6 Easy Brine Recipes

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

Pork Chops With Sautéed Apples and PolentaCon Poulos

Caribbean 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


  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons salt (I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups ice cubes


  1. Stir together the water (and any other liquid ingredients), 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.

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