Brine Pork Chops

Pan fried pork chops cut in half

Questions you have had about how to brine pork chops:

How to brine whole pork loin or pork tenderloin? I bet you will guess this answer! The same way you brine chops or other cuts of pork.

Can I marinate brined pork? You can, of course try, but you won’t get the same flavor from the marinade since the pork is already flooded with brine. I would suggest using dry rubs or even a basting or dipping sauce.

Can’t I just start with cold water? Nope- the salt won’t dissolve as well and neither will other herbs and spices. Instead of infusing, they will just float. Heat and then add meat to cooled brine.

What is a basic pan frying recipe? Lucky for you, I’ve included one in the recipe. Feel free to use my basic fried pork chop recipe or use your own. This basic brine recipe can be used with virtually any pork chop recipe.

Do you rinse pork chops after brining? Yes. You will most likely rinse anything after brining to get any excess salt off the skin and be able to add your own flavors.

Many people are worried that rinsing will also rinse away all of the flavor, but that isn’t the case. Remember, brining imparts flavor deep into the fibers of your meat and can’t be simply rinsed away.

After rinsing, pat dry with paper towels. Seasoning mixes stick better to dry meat and this will give a nice browned crust.

Where do I brine my pork? You can most likely have some something to brine pork in at home. There are three main ways people use: a brining bags, a stock pot or a cooler.

Pan fried pork chops plated

Brining bags can be found online or at the store, although they can sometimes be hard to find outside of Thanksgiving.

Why add sugar to the brine solution? Sugar improves flavors and also aids in the beautiful browning of the skin.

Can you brine pork too long? It is relatively hard to hurt pork, but yes, you can brine for too long. The result will be a tougher and rubbery texture. I recommend only 24 hours or less. So overnight is fine.

Don’t worry too much about timing it perfectly. Just remove the meat from the brine at that time, rinse it and put it back in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.

Can you reuse pork brine? NO! This is raw meat and a marinade just like others. The brine can be easily contaminated and contaminate your food. Discard pork brine after one use.

Can you brine pork when it is frozen? You want your pork to be as thawed as possible. If it is frozen, the brine doesn’t have a way to penetrate into the meat.

It is a little frozen, it is ok, but remember the ice left inside that still needs to thaw will dilute the brine, so compensate by adding a little more salt.

What else can I brine? You can brine just about anything you’d like. I’ve even seen folks brine produce like carrots and potatoes, however most brines are meant for proteins like:

  • Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Turkey
  • Ribs
  • Cornish Game Hens