures tenderness and added zest.

Walmart carries pork loin at $1.97 per pound which is a good price. The average pork loin in the store is approximately 6 pounds which is perfect for large celebrations. Pork loin freezes well so one is not obligated to use the entire loin at one sitting.

The type of grill is crucial and needs to be addressed. Charcoal and not gas is the preferred choice. It is imperative to get the flames flaring with great intensity. You literally want the meat to be engulfed in flames. This might seem rather intense but remember the pork loin is quite substantial in size. Also, charring the exterior enhances a juicy interior.

One last point to make before the subject of grilled pork loin is complete. After the pork has been removed from the grill, place it on a cooling rack to help stop the cooking process. Drizzle olive oil on both sides.

After it has rested for at least 20 minutes, cut the meat paper thin with an electric knife.

Father’s Day is June 21 and grilled pork loin is the perfect selection for such a fun-loving occasion. The crispy exterior parlays wonderfully with the succulent, tender slices of meat. Make dad comfy, offer him a cold one, and have a wonderful Happy Father’s Day!

Grilled Pork Loin


6-pound pork loin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon dried, crushed rosemary

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

½ cup Dijon mustard

½ cup canola oil, plus extra for the grilling

coarse black pepper

extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

1. Brine the pork for two days in the refrigerator, turn every 12 hours.

2. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the canola oil for grilling, black pepper and olive oil.

3. Rub the Dijon mustard mixture over the entire surface of the pork.

4. Coat the pork very heavily with black pepper.

5. Allow the charcoals to become very hot and white. Place the pork on the grill. Drizzle canola oil lightly over the meat. The flames will flare up, this is what you want. You may need to use the lighter to spark the flames. When the pork is black, repeat this process for the other side.

6. Cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the pork over and cook covered for another 5 minutes.

7. Remove pork from grill and place on cooling racks. Lightly coat each side with olive oil and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes.

8. Using an electric knife, slice the pork very thinly. Add some of the olive oil drippings to the meat and serve immediately.

Secret Ingredient – Possibilities. “When you’ve exhausted all possibilities, remember this–you haven’t.”

— Robert H. Schuller

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