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!
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!
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!
- Add salt, sugar, and seasonings (per recipe below) to a simmering pot of water.
- 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.
- 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)!
- 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
- Grilled Pork Chops – tender, light, and tangy
- Honey Glazed Mushroom Pork Chops – ready in 30 mins!
- Crock Pot Pork Chops – just set it and forget it
- Easy Pork Tenderloin Marinade – great on pork chops too!
- Instant Pot Pork Chops – always juicy & tender
- Fried Pork Chops with Apples – one-skillet meal
- Pan Seared Pork Chops – made on the stovetop
Have you tried this Pork Chop Brine? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Pork Chop Brine
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Used this brine yesterday for our evening meal. Used 10 boneless pork chops and recipe just as directed. I breaded and oven baked the pork chops. They were by far the tenderest chops I have ever prepared. I will definitely use this brine again.
Great recipe but dreadful measurements. How can you scale it up or down. How tablespoons make a cup? Please use grams it’s what most of the world use
To scale the servings you can either use the 2x/3x button or use the print page and adjust either up or down. There are 16 tablespoons in 1 cup.
I halved the water and salt and added 1/4 cup olive oil. Great marinade.
Holly, you’re the best! Your website is my “go to” recipe bank for delicious recipes that are easy as well.
Thank you so much, Paul! Glad you are enjoying our recipes.
I have used this countless times and even made a batch to save some in the fridge. NEVER disappoints! THANK YOU
You are so very welcome Jules! So happy to hear that you loved these chops so much!
If I only have 2 thick pork chops to brine should I cut the brine recipe by half or keep it the same?
Hi Victoria, you definitely can half the recipe to avoid having too much wasted.
I am trying this for pork loin chops this weekend.
Can I use regular brown sugar instead of dark?
Yes Germaine, you could use regular brown sugar, but this will change the taste. It’ll still be delicious!
Exceptionally delicious for my grilled chops!!!
Everyone loved them
So happy to hear that, Haiyi!
I gotta tell ya…your website is my “go to” place when I’m looking for a recipe that’s quick, easy and delicious without resorting to exotic ingredients. I’ve used more of your recipes than any other website. You’re the best!
That being said, I tried this brining technique yesterday on my pork chops which I pan fried. In the past, my pan fried chops wound up dry and leathery. You brining technique resulted in chops that were moist and tender.
I always look forward to receiving additional recipes from you in my e-mail. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much, Paul! So happy this recipe resulted in such delicious pork chops for you!
I fixed a crockpot full of Pork Chops (using your recipe on this site). I brined half of them per this recipe.
The difference in tenderness between those that I brined for 1 hour and the ones that were not brined was amazing.
Thanks for the tip!
Glad to hear this tip worked well for you, Jean!
I followed the recipe exactly but added a garlic clove, smashed, 1 crushed juniper berry and a slice of onion…yum!!!
I was wanting to know if the salt has to be kosher salt? Can I use plain non iodized salt instead? It sounds really good and I’m going to try this recipe. It sounds awesome
You can use regular salt but you will need a little bit less since the grains are smaller more fits in a spoonful. You can find a salt conversion chart here.
Thank you for all your advise!!
Happy Cooking Penni!
I’m looking forward to your daily emails! Thanks!
Happy Cooking Jenny!
Awesome Recipe and Very Versatile.
I used 1 1/4″ thick pork chops and used the exact ingredients as described. I altered the procedure slightly by boiling the ingredients for about 30 seconds in one cup of water until the sugar and salt were almost dissolved, Then took the pan off the heat and added one cup of cold water, stirred until all the salt and sugar dissolved, and added two more cups of cold water with some ice cubes included. I brined the chops for 6 hours. This recipe says 2 to 4 hours but some say 8 to 12 hours. Anyway, it worked perfectly and was not too salty. I rinsed the chops well and did not add any more salt. This is definitely the way I’ll always prepare pork chops from now on.
From there I dried the chops well and rubbed on a small amount of rubbed sage and powdered garlic.
The pan roast method of cooking the chops is probably the best way of doing them, but I tried another method that also worked well without frying in a pan. I placed the chops on rack over an oven pan and broiled them. I let the chops get good and browned on top, then turned them over, placed a remote read thermometer in one of them and continued broiling until the temperature reached 160F. Although 140F is usually recommended, these were tender and juicy with just a slight hint of pink inside. In other words, they couldn’t have been any better IMHO.
Sounds perfect Dean! Thank you for sharing.
I was so tired of dry center cut pork chops but not anymore.Thank you!
I only had time to brine for 1 hour, but still, the pork was tender and flavourful. This will be my go-to pork chop recipe.
If doubling the water do you double the salt?
Yes, if doubling the water you would double the amount of salt.
Finally! A recipe that helped me succeed in making juicy and tasty pork chops! THANK YOU!
So happy they worked out for you!
Can this brine be used for pork butt/shoulder? If so, how many hours?
That should work just fine Trudy. I would follow the same instructions in this recipe. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!