Best container for brining pork loin

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by pfaas, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. I'm looking at brining some pork loins.  I'll store it in the bottom of the fridge and was thinking of looking for the largest plastic food storage container I could get that would fit.  Is this best? or should I avoid plastic,  or should I not worry about food contact and just get a new washing up bowl?  Recommendations (available in UK) welcomed.
  2. Hello.  Your first choice is your best option.  Now if you want to spend some money porcelain/porcelain coated steel or a crock is the mutts nuts.  I am probably being OVER cautious but I would avoid any plastic bowl/container which is not food safe; you just never know and when giving advice in the forums we MUST err on the side of caution.  "The dog food came in it and the dog is fine"?????????????????  [​IMG]   Be sure to post some picts of that process and the finished product.  Keep Smokin!

  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Plastic is fine so long as it is food safe. Go along to your local home brew store (or find one online) and they should have a variety of container sizes to choose from.
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I realize I don't do metric, but this is my brine bucket!

    Lets see its a 5 gal. bucket, what's the metric standard, 18 liter? 20?

    A good heavy bucket, use a steam cleaner or the hot car wash, once clean use an antibiotic soap to clean and then store. When ever you use it, was again and rinse with Clorox or a bleach.

    I actually found the bucket picture in a file listed as loins. LOL Its big enough I have not need anything bigger yet. I also use large Tupperware with the snap tight lids for smaller brine/cures, and I have a 1 gallon plastic pitcher with a locking lid that works excellent for brining birds!

    Make sure it thick, may sure its tuff, male sure its smooth and make sure to clean it well. NSF really means little as long as you keep it really clean. I try to use whatever most fits the meat, by doing so it requires less brine/cure and it will require less of the brides reefer space if you don't have a meat locker.

    These are just my opinions, remember in the olden days they use wooden barrels!
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The problem with the non-food grade buckets is not microbiological infection - and I agree that what Foamheart has described should make sure that it is as bug free as it probably can be. It is more about the qualities of the plastic itself and the chemicals in them that can leach out of them in low concentrations. Also any chemicals that were previously stored in non-food containers may leave residues in the plastic. In most cases you are unlikely to become immediately sick from using non food grade containers however the chemicals that can leach from the plastics have been shown to have possible long term carcinogenic properties. Would you want to take the risk when food grade plastic containers are readily available.

    It would be interesting Foamheart to know if you would have been as happy to use that bucket after the steam clean etc. if the label had said "pesticide concentrate" or "potassium cyanide"... I must admit that even the label "Transmission and Hydraulic oil" would have made me think twice about using it. Still it does not seem to have done you any harm so far. What do you mean you are actually only 25 years old! [​IMG]

    Pfaas, it is hard to argue with the older guys on here who have done things quite successfully all their lives but I also had a grandmother who smoked 50 cigarettes a day and lived to be over 100. If I were you I would certainly stick with the food grade plastic as it is not expensive. You may also want to try one of your local restaurants as they will often get foodstuff delivered in them and they just throw them away. They might have the exact size you are looking for.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
  6. Thanks for the posts.  I love the bucket and it would be a lovely twist to cure all my meats in an old container with a skull and cross bones on!  I think it does make good sense to get a food grade container.  Interesting point about having the right size for the meat so as to minimize cure, I guess theirs a risk of someone putting to little mixture in to cure the meat if you "right size it" for a long cure.   One idea I have is to get a large container but to use the plastic roll that comes with my vacuum sealer to create a smaller bag for the meat and brine.  Its strong and means that I can make an appropriate size bag to sit in my larger container for safety.

    I have a number of questions on my pork loin project but I think it appropriate to write a separate thread shortly.  

    Thanks especially to Foamheart for enrolling and posting on the UK forum.  It seems a bit of a shortcoming of the site that members can't post on the UK group without joining.  I've had a number of emails in the past saying I should post on the main forum so everyone can contribute, but I use the UK group because I want to know what's available at Waitrose or Morrisons, don't accompany my food with grits or "dutch crunch rolls", and can't buy at Tescos Morton Tender Quick or all the other strange cure salts that seem availablle in N.America.  But I recognize what a wealth of knowledge exists the other side of the pond and it's a pity to miss out.
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't buy mine from Tesco however for under £6 you can get a big bag of curing salt from This will be enough to cure up to 40Kg (over 85 pounds) of bacon.
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You are right Wade, I should have expanded upon the plastic. I sold Polyethylene Pipe (Plastic) for a living and the Polybutylene (containing Bisphenol A, or BPA), can possibly cause problems, if I am not mistaken because this all came about after I had left the business, it was the possibility of problems with reusing the bottle after the VU rays had caused degradation to the original molecular structure and this had the possibility to damage  developing unborns? But that was polybutylene.

    When looking for plastics, always look on the package and see that it is Polyethylene and its molecular density. Its easy and always clearly stamped in the plastic. Milk jugs, clothes bags, pipe, auto bumpers, hula hoops, every polyethylene product (and there are a lot!), carries a stamp of either HDPE (high density Polyethylene), MDPE (Medium Density), LDPE (and Low). HDPE being the heaviest, its obviously the best for strength and durability. 

    And I apologize for not being so clear its been awhile since I did any international research but when England first started developing its poly industry they were as well regulated and better policed that the US.

    I believe that all the Bisphenol A or BPA products have been removed in the US which would lead me to assume the same in England, its all probably been passed on to third world countries where lawsuits are not a way of life.

    FYI, NSF (National Sanitation Foundation), certification only means that the pipe at one time went thru the testing process to meet the standard, its expensive, so it was a way used by the big manufactured to help limit the competition. The same with ASTM The standards supposedly set by industry, AWWA Water works, etc....

    LOL... dang there I go again rambling.

    Basically look for the Polyethylene stamp and you'll be ok.

    Here we go, quick and easy:
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With the internet there is no need for physical boundaries anymore. The only limiting factor is the freight.

    And how can you live without grits? LOL
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Its what I am trying to say, you have to seriously search the junkyards to find  non-food safe plastic anything. There is a Large poison warning on the bucket, but once washed its as good as any other food safe plastic. The warning is for the carried product, not the vehicle in which its being carried.

    Just look for the stamp if you have a doubt. Believe me you'll have a hard time finding one that isn't safe.
  11. darwin101

    darwin101 Meat Mopper

    I use Cambro food storage buckets for brining meats and all of my flour storage.  The price for them on is silly, so not a good choice.  Maybe you have something  similar over there that would be more reasonable.
  12. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    i use Protein buckets from my protein powder that i use. go to any gym and they will have empty buckets.

    i cut loins in half and brine them for back bacon. brine whole chickens, a couple if they are small. i dry rub my bacon so i use large plastic food grade bags for that. the deli's and bakeries also get many supplies in large plastic pails.

  13. Hello Pfass.  I am finding it harder to get new folks to join the group and I think part of it is because they think there is greater knowledge across the pond.  I believe they think if they post in the Group their responses will be limited.  The truth is we have the best of both.  We have a wealth of knowledge within the Group BUT if we can't help, many of us have been SMF members for some time and we have contacts across the pond.  More than once I have answered a question in the Group and then asked someone across the pond to have a look at the thread and offer advice by PM.  Each time they were happy to help.  I think the folks who e-mailed or PM'ed with that advice are missing out.  I CAN'T answer every question, I just don't have that variety and range of knowledge, but we have many great members with a wealth of knowledge.  I think you will find we have ZERO unanswered questions in the U.K. group.  Keep Smokin!

  14. generally i do not have enough room in the fridge if i am brining pork or poultry etc, so i use a cooler box lined with a large plastic bag,then that is filled with iced brine, meat goes in and i cover with ice cubes in another plastic bag so when it melts it does not mix and dilute the brine,top up with fresh ice when needed,i cured a turkey for 3 days that way for christmas "turkey ham"

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