Alton Brown's 2-Hour Mustard Brine for Pork Chops or Roast

"This is a recipe from Alton Brown on the food network, the regular recipe stated 1 cup salt but I cut it down to 3/4 cup you could even reduce the salt down to 1/2 cup but go ahead and use the 1 cup if you wish, remember kosher salt ONLY or you will not be able to eat the chops, and only brine the pork for 2 hours, NO MORE than that! You can use less than 5 large thick-cut pork chops or you might be able to fit more pork chops than five, just make certain that the meat is completely covered with the brine though."
photo by rejoiceandbeglad2 photo by rejoiceandbeglad2
photo by rejoiceandbeglad2
Ready In:
5 pork chops




  • In a large plastic container with a lid, put the salt, Brown Sugar, peppercorns and mustard powder; add in the HOT vinegar and swirl to dissolve the sugar and salt completely.
  • Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes at room temperature to develop flavor.
  • Add in the ice cubes and shake to melt most of the ice.
  • Add in the pork chops, making certain that the meat is completely covered with the brine.
  • Cover with lid and refrigerate for 2 hours (NO MORE than 2 hours!).
  • Rinse the pork well under cold water before cooking.
  • Cook as desired.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Awesome brine! I have used this 5 times now and EVERY time was great! Now here are some tips that I have learned so far...<br/><br/>1) Be sure and rinse the pork very well after the brine...those who are tasting like salt are most likely not rinsing it well enough. When you think you have rinsed it enough...rinse it again.<br/><br/>2) Leave it in the brine the full 2 hours, but no more. There is a chemical thing going less then 2 hours can hurt the process. I use this for 2 whole pork tenderloins and it does not matter if one is bigger then the other...they both taste the same as long as I cook them to the same temp. (yes the meat will look greyish after brine...this is normal) (side note...if using whole tenderloins be sure and trim them very good to get rid of the fat and the silver skin stuff...I use my fillet great!)<br/><br/>3) Dissolve the salt and sugar all the way. To help with this I have changed a few things. First I add 3/4 cup water to the vinegar and preheat it and leave on a medium heat. Second I add only the salt...dissolve it all the way first, then add the brown sugar and dissolve, then add the pepper corns and let them steep for a few minutes. The salt dissolves easier this way. Then remove from heat and add about 2 1/2 cups ice and stir till melted...then refrigerate it to chill completely before adding meat. (Be sure and use a salt with no iodine or anti caking agent. Read ingredients list and it should only say salt or sea salt. I use Mortons Natural Sea Salt, All Purpose.) <br/><br/>4) Totally submerge the pork in the brine. If using a container like I do, just fill a quart ziploc bag with water and place it on top of the meat to hold it down into the brine. Or you can put the brine and meat in a large ziploc bag and squeeze all the air out.<br/><br/>5) Do not overcook. Pork is not like it used to don't have to cook it medium well or well done. A little pink in the middle is OK. I cook whole pork tenderloins on high heat on the grill like a steak. And I cook it to a medium with a pink center. EXCELLENT! Even tender the next day heated up in microwave (heat whole tenderloin leftovers, then slice after microwave) BUT...this pork is still good even overcooked, thanks to the brine!<br/><br/>I hope these tips will help some. ENJOY!<br/><br/>Can't wait to make this again!!
  2. Don't know why so many reviews complain of "too salty" or "too 'vinegary' "... I got nervous after starting this because of the reviews and shorting the time to just over an hour, wish I'd left for the entire two hours because these turned out really nice. I used boneless center cut chops about 1-1/2 to 2" thick, added some fresh thyme to the bryne, hit them hard in a hot cast iron pan, put some chicken broth in the pan (with the thyme from the brine) and put in the oven at 325 for 1/2 hour to finish... came out very nice.... Yes, the cider does make the meat a bit gray colored.
  3. Awful, no taste and totally changed texture of meat. Marinated 3 pork chops for 2 hours and removed 2 more after 1 1/2 hours due to the change in look and feel of meat of prior 2. Cooked on grill, husband said it was good, his was smothered in BBQ sauce, mine plain with sauerkraut, never again, dry and strange texture of meat.
  4. My family LOVED this recipe!! Although neither my husband or son liked the smell of the brine as the vinegar was heated up. I followed the tips from RSpencer2013 and used the super thick/big panhandle pork chops. I love the fact that it's only a two hour brine. This recipe is a winner!
  5. Very moist and flavorful on the grill. For my next feat, I'll be brining a double pork roast and smoking it.


  1. Personal Preference: I used Stone Ground Musard (I love this stuff!) instead of ground powdered mustard. I have used the powdered mustard before, but I didn't get the amount of flavor I was seeking.
  2. This is REALLY good. My husband doesn't like pork, but loves this. I used apple cider instead of cider vinegar, and we grilled it. Soooo good.
  3. I miss read the recipe before I went to the store and thought it said "apple cider". I made it with apple juice instead of vinegar. It turned out GREAT! I put a rub on it and barbecued it. It was very moist and delicious.



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