Dry, tasteless pork chops no more! If you are looking for a way to get amazing flavor, tender meat, and juicy pork, then use this pork chop brine recipe.
Growing up, we ate a lot of pork chops. My mom would either make grilled pork chops or roast them in the oven. I often remember them being super chewy and sometimes dry and that’s why we’re teaching you how to get the complete opposite today!
A pork chop brine is a way to add both incredible flavor and tenderness to pork before cooking. We swear by it for pork chops because it’s such a lean cut of meat. The brine helps break down the toughness and makes helps the pork chops retain moisture.
What You Need for this Pork Chop Brine Recipe
In addition to the basic brine ingredients of 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.
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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.
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Pork Chop Brine 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.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.