Brining is simple—and the payoff is big. (Plus it works on chicken and pork, too.)

By Real Simple Editors
Updated October 17, 2019
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Nothing’s worse than a dry piece of meat. Brining, or submerging the meat in a saltwater bath, allows any lean type of poultry or pork (like a turkey, a whole chicken, or pork chops) to absorb extra moisture while raw so it won’t dry out during cooking. And because the water is seasoned, it flavors the meat from the inside. (If you are interested in a different kind of brine, learn the differences between dry brine vs. wet brine before you pick your preferred brining method. Here’s how to brine a turkey, plus how to brine chicken and pork:

Credit: The Ellaphant in the Room

Our handy guide will tell you how much brine you need for different cuts and quantities of turkey, chicken, and pork.

Ready for an extra credit step? Citrus peel, fennel, chilies, fresh herbs and spices (like cumin, coriander, star anise, and cinnamon sticks), can subtly flavor the meat. Add one or two to the brine along with the bay leaf and the peppercorns.