I would like to know what brining does too (besides bringing moisture and flavor to the party?) Maybe it tenderizes because of the added moisture?
I brined and smoked a turkey breast this weekend. Results were: very juicy. Maybe the juicies breast evah. But very salty. Will have to cut down on the salt in the next one. I added molasses instead of sugar (didn't really taste sweet to me) as well as orange and lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, peppercorns, garlic (of course), some damned awful "Pink Truck" white zin that we opened for my friend cuz that's all she'll drink, and a bit of mushroom soy, and cayenne. Brined it for 8 hours only. Could taste a little bit of the citrus on the outter portions and a little rosemary but didn't detect an overt flavoring on the center portions. Think that brining 7 days would maybe make the flavorants penetrate further. Think the sugar just adds a little sweetness to the meat?
Sorry for digressing and making this a turkey post. Was sposed to be about the brine! :D
And shroom maybe I will take you up on the wonderful offer next fall when I'm healthier of breaking down a pig. Good gawd I would love that! I'd also love to have a sausage/salami making orgy too so maybe that could be a revisit!? Been going through medical crap here and will have surgery end of November.