Tired of dry-cooked pork chops? Then including a good pork chop brine can be one of the best steps to level up your meat dish experience! Make the best use of some easily accessible seasoning and herbs to liven up your chops.
I love making some skewered meat and roast alongside corn or salad and some sides. Can y’all tell I love to eat? Well, I got it from my auntie.
I remember back when I was little, I would always watch my aunt do some cooking preparations during gatherings. It’s so mouthwatering! (don’t judge me, a little girl should be fed well, right?) Her skewered meat was always just unbelievably juicy and flavorful! It was always a mystery to me how she kept her meat moist and tasty.
Because I look up to her cooking prowess, I learned a technique on how to achieve the same experience. Brining the meat to make it moist and tender.
When cooked, pork chops usually become dry and rubbery.😐 I’m sure you’ve had an experience before. But don’t worry because I’ll help you make this nice cut of meat into a masterpiece! And no matter how you want to cook it, you’ll never encounter that sad pork chop again, EVER!😎
Pork Chop Brine
Soaking them eat in a salt-water-sugar solution (A.K.A brine) adds flavor to the chops even before cooking. It also helps the meat to retain moisture and flavor because of the added herbs and spices (you can choose your own ingredients). Using a brine makes the meat more flavorful and tender than a chop that has not been soaked in brine.
The brine is just one part of the full pork chop experience. You can check out my homemade Immaculatebites Pork Chop Seasoning for flavorful meat preparation. Then, go ahead and test it out using this Smoked Pork Chop Recipe.
- Chicken Stock – a savory liquid that adds flavor to the brine.
- Kosher Salt – is coarse edible salt without common additives such as iodine.
- Brown Cane Sugar -It consists of white granulated sugar to which a certain amount of molasses has been added for flavor and appearance.
- Black Peppercorns – has a sharp, pungent aroma and flavor.
- Garlic – has a strong flavor that mellows with cooking. It adds a distinctive, pungent taste and aroma to a wide range of savory dishes.
- Bay Leaves – are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. As with many spices and flavorings, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste.
- Thyme – Its taste is a bit earthy with lemony and minty tones.
- Orange Slices – add this to the brine for its acidity.
- Ice Water – add this to make sure that the brine is cold before submerging the meat in it.
- Vinegar And More – You can use other liquids such as apple juice, cider, orange juice, beer, wine, rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and stock to replace some or all of the water.
- Sugars – Use brown sugar, honey, or even molasses as a substitute for the sugar.
- Other – Add other herbs and spices of your choice and get different flavors.
How Long To Brine Pork Chops?
The length of soaking in a brine depends on the type of meat and its size, as well as the amount of salt in the brine solution. This means a saltier brine mixture equals a shorter soaking time. In my recipe below, I brine the pork chops for 1-3 hours.
Tips and Tricks In Brining Pork
- How to Cook Faster – Once brined, the pork cooks faster, so be careful and use a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
- Don’t Brine too Long – You can always brine longer next time, but there’s no way to save a piece of meat that’s been brined too long.
- If Making Bulk or Lesser Portion – To measure the amount of liquid, Place the meat in the container and cover it with plain water. Remove the meat and measure the remaining water to determine the amount of brine solution you’ll need to make.
- The ratio of Salt to Water – It’s the ratio of salt to water that matters, not the amount of meat being brined. You don’t need to adjust the solution if a recipe calls for additional meat for brining, as long as all the meat is submerged in the brine solution.
- Get Rid of Excess Water – drying the meat will help develop the crust while tempering the heat, which helps to cook it evenly. Always start with a dry surface on the meat, so you get a sear, not steam. So pat the meat dry using a paper towel regardless of whether you rinse or not.
- DO NOT Reuse Brine – Discard the brine solution after use. For food safety, it is not advisable to reuse brine, even if it is boiled first.
Where To Use Brined Pork?
You can use your brined pork for any kind of cooking, such as grilling, frying, smoking, and roasting. Just be careful with the additional seasoning because it might come out salty because the brine already has high concentrations of salt in it.
More Rubs And Recipes To Try
How To Brine Pork Chops
- Start the Brine – Add the salt, sugar, cracked peppercorn, and garlic in a pot, then pour the hot chicken stock (this will help dissolve the sugar and salt). Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Then add bay leaves, thyme, and orange slices. Give it a stir, and add 2 cups of ice water. (Photos 1-3)
- Submerge the Pork – Place the pork chop in the pot. Make sure that it is submerged in the brine solution. (Photo 4)
- Let Brine – Cover the pot or container with a lid. Place in the fridge for the pork to brine for 1-3 hours but not over 24 hours because the meat will become too mushy and salty.
- Rinse and Dry – Remove the pork chops from the brine, then rinse and pat dry before cooking.
Pork Chop Brine
- Add the salt, sugar, cracked peppercorn and garlic in a pot then pour the hot chicken stock (this will help dissolve the sugar and salt). Stir until salt and sugar dissolve.
- Then add bay leaves, thyme and orange slices. Give it a stir, add 2 cups of ice water.
- Place the pork chop in the pot. Make sure that it is submerged in the brine solution.
- Cover the pot or container with a lid. Place in the fridge for the pork to brine for 1-3 hours but not over 24 hours because the meat will become too mushy and salty.
- Remove the pork chops from the brine then rinse and pat dry before cooking.