I posted this question on Bill Monroe's thread about sand shrimp in a blender. I haven't had a response yet so I thought I would put it in its own thread.
When I watched Bill's method of brining I noticed that he plug cut them prior to brining. This was counter to everything everyone had told me previously..........
I am curious about plug cutting them before you brine them. Everyone I have ever talked to has said to not cut them. Their reasoning is that it will reduce the herring scent out of the meat. Yet you feel that the scents you are adding have a better chance of being absorbed by the meat. It makes me curious what is happening at the cellular level with the meat, scent and scales when brining occurs.
I know that adding a high concentration of salt to most things in the kitchen induces what I believe is an osmotic reaction. The water gets drawn out of whatever you are putting it on. That goes for vegetables that I am preparing for the table. I think a similar reaction is going on when eggs get cured. They always juice out. Is this what is going on with the salty brine for herring?
I know that when I brine my baby back ribs that they get saltier so the salt is being absorbed. I think it also helps with the aborption of my dry rub after the brine.
Looking at what ask.com says
it appears that moisture is actually added to the meat when you brine it but so are the other flavors you put in the brine. It would seem that with more moisture would come softer bait rather than firmer bait.
Yet brining the whole fish uncut seems to firm up the scales and skin.
Anyone have any thoughts?
Am I using the old propeller hat too much on this one?