Simple Brine for Pork Chops

September 5, 2014

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This is my favorite simple brine to use. You can brine your chops for as little as two hours and as many as 12. Cara Nicoletti

Makes: enough for 2 chops
Prep time: 8 hrs 10 min
Cook time: 15 min


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (granulated sugar will work fine, too)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 chile de arbol (optional)
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 2 pork chops, 1 inch-thick
In This Recipe


  1. Throw all the ingredients (minus the ice cubes and the chops) into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and stir in ice cubes.
  2. Once brine is totally cool, place chops in a ziplock bag and allow them to brine in the fridge overnight (about 8 hours). Before cooking, pat them dry and allow them to come to room temp. Cook the same way as the chops above.

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Reviews (10) Questions (0)

10 Reviews

Robin6055 August 29, 2018
Love this brine. So quick and easy. Genius to add the ice cubes to hasten cooling. Best pork chops I've ever had.
melissa Y. November 11, 2017
This is AMAZING. I followed the recipe exactly and it couldn't have been easier or more delicious. I will never make pork chops another way. Be forewarned: Make more than you normally would as your family will eat a surprisingly large amount (my 4-yr old ate an entire center cut chop, twice what he typically eats). I can't decide what's better: The ease and deliciousness, or the fact that because you prepped the meat ahead of time, you can't decide at the last-minute to order takeout!
whitebreads March 18, 2015
I was all out of thyme so I tried a small spring of rosemary and a tiny bay leaf. Oops! Hopefully it's still good!
lisavanin November 8, 2014
I made this brine and oh man. Best pork chops I have made so far!
Author Comment
Cara N. November 12, 2014
yes! That makes me so happy
csemsack October 5, 2014
Made the brine and used rib chops with the bone in from Niman Farms and brined for 6 hours. Seared in a hot skillet and finished in the oven. My family loved the chops! Very good, will be making this again. Easy and delish!
Author Comment
Cara N. November 12, 2014
csemsack September 13, 2014
How to you cook the chops? Do you recommend grilling them?
Mpatholm September 18, 2014
Yes, I was wondering how you recommend cooking also.
Author Comment
Cara N. September 25, 2014
I'm so sorry I didn't see this sooner! The cooking directions are in this article