several chicken breasts on a wooden cutting board

Recipe: How To Brine Chicken Breasts

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American


After doing a series of tests and comparisons, this is the recipe and method that I’ve found works best for brining chicken breasts. 


Units Scale
  • 4 cups cold tap water
  • 4 and 1/2 Tbsp. Morton’s kosher salt*
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic granules (optional)
  • 4 (6oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts


  1. In a medium-sized bowl stir together water and salt until salt is dissolved. 
  2. If you are planning to brine for over 45 minutes, stir in the garlic granules (otherwise the flavor won’t penetrate).
  3. Add the chicken breasts. Make sure they’re all submerged. If not, use a narrower bowl or a zipper bag.
  4. If brining chicken for more than 30 minutes, transfer brine and chicken to refrigerator. If brining for under 30 minutes, leave on counter.
  5. Allow chicken to sit in brine for 15 minutes to 2 hours. See chart above to determine optimum time. My preference is 1 hour.
  6. Remove chicken from brine. Discard brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
  7. Cook chicken immediately (try these baked chicken breasts or these grilled chicken breasts), or refrigerate covered for 3 days, or wrap well for the freezer and freeze for up to 2 months, and then cook.

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*Different kinds of salt have different sized crystals so you need different amounts depending on the type. Use 6 tablespoons of Diamond Crystal kosher salt, OR 4 and 1/2 tablespoons of Morton’s kosher salt, OR 3 tablespoons of fine or table salt.