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So I'm thinking of doing three things to a piece of pork.

  • First salt it for a day
  • Then Confit it
  • Then Smoke it

Is this overkill or can this make some good pork?

  • 1
    What are you trying to achieve? – moscafj Jan 9 '15 at 16:05
  • Do you want bacon or a pork chop? – GdD Jan 9 '15 at 16:54
  • Pork Chops yes sorry for the uncertainty. – Neil Meyer Jan 9 '15 at 17:49
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Well, I see no reason this shouldn't work. Although I would change the process order slightly. If you think about it you're basically suggesting making smoked bacon and then confiting it.

  1. Brine the meat, adding moisture to the meat. (Make bacon)
  2. Smoke the Bacon (Smoked Bacon)
  3. Confit it...

Smoking wise I would advise a cold smoke as it will help stop the meat drying out before the confiting.

When doing the confit part I would highly recommend a really low fat/oil temperature, around 110c again to help stop the meat drying out and getting tough. Low and slow will save your meat.

When I say make bacon I don't mean brine it for 2 days but if you brine it for 4-8 hours you'll help start the osmosis without actually creating full on salted bacon.

It might taste great, but I see no reason why it wouldn't taste good. Maybe not the "Ultimate Pork Chop" ...

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So let's see what would happen:

  1. salting
    • Assuming you mean brining, not too much. The meat would absorb some of the liquid, that would be unwanted in step 2.
    • If you mean a dry rub with salt, the outer layer of the meat would dry out a bit. Not nice for a lean chop.

  2. making confit
    Slow simmering in fat would most likely render the lean meat of the chops tough. Confit is excellent for meat with a higher internal fat content - think duck legs vs. duck breast. Neck instead of chop could work.

  3. smoking
    The meat from step 2 now contains a lot of fat (albeit little moisture), especially in the outer layer. Fat absorbs and binds scents. In perfume-making fat was used to extract aromatic oils that couldn't be heated. So the result of smoking the chops would be a lot more intense than you'd probably expect.

As I said in my comment: Smoked shoe leather. I wouldn't recommend it.

  • Salting could have an effect similar to dry-brining, and a cut with more internal fat (like a rib chop) could stand up to confit better than a lean-trimmed center chop. I've also had smoked chops in restaurants that were quite tasty indeed. But overall I'm inclined to agree - these steps in this order would be complete overkill. – logophobe Jan 9 '15 at 21:51
  • Your answer seems quite plausible and well-reasoned. But what if you used neck instead and shuffled the order? Say, start with smoking, then brine, and finally the confiting? – The Dag Jan 10 '15 at 14:24
  • @TheDag: If I really wanted to do all these steps, I would use a piece that's less lean (-> neck, for example, probably even trotters). Then 1. brine, 2. smoke 3. confit. Reason: brining a smoked piece sounds counter-intuitive and you don't want extra moisture in the lard. Confit is a method of preservation as it seales pasteurized meat from oxygen, so this should be the last step. I'd be rather gentle with steps 1 + 2, because the fat absorbs much taste, especially over time. So if you want to use the fat, too, you don't want it to taste like smoke. – Stephie Jan 10 '15 at 15:46
  • @logophobe: Smoking the chops should work - if done right, ist's similar to low-temperature roasting or sous-vide cooking. – Stephie Jan 10 '15 at 15:48

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