Classic Brine for Poultry, Shellfish and Pork

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 5 mins

Use this standard brining solution to ensure tasty, juicy meats all the time.  Brine solutions vary according to the chef's preference and they are often infused with herbs and spices, the flavors of which wind up being transferred to the meat during brining. This is from Big Daddy's grilling on line.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Bring water to a boil and add the salt and sugar and allow both to completely dissolve.  If you are going to add herbs or seasonings add them now so the hot water will cause them to release their essence.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Place the meat (except for whole birds) into a one-gallon zip-lock bag. Add the cooled brine and press baggie to remove excess air and seal.  Place in fridge for recommended time.
  2. Use 1 quart of brine solution per pound of food, not to exceed 2 gallons of brine. Brine for 1 hour per pound, but not for less than 30 minutes or for more than 8 hours.
  4. The thickness of the muscle, the strength of the brine.
  5. and your own taste determine how long to brine an item. For a moderately strong brine (1 cup salt to 1 gallon water), the following brining times are rough guidelines. If you aren't ready to cook at the end of the brining time, remove the meat from the brine, but keep the meat refrigerated.
  6. Shrimp: 30 minutes.
  7. Whole chicken (4 pounds): 8 to 12 hours.
  8. Chicken parts: 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Cornish game hens: 2 hours.
  10. Turkey (12 to 14 pounds): 24 hours.
  11. Pork chops (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch thick): 1 to 2 days.
  12. Whole pork tenderloin: 12 hours.
  13. Whole pork loin: 4 hours.


Most Helpful

I used this on chicken breasts and I must say that the difference was huge, so from now on I will try to use it as often as I can on variety of protein. Thank you.

Katanashrp March 11, 2013

I use this brine all the time. It is especially good with pork. I cannot believe in all the time I have been using this I have rated it yet as I know I have been using this for a few years now. So easy and with so few ingredients it's surprising how much this adds to the meat. I use it a lot while grilling and like to add garlic and sometimes different spices to it but it is wonderful as written. I also have only used splenda with this recipe.

Beverly292 May 04, 2009

I used these for pork chops that I made and they were delicious. I like the fact it is a simple brine and I could easily pare it down since there were only 2 porkchops. Will use this quite often. Thank you.

nemokitty March 20, 2009

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