How to Brine Pork Chops

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    How to Brine Pork Chops – Pork Chop Brine Recipe 

    Simple brine for pork chops can be as easy as dissolving salt in water or as complicated as an overnight process of an herb infused brine and a quick pan fry.

    This article will give you the basic tools on how to brine pork chops, the best pork brine recipe and tips for brining pork regardless of what recipe you use.

    Pan Fried Pork Chops with Butter and Herbs

    This step-by-step guide will show you how to brine pork chops, tips for a juicy pork and the best pork brine recipe!

    Is it just me, or did brining not become a “thing” until a few years ago? It started with brining turkey for Thanksgiving and has since become trendy for other meats like chicken and pork.

    Make sure you PIN How to Brine Pork Chops!

    Brining has been a chef’s trick for years and for good reason.

    Pork chops in brining solution

    What are the benefits of brining?

    • Brining adds moisture- While the protein is sitting in the brining mixture, it’s slowly absorbing the water, a process called osmosis. Now it will have more moisture available when the heat starts to draw it out. More moisture from the start = more moisture after cooking.

    • Denatured Proteins – Um, what did you say? That sounds way too much like science. Well, it is! The brining mixture helps to swell and unwind muscle fibers, assist them in binding with water and prevents them from rebonding, which can create chewy meat.

    • Flavor- All of that brining liquid is chalk full of flavors. Even if you just use a basic salt and water combination, salt helps to bring out natural flavors. Add aromatics, citrus or other flavors and all of those will also infuse into the fibers of your protein.

    Pork chop in cast iron skillet

    Because there are so many benefits, I set out to find the best brine recipe for the juiciest pork chops. Here it is, I am teaching YOU how to brine pork chops with these easy brining tips and tricks.

    Make sure to scroll down to get the full recipe.

    You can use this simple brine recipe for turkey, chicken or pork and can be used before any other full recipe to add moisture. 

    Pork chop being basted

    Tips for Brining Pork Chops:

    Wet Brine– This technique is called wet brining. If you’ve ever wondered how to keep pork from drying out, wet brining is the answer and will result in the juiciest pork ever! Wet brining adds moisture to your pork.

    Use Kosher Salt- Not all salt is created equal. Salts have different flavor profiles, chemical structures, shapes, ability to dissolve (although they all will eventually) and sizes, resulting in varying density.

    One tablespoon of Kosher salt is not the same as one tablespoon of table salt. Make sure to use Kosher salt with larger crystals to get the correct salt to water ratio for brine, which is 1 heaping tablespoon of kosher salt for every cup of water.

    Pork chops in a cast iron skillet

    Add flavor- The types of flavor you can add to your brine are endless. For a simple brine recipe using just salt and water, there is no need to boil because the salt will dissolve regardless, but for more flavor, boiling is ideal to infuse water. Boiling also helps the salt dissolve faster, but on the flip side, takes longer to cool.

    Pro Tip: Brining works best on less fatty meats that need the extra moisture.

    Pan fried pork chops with butter

    Tools for making a juicy pork chops:

    Brining Bags– These are helpful to save space or if you are brining a lot at one time! It also makes for easy clean up.

    Large Stock Pot– A large stock pot is a kitchen essential not only for making stock, but also for brining and make large batches of sauces and steaming thing like whole lobster or crab. You can make your brining solution in this pot, but also use it as the vessel for brining (if it will fit in your fridge!).

    Heavy Bottom Frying Pan– this will be one of your most used kitchen tools. Having something that is heavy bottom will distribute heat better and prevent burning whether you are using an electric or gas range.  

    Pan fried pork chops cut in half

    Questions you have had about how to brine pork chops:

    How to brine whole pork loin? I bet you will guess this answer! The same way you brine chops or other cuts of pork.

    Can I marinate brined pork? You can, of course try, but you won’t get the same flavor from the marinade since the pork is already flooded with brine. I would suggest using dry rubs or even a basting or dipping sauce.

    What is a basic pan frying recipe? Lucky for you, I’ve included one in the recipe. Feel free to use my basic fried pork chop recipe or use your own. This basic brine recipe can be used with virtually any pork chop recipe.

    Where do I brine my turkey? You can most likely have some something to brine pork in at home. There are three main ways people use: a brining bags, a stock pot or a cooler.

    Pan fried pork chops plated

    Brining bags can be found online or at the store, although they can sometimes be hard to find outside of Thanksgiving.

    Why add sugar to the brine solution? Sugar improves flavors and also aids in the beautiful browning of the skin.

    Can you brine pork too long? It is relatively hard to hurt pork, but yes, you can brine for too long. The result will be a tougher and rubbery texture. I recommend only 24 hours or less.

    Can you reuse pork brine? NO! This is raw meat and a marinade just like others. The brine can be easily contaminated and contaminate your food. Discard pork brine after one use.

    Can you brine pork when it is frozen? You want your pork to be as thawed as possible. If it is frozen, the brine doesn’t have a way to penetrate into the meat. It is a little frozen, it is ok, but remember the ice left inside that still needs to thaw will dilute the brine, so compensate by adding a little more salt.

    What else can I brine? You can brine just about anything you’d like. I’ve even seen folks brine produce like carrots and potatoes, however most brines are meant for proteins like:

    • Chicken
    • Shrimp
    • Turkey
    • Ribs
    • Cornish Game Hens 

    How to Brine Pork Chops for Pinterest

    This step-by-step guide will show you how to brine pork chops, tips for a juicy pork and the best pork brine recipe!Click to Tweet


    5 from 1 vote
    Pan fried pork chops plated
    How to Brine Pork Chops
    Prep Time
    1 hr
    Brining Time
    1 d
    Total Time
    1 d 1 hr

    This step-by-step guide will show you how to brine pork chops, tips for a juicy pork and the best pork brine recipe!

    Course: Main Course, Main Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: how to brine pork chops, pan fried pork chops
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 541 kcal
    Pork Chop Brine:
    • 1/2 gallon water
    • 1/2 cup kosher salt*
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • dried bay leaves
    • cloves garlic , peeled and smashed
    • teaspoons  whole black peppercorns
    • sprig fresh rosemary
    • sprig fresh thyme
    • lemon , sliced
    • 6-8 large pork chops
    Pan Fried Pork Chops:
    • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 cup butter , room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon fresh basil
    • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
    • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
    To Brine Pork Chops:
    1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, combine water, Kosher salt, sugar, bay leaves, smashed garlic cloves, black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and slices lemons.
    2. Bring to a low simmer, stirring until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool fully.
    3. Add the pork chops to the cooled brine. If there is room, you can add to the stock pot, just make sure it is fully submerged in liquid. If you need to add 1-2 additional cups of water to make this happen, go for it! You can also use a brining bag.
    4. Cover, if you using a pot, and refrigerate for 8-24 hours. Do not over brine, as meat can start to turn rubbery if brined for too long.Remove pork chops from the brine and rinse with cold water. Continue with your favorite pork chop recipe.Discard brine.
    To Cook Brined Pork Chops:
    1. In a small bowl, combine butter with basil, oregano and parsley. Set aside.Season pork chops with Kosher salt and ground black pepper.
    2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.Cook pork chops on both sides until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
    3. Remove from frying pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Top each with 1 tablespoon of herb butter when plated, allowing butter to melt over pork chops. Approximately 1 tablespoons per pork chops.
    4. If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!

    Recipe Video

    Recipe Notes

    Do NOT use table salt.

    Nutrition Facts
    How to Brine Pork Chops
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 541 Calories from Fat 315
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 35g54%
    Saturated Fat 15g94%
    Cholesterol 158mg53%
    Sodium 10064mg438%
    Potassium 628mg18%
    Carbohydrates 20g7%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 17g19%
    Protein 36g72%
    Vitamin A 490IU10%
    Vitamin C 9.8mg12%
    Calcium 66mg7%
    Iron 1.4mg8%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    Pan fried pork chop recipe



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