No more dry boring chops!! Brining pork chops before cooking is an easy way to make them extra juicy and tender!

Brine helps the meat to draw in moisture (and salt) adding tons of flavor, especially to lean meats like pork and poultry. This simple pork chop brine makes any cut a savory delight!

Close up of pork chops brining in a zippered bag.

Best Brine for Pork Chops

This savory brine is made with fresh herbs and seasonings and some sugar. While I use water, add in your favorite liquids from apple cider to a cup of white wine. The sky really is the limit for flavors and herbs as long as you’ve got salt, sugar and liquid.

After just a little simmering, the brine should be stored until cool or even overnight. After that, it’s ready to use!

Pork Chop Brine ingredients

Ingredients & Variations

  • A basic brine consists of sugar, salt, water, and seasonings.
  • Variations can be made by using different kinds of peppercorns, thyme, even chili peppers!
  • Be sure to pat pork chops dry before brining.

How to Brine Pork Chops

With a simple pork chop brine, it is super easy to get flavorful chops every time!

  1. Add salt, sugar, and seasonings (per recipe below) to a simmering pot of water.
  2. Cool the brine completely in the refrigerator (or outside if it is chilly)! To speed up chilling, use a bit less water in the boiling step and add in some ice while cooling.
  3. Once cooled add the pork chops and the chilled brine to a ziptop bag and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 4 hours)!
  4. Remove the chops from the brine, pat dry and cook as usual. Do not add extra salt when cooking or the chops may become too salty.

Grill, bake, broil or fry them up!

Tips for Success

As with turkey brine, ensure the sugar and salt are fully dissolved in the water. No need to bring the water to a boil, just a gentle simmer will do!

To ensure that chops don’t become overly salted, be sure to purchase pork that isn’t already brined before or salted before packaging. And if adding additional seasoning before cooking, omit the salt or opt for unsalted seasonings!

Don’t brine them too long (2-4 hours is enough) or the meat can take on a mushy texture.

To store Brine will keep in the fridge about two weeks before the flavors start to fade. Do not store ‘used’ brine. Once your pork has been brined, discard the remaining brine.

Perfectly Tender Pork Chops

Have you tried this Pork Chop Brine? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Close up of pork chops brining in a zippered bag
5 from 125 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Pork Chop Brine

This simple pork chop brine makes even the toughest cuts of meat a savory delight!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

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Ingredients  

  • 4 cups water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 pork chops

Instructions 

  • In a medium-sized pot add water, kosher salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaf, and rosemary.
  • Bring to a simmer over high heat. You do not need the water to rapidly boil but you need to make sure the salt and sugar have dissolved in the water.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and cool completely.
  • Once the brine is cool add the pork chops to a large ziptop bag and pour in the brine.
  • Let the pork brine in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
  • Rinse and pat dry before cooking.

Notes

Purchase pork that has not been pre-brined. A lot of pork in grocery stores has a saline solution so using brine on that will make it too salty.
Ensure sugar and salt are completely dissolved in the brine.
Brine must be completely cool before adding the pork.
Don't brine them too long (2-4 hours is enough) or the meat can take on a mushy texture.
To season pork before cooking, use herbs and spices without salt.
Do not store 'used' brine. Once your pork has been brined, discard the remaining brine.
5 from 125 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1pork chop | Calories: 209 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 500mg | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Top image - Pork chops brining in a zippered bag. Bottom image - pork chip brine ingredients

Pork chops brining in a zippered bag with writing
Pork chops brining in a zippered bag with text.
Pork chops brining in a ziptop bag with text

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

    1. Brown sugar should be used in this recipe because it has that molasses flavor. You can use white sugar, but keep in mind that the flavor and/or texture will be slightly different. I hope that helps, Melissa!

  1. Hi,

    Could you maybe do weight for the recipe vs “4 pork chops”?

    I like the sound of this but have a lot of thin pork steaks. Not sure how to do it from here.

    1. An average pork chop weighs about 6 ounces. So for this recipe we brine about 24 ounces of pork chops.

  2. Oh wow.
    I’ve never heated up the water, sugar and salt before and it still came out moist and tasty!
    Not sure if that step is necessary lol.
    However, I shall try it one day when time permits to see if it’s worthwhile…

  3. I’m using 1 3/4 inch chops. Should I poke holes in them with a fork to allow the brine to get in and do it’s thing. Have used this with thinner chops and they were great! Thank you!

    1. I would not poke holes in them before brining. You could however cut the pork chop in half lengthwise to have two 3/4 inch pork chops!

    2. I can answer that for you. You never want to poke holes in your chop (or steak for that matter). That would allow surface bacteria to enter inside the meat. Defeats the purpose of cooking to a lower internal temp.

      No, you don’t poke holes to get the brine “into” the meat.