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Don't ever make pork chops without this Quick Pork Chop Brine ever again! You may be wondering if brining pork chops is worth the effort and I’m here to say, YES! It’s 100% worth the effort. This easy, quick (just 20 minutes!) brine will infuse your pork with flavor and keep it from drying up no matter if you’re pan-frying, baking, or grilling!
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What ingredients will I need to brine pork chops?
- Brown sugar
- Coarse sea salt
- Garlic cloves
- Apple cider vinegar
- Rosemary sprigs
What does brining do?
During brining, the pork will absorb extra moisture, helping it stay juicy during cooking. It’ll also absorb the salt and other flavorings, getting it nicely seasoned and even better? The salt and vinegar will break down some of the proteins in the meat, making it even more tender.
See, the thing is, pork can be a boring, tasteless cut of meat. Brining ensures that you won’t be biting into a tough, chewy piece.
How will the brining process go?
Full ingredients and directions are listed below, but here’s a quick rundown of how the process will go (and it’ll only take about 5 minutes to prepare).
First, you’re going to place your pork chops into a shallow baking dish or gallon-size, sealable bag.
Next, you’re going to whisk together water, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and coarse sea salt (I recommend that you don’t use iodized salt, sea salt won’t leave a metallic taste in your mouth). I recommend and use this brand, right here.
It’s really okay if it doesn’t dissolve perfectly. Just make sure it’s well combined.
Then, you’re going to add the peppercorns, peeled garlic, and fresh thyme. Seal the bag or cover the dish.
Finally, just place it into the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or up to 14 hours. Just don’t brine it too much longer than that or it’ll get way too salty and not really give you the effect you’re looking for (delicious pork!).
How long should I brine the pork chops?
At least 20 minutes but for as long as 14 hours. Again, this is because you want delicious, tender, flavor-infused pork, not overly-salty meat!
Quick Pork Chop Brine
- 2 pork chops *about 1.5 lbs
- 2 cups cold water filtered
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar white also works
- 2 tbsp brown sugar light or dark, doesn't matter
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt or kosher
- 3 garlic cloves whole, peeled
- 10 peppercorns you can sub for ½ tsp pepper
- 1-2 fresh thyme sprigs you can sub for ½ tsp dry thyme
- Place your pork chops into a gallon-size bag or baking dish and set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the cold water, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and kosher salt. Pour the mixture over the pork chops.
- Add the peeled garlic, peppercorns, and fresh thyme. Seal the bag, or cover the baking dish, and brine on the counter for 20-25 minutes.
- When you're ready to proceed with a recipe, take the pork chops out of the brine and proceed to cook the pork chops.