Brine for Pork, Chicken or Turkey

5 Dec
Brine for Pork, Chicken or Turkey

The brine combines water, sugar,
kosher salt and herbs/spices

Brine for Pork, Chicken or Turkey

Add the pork and let sit in the refrigerator
for two to twenty four hours.

Brining has proven to be a great discovery.

Marinades and rubs have their place, but for a simple process that leads to incredibly flavorful and tender meat, brining is the answer.  It’s a simple technique that elevates your chicken or pork from so-so to great.

The building blocks of the mixture are water, kosher salt, herbs/spices and sugar.  From there, variations abound.

I love the Chez Panisse recipe but didn’t have all of the ingredients so I made a few alterations with great results. After soaking the meat, rinse and dry it and sprinkle with a seasoning salt.  One I recommend for purchase locally is from All Star Organics.  If you’d like to make your own, a great one is Montreal Seasoning.

Two favorite Allstar Organics Seasoning Salts

Two of my Favorite Varieties

AllStar Organics Seasoning Salts

AllStar Organics Seasoning Salts and Sugars

To cook, grilling technique helps quite a bit.  Otherwise, a temperature probe is invaluable.


Prep Time: 5 Minutes  |  Brine Time: 30 Minutes to up to 1 day for poultry or 3 days for pork

INGREDIENTS (for up to 3 lbs. of meat)

  • 2 quarts (4 cups) cold water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt *
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed into pieces
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme (or both)
  • 4 garlic cloves, separated and peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Place the water in a large bowl that can easily hold the liquid and the meat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a whisk for a minute or two until the sugar and salt dissolve.
  3. Add meat and leave in the brine ideally for a day or at least two hours. If it floats to the top, use a plate or other weight to keep it completely submerged in the brine.


1/2 cups Diamond Crystal Kosher salt =

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Morton’s Kosher salt =

1/4 cup regular table salt, such as Morton’s. 

Adapted from Chez Panisse Recipe referenced in an earlier post on simplifying cooking.

One Response to “Brine for Pork, Chicken or Turkey”


  1. Cooks Illustrated Publisher and Chez Panisse Chefs on “Cooking is Serious Business” | The Real Deal Marin - March 19, 2013

    […] Do you have any recipes to share from one of the Chez Panisse cookbooks, Cooks Illustrated or elsewhere that are not so serious business? I do and will publish them in an upcoming post! […]

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