Do heritage bone-in pork chops need a brine?

I have two beautiful Red Wattle pork chops, about 1 1/4 inch thick, that I'm hoping to cook in a cast iron skillet tomorrow night. I have a little time to put them in a brine (or add flavor with a garlic/olive oil/thyme marinade, since that's what I have around). But I'm not sure they need it? I have never had this kind of chop before.


Lindsay Christians


ChefOno February 21, 2013

The sugar isn't necessary for brining, you can leave it out if you prefer. As for adding salt, that's normally a good thing. Yes, there are exceptions to that rule medically speaking, but not the way Mayor Bloomberg believes. Culinarily speaking, brining produces a more tender, more flavorful and juicier chop while reducing the damage if you happen to overcook it. (And, technically, the outermost surfaces of a pork chop are always overcooked aren't they?)

dymnyno February 21, 2013
I am not a fan of brining everything. It adds salt and sugar and pork is a very sweet tasting meat to begin with.
ChezHenry February 21, 2013
For a chop this size a quick 30 min to 2 hour brine will do wonders. I do it every week, a porkchop just speaks to me. Dissolve 1/4 cup each of sugar and kosher salt in 1cup of water. After dissolved add 3 more cups ice water, and chill the solution. I rarely do more than an hour, its a very big impact, surprisingly so.
Amanda H. February 21, 2013
No brine is necessary -- try doing one next time, when you have more time to experiment.
ChefOno February 21, 2013

Do they need to be brined? No. But they will certainly benefit from the process.

Lindsay C. February 21, 2013
Thanks! I'll put it on now so they can brine overnight.
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