Classic Brine for Poultry, Shellfish and Pork

Recipe by Rita1652
READY IN: 10mins
YIELD: 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.