How to Brine

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 4-24 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 39 minute
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Brine
  • Cuisine: American


Soaking lean meats in a salt water solution is so easy and it makes such a difference! Here’s how to brine.


  • 4 cups cold water
  • Salt (6 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt OR 4 and 1/2 Tbsp. Morton’s kosher salt OR 3 Tbsp. table salt)
  • 2 Tbsp. brown or white sugar (optional)
  • Lean meat for brining
  • Optional ingredients: peppercorns, juniper berries, rosemary, thyme and/or sage sprigs, bay leaves, allspice berries, whole cloves, star anise, other favorite herbs and spices


  1. In a large nonreactive container, combine the water, salt and sugar (if using), stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.
  2. Transfer to a resealable bag, add the meat and any optional ingredients and seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible.
  3. Set aside in the refrigerator for 4- 6 hours for chicken breasts, 1-inch thick pork chops or pork tenderloins, 8-12 hours for a whole chicken or turkey breast, 12-24 hours for a whole turkey or pork loin.
  4. Remove the meat from the brine, pat it dry, and proceed with your recipe.


Note: This recipe makes enough brine for 4 pork chops, 4 chicken breasts or 2 pork tenderloins. Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe for bigger cuts or larger batches.