In this recipe I make a flavored brine for pork chops or pork tenderloin, which is based on my basic brine recipe.  Pork can become overcooked pretty quickly and the brining process gives you a bit more insurance by getting some additional moisture in the meat.  My flavored brine for pork chops, uses a few of pork’s “natural” pairings to also boost up the flavor. 

Pork Chop Brine

Ingredients for pork brine

  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 cup of Kosher salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 roughly chopped onion
  • 1 roughly chopped carrot
  • ~20 peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Tablespoon of herb de provence
  • 2 cups of apple juice

Overview & Keys to Success

This is a very simple recipe and there are not really any tricks.  The basic brine is simple a combination of salt, sugar and water.  The one thing you’ll want to think about and watch and how much you sauté the vegetables.  The more you cook them, the deeper the flavor they can bring, but remember, the meat is going to be brining for 8 hours so you don’t necessarily need deep, dark caramelization on the vegetables.

Saute the Vegetables

  • I like to use a sauce pan large enough to hold all of the liquid I am using for the brine, and go ahead and get the pot on the heat and add some olive oil
  • Add the onion, garlic and carrot and sauté until the onions become translucent

Make the brine

  • Once the vegetables are where you want them you can add in the ingredients
  • Stir to get the salt and sugar are dissolved; then take the pot off the heat and let brine cool
  • If you’re in a hurry you can add some ice cubes; but remember this is additional water that will dilute the brine, so either use less water upfront, or add more of the other ingredients to compensate
  • Add your pork and let it brine for about 8 hours in the fridge
Total Time: 
35minutes
Prep Time: 
10minutes
Cook Time: 
25minutes
Cuisine: 
American
Course: 
Main
Main Ingredient: 
Pork Marinades & Sauces