Classic Brine for Poultry, Shellfish and Pork

"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."
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
Ready In:
1 quart




  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The thickness of the muscle, the strength of the brine.
  • 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.
  • Shrimp: 30 minutes.
  • Whole chicken (4 pounds): 8 to 12 hours.
  • Chicken parts: 1 1/2 hours.
  • Cornish game hens: 2 hours.
  • Turkey (12 to 14 pounds): 24 hours.
  • Pork chops (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch thick): 1 to 2 days.
  • Whole pork tenderloin: 12 hours.
  • Whole pork loin: 4 hours.

Questions & Replies

  1. slightly but also helps it brown. If deep frying skip the sugar.
  2. does the addition of the sugar make the meat sweet at all?


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I used this recipe to brine some boneless pork chops before grilling since they can get dry on the grill. It worked perfectly ~ the chops were very moist and flavorful. I used brown sugar since I was using a barbecue sauce with brown sugar in it. I brined the chops for about 4 hours as they were small and relatively thin. It worked out perfectly. THanks for posting!
  5. My sister and I tried this recipe on Thanksgiving. It took 5 quarts and I tied the turkey in the new large ziplock bags. I loved the way the dark meat tasted. The white meat was good too. It was tender enought you didn't need to use a knife. Next time I'll add some spice like my sis did.



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