Type of Salt for Pop's Brine

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by strawman, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. I have used Pop's brine a couple of times.  Once was just me winging it with some sliced flank steak that I hung in the smoker to try and make jerky.  Came out more like snack sticks because I was running out of time and I cranked up the heat to somewhat cook them.  It wasn't jerky but tasted really good.  Not salty.

    I then bought two fresh turkey legs.  Big legs at about two pounds a piece.  I put it in Pop's brine again for three days.  Came home and I didn't have time to do them in the smoker so I baked them in the oven.  Looked awesome, very juicy, but it didn't have much flavor.  The meat had a really pink hue to it and there was no denying that the cure had gotten through to the bone.  I had added a lot of garlic, black pepper and onion powder to the brine.  But even with the full amount of salt with the turkey legs, I didn't taste much salt!  (Or really much flavor for that matter, if I had time, I'm sure smoking would have helped on that front.)

    I was just using some Diamond kosher sea salt.  It is a big crystal salt which I know that when measuring by volume is a lot less sodium than table salt for example.  Long story short, what salt should I use? 

    Does anyone have the total amount of weight the salt should be? 

    Thanks in advance for the responses.

  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Most brines use kosher salt that i know of. never used pops brine so don't know the weight or measure.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use kosher salt in Pops brine and it seems fine. If it's not salty enough then just add more salt to it.

    I guess Pops should be answering this.
  4. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm sure Pops will see this and answer your questions.

    Many people are now listing weights in their recipes because a pound of salt is a pound of salt no matter how coarsely of finely it is ground.

    I never use iodized salt in cooking, but I have seen warnings against using it in brines due to flavor issues if I recall correctly.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The salt you are using is the best of the Kosher salts in my opinion. It dissolves quickly and works well dry too. 

  6. Ha!  Well, I figured I could always add more salt.  But I was just wondering if I was using the wrong salt.  What is nice is if I did get it too salty, I guess I could always just do an extra ice water bath to remove some of it.  
  7. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use either sea salt or non-iodine regular salt; the sodium level is the same in either; there's more minerals in the underground salt than sea salt.

    Salt flavoring is really in the eyes (or tastebuds) of the beholder; it depends on how sensitive you are to salt.  What is mildly salty to one is chokingly over-salted to the next; same product, same salt amount added.  If you remove salt from your diet intentionally because of any reason, you will find your tastebuds will bloom with lower salt, then if you go back and try what you previously considered was mild, it will almost choke you it is so salty!  So, there is no 'true' correct amount of salt to add; you add more for greater salt flavor to your taste.

    My brine gives a 'medium' salt content that normally will not require further fresh-water freshening in 'most' people.  Add just to your particular taste and preferences, tho.  There are many great salts you can use, not just common table salt; check out different seasoning sites like Penzey's, PS Seasonings, Penderey Seasonings, or just Google "salts".
    strawman likes this.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Good info borrowed from bbq.about.com... I use half this amount in my Brines...Hope this helps...JJ

    How Much Salt? : The traditional brine is made from a ratio of 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water. This is based on table salt. 1 cup of table salt weighs in at 10 ounces. So we want 10 ounces of salt (by weight) per gallon of water. Kosher salts can weigh between 5 to 7 1/2 ounces per cup, so in these cases we would need between 2 cups to 1 1/2 cups of kosher salt per gallon of water. The two most popular brand of kosher salt weigh in like this: Morton Kosher = 7 1/2 ounces per cup and Diamond Kosher = 5 ounces per cup.
    strawman likes this.

  9. That makes sense and since I have been using Diamond Kosher, it made me think it may be a tad light on the salt.  Thanks for the info!

    Thanks Pops!  When you say that it will not require further fresh water freshening, that may have been my problem with the turkey legs.  Just figured I would have to soak them and I did a 20 fresh water soak.  I should have just left them be. 

    Also, a big thanks to all others who have posted!
  10. I tend to use pickling salt, it's pure (no iodine or additives, so it dissolves clear), is fine grained so dissolves easily and quickly, and measures the same a table salt, so can easily be used in other recipes (or used as table salt, for that matter).

    Here's a handy-dandy volume conversion chart:


    You know, looking at that chart, seems Morton has the "Fine Sea Salt" and "Coarse Sea Salt" reversed.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011

  11. I was thinking after I wrote the earlier reply, what brand/type of salt do you normally use Pops?  I see you said sea salt or non-iodine regular salt, but is it fine like table salt? Or is a coarse salt?

  12. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    yes, regular non-iodine table salt.
    strawman likes this.
  13. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As JJ pointed out, one TBS or one Cup of one Kosher salt does not always equal a TBS or a Cup of another Kosher salt.  Throw in sea salts of different grinds or table salts (Iodized or non iodized) and things can get really complicated.  Weights are being used now, and will be used even more in the future as weight is the best measure.  Fortunately we now have cheap scales that are very dependable.

    Good luck and good smoking.

Share This Page