To make perfectly tender and juicy pork chops you need this Pork Chop Brine Recipe, which is easy to make and truly makes the best pork chops. With simple ingredients of salt, sugar, and a few spices you’ll be able to make the brine in minutes and get to brining your pork quickly.
I’ve always loved pork chops and pork tenderloin, but I’ve always found it hard to prepare at home without over-cooking it ending up with a very tough piece of meat. Recently, though I found the solution. That solution is using a simple brine for pork chops that soaks into the meat and tenderizes it.
I first tried a pork chop brine when I made this Apple Cider Brined Pork Chop recipe and wanted to try other versions of a brine with pork chops. I promise you that doing this will make a huge difference.
I have tried several different brines and this is the best brine for pork chops or even pork tenderloin.
Why You Need This Recipe
- It tenderizes the pork chops. If you’re wondering why you should brine pork chops it’s because not only does this season the meat and enhance the flavor, but it literally changes the structure of the proteins making it easier to hold in moisture. This is how you end up with extremely tender pork chops.
- It’s easy to make. It takes just a few minutes to prepare this simple brine for pork chops and once it’s made just pour it over your meat and cover it. Store it in the fridge while it brines for 1 to 4 hours.
- Salt – The Salt changes the structure of the meat’s proteins allowing the cells to hold in moisture. It’s a key component in brine. I recommend using a basic salt for this recipe.
- Brown Sugar – Adding brown sugar to the brine doesn’t do anything for the texture of the meat, but it does add flavor and increase the browning of the meat.
- Spices – In this recipe, you will need bay leaves and whole peppercorns, but you can also add some other whole spices as well. The spices themselves infuse the meat with flavor so you can change the spices you choose depending on the time of year.
- Maple Brined Pork Chops: This is a great brine to use during the fall. Swap the brown sugar for maple syrup. You can even create a maple syrup-type glaze for your pork chops to enhance the maple flavor.
- Beer Brined Pork Chops: Try something different by using beer to brine your pork chops. To do cut the water down by half. Use 4 cups of water and 4 cups of beer. This is great for brining pork chops for grilling.
- Dry Brine: You can also dry brine pork chops too. In order to do this just combine the salt, brown sugar, and some dried spices such as thyme, rosemary, or oregano and rub it on the pork chops. Wrap them and let them brine in the fridge for about 1 hour to 4 hours.
How to Make a Simple Brine for Pork Chops
This is an easy pork chop brine recipe that takes minutes to make. Just let it cool and pour it over your pork and let it sit until you’re ready to cook it.
- Combine the salt and sugar. Place the salt and brown sugar into a large pot or Dutch oven and mix to combine.
- Heat the brine. Add half of the water to the pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Pour the brine over the pork chops. Allow the mixture to cool and pour in the remaining water. Stir to combine. Place the pork chops into a gallon-sized zip-top bag or a shallow baking dish and pour the brine on top.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Discard the brine after using it. The brine needs to be discarded after you have used it for food safety purposes.
- The pork chop brine needs to be at room temperature before pouring it over the meat. To cool the brine quickly after it’s heated I like to stir some ice into the remaining water before adding it to the rest of the brine.
- This is really a basic brine recipe and can be used for pork tenderloin too or even chicken.
For a sweet brine, you will need a 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, and half a gallon of water. You can increase this amount based on how much you need.
If you are making a dry brine then it is essential you use both salt and sugar in the brine, which intensifies the flavor but also aids in the browning capabilities. A sweet brine which is comprised of salt, sugar, and water will also need sugar. You can, however, prepare a basic brine just using salt, spices, and water though.
Pork Chop Brine Recipe
- Large Pot or Dutch Oven
- 1/2 cup Salt
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 quart Water
- 3 Bay Leaves
- Place the salt and brown sugar into a large pot or Dutch oven and mix to combine.
- Add half of the water and the bay leaves to the pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Allow the mixture to cool and pour in the remaining water. Stir to combine.
- Place the pork chops into a gallon-sized zip-top bag or a shallow baking dish and pour the brine on top. Let the pork chops sit in the brine for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 6 hours.