6 Easy Brine Recipes

Marinating meat in a salt water solution leads to juicy, flavorful results.

Pork Chops With Sautéed Apples and PolentaCon Poulos

Want to lock in moisture and add deep, complex flavor to your meats? Experiment with brining, a simple technique that involves marinating your ingredients in a mixture of salt, water, and oftentimes other spices or flavoring agents. To get started, read these tips and tricks on how to brine properly. Then, try the recipes below for pork and lamb.


Basic Flavor Brine

Courtesy of The Great Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells ($40, amazon.com)
Makes enough for 4 pork chops; for larger cuts, such as pork loin roasts, double or triple the recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup salt (I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
  • ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups ice cubes

Directions

  1. Stir together the water, salt, and sugar until dissolved. Stir in the ice and any other flavorings and cool the brine to 45°F or lower.
  2. Place 4 pork chops in a zipper-lock bag. Pour in the flavor brine and seal the bag. Place the bag in a bowl in case it leaks and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours, depending on the thickness of the chops. Remove the chops, discard the flavor brine, and pat the chops dry. Proceed with the recipe, or wrap the chops in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 2 days.
 

Related Content

Variety of vegetables on a cutting board

Healthy Eating Tips and Recipes

Delicious good-for-you recipes, ingredient advice, and low-fat cooking tricks for a healthier, happier you.

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments
Advertisement

Quick Tip

Watercress

Supermarkets may carry watercress or a similar spicy green called upland cress (often labeled hydroponic cress); either is deliciously peppery.