How to Make Brining Pork
- To determine how much brine you'll need, place the meat to be brined in your chosen container. Add water to cover. Remove the meat and measure the water.
Dissolve salt and sugar in the boiling water. Add it to the cold water; add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Chill brine completely in the refrigerator before adding pork. Place your pork in the water and place in the refrigerator for the time required making sure it is fully submerged in the brine.
- Experiment with seasonings. Salt is essential, but everything else is optional. Consider ginger, fresh herbs, juniper berries, clove, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, mustard seed, coriander seed, star anise, hot pepper flakes or Sichuan peppercorns. Lemons and oranges add a nice touch to the brine as well.
- Rinse pork twice after removing it from the brine solution; discard brine. If you are not ready to cook at the end of the brining time, remove and rinse the meat. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Do not salt brined meat before cooking. Cook pork according to your favorite recipe. Do not overcook your brined pork. Once brined, the pork cooks faster so be careful and use a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
A heavy-duty plastic tub, stainless-steel bowl, or re-sealable plastic bag can work as a brining container, as long as the pork is fully submerged. Weight with a plate, if necessary, to keep the meat fully covered by the brine.
The meat and brine solution must be kept below 40 degrees F. at all times.
- BRINING TIMES:
Pork Chops (1-inch to 1 1/2-inch thick) 12 to 24 hours
Whole Pork Loin--2 to 4 days
Whole Pork Tenderloin--6 to 12 hours