This easy pork chop brine is a great way to add flavor to pork chops and also to help them come out juicy and tender.
This quick brine for pork chops only takes 30 minutes and you’ll never want to make your pork chops any other way!
Dry, tasteless pork chops no more! In this post, we’re teaching you how to brine pork chops and why you should do it!
What is a pork chop brine?
A brine is a way to add both incredible flavor and tenderness to meat before cooking. A simple brine is made from water and salt. Many times other flavors such as sugar, herbs, and spices are added as well.
did you know?
Brining was originally used as preservation for meat in times before refrigeration.
Why should I brine my pork chops?
There are 3 main reasons why you should brine your pork chops before cooking.
- Flavor: brining your pork is going to infuse your meat with salty deliciousness. You can think of it as an intense marinade or flavor bath.
- Texture: brining helps break down the toughness of your meat leaving the texture as smooth as can be when you bite into it.
- Moisture: the salt actually helps the pork chops retain moisture, which in turn makes the texture pretty dang delicious.
You’ll notice that typically only leaner cuts of meat such as turkey, chicken, or pork chops and this is because of their low fat content. Brining truly does help your lean cuts of meat come out nice and moist!
Dry Brine vs. Wet Brine
You’ll notice that our pork chop brine recipe calls for water and that is because it is a wet brine.
A dry brine only uses salt and the natural moisture from the meat instead of adding in extra moisture from water.
What You Need
In addition to water and salt, our go-to pork chop brine recipe calls for a few flavor add-ins.
- Apple juice
- Orange peel
- Bay leaf
We love that the apple juice adds a bit of sweetness to counter-balance the salt and the orange peel is 100% necessary! A little citrus goes a long way in wet brines.
What kind of pork chops should I use?
Any kind of pork chops will work for this easy pork chop brine. You’ll notice in the photos we’re using a thick-cut bone-in pork chop, but boneless pork chops work too.
How to Brine Pork Chops
Brining pork chops is super simple and 100% worth the extra effort in the end. Here is how to make a quick brine for pork chops.
- Add water and salt to a large bowl. Whisk the two together until the salt fully dissolved.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into the brine and whisk again.
- Place pork chops into a large gallon-size bag or casserole dish and pour in the brine. Squish things around making sure that the pork is submerged and covered.
- Let the pork chops sit in the brine for 30-45 minutes.
How long to brine pork chops?
We recommend letting your pork chops brine for around 30-45 minutes. You can let them brine right on the counter so that they’re at room temperature before cooking.
Can I brine my pork chops for too long?
We don’t recommend letting your pork chops brine for too long or the meat could get tough and mushy.
What should I brine my pork chops in?
We recommend using a deep casserole dish or a plastic gallon-size bag.
Should I season my pork chops after brining?
You are more than welcome to just cook your pork chops as is after they have sat in the brine for 30 minutes.
However, sometimes we like to add some of our homemade pork rub or any other seasoning to give them even more flavor.
How to Cook Pork Chops After Brining
Are your pork chops brined and ready to go? Here are a few methods in how to cook pork chops once they’ve been brined!
Grilled Pork Chops: grill pork chops at 400ºF over direct heat for around 5-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF.
Check out our Grilled Pork Chops Recipe.
Pan-Seared Pork Chops: Pan-sear pork chops over medium/high heat for around 5-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF.
Baked Pork Chops: Bake pork chops at 400ºF for around 15 minutes. Then, broil for 1-3 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF.
Check out our Baked Pork Chops Recipe.
Instant Pot Pork Chops: Pressure cook pork chops on high for 10 minutes with a quick release. Make sure pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145ºF.
Check out our Instant Pot Pork Chops Recipe.
- 4 bone-in pork chops (~2-lbs.), ours were 1 ¼-inch thick
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup salt
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- Peel of a medium orange
- 1 bay leaf
- Pour water and salt into a large Pyrex measuring cup or bowl with a spout. Whisk the 2 ingredients together until the salt dissolves.
- Add the apple juice, peppercorns, orange peel, and bay leaves to the brine and mix again. Set aside.
- Prepare the pork chops by patting each pork chop with a paper towel and then score the fatty part of the pork chops a few times to avoid any bucking during the bake time.
- Place the pork chops into a large gallon-size plastic bag or dish and pour the brine over the pork.
- Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
Tips & Notes
- Nutrition information does not include pork chops.
Nutrition FactsServing Size: 1/4 Calories: 7 Sugar: 2 Fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 2 Fiber: 0 Protein: 0
Keywords: pork chop brine, pork chop brine recipe
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.