Brining Meat

Brining adds moisture, making it the best choice for lean proteins.

Salt in the brine not only seasons the meat, but also promotes a change in its protein structure, reducing its overall toughness and creating gaps that fill up with water and keep the meat juicy and flavorful.

Preferred salt: Table salt

Benefits over salting: Works faster than salting; can make lean cuts such as chicken breast or pork tenderloin juicier than salting since it adds, versus merely retains, moisture.

Cons: Can inhibit browning on skin or meat exterior; requires fitting a brining container in fridge.

1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)1/2 to 1 hour2 quarts1/2 cup
2 whole chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds each)1/2 to 1 hour3 quarts3/4 cup
4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (whole breasts, split breasts, whole legs, thighs, and/or drumsticks)1/2 to 1 hour2 quarts1/2 cup
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts1/2 to 1 hour2 quarts1/4 cup
1 turkey (12 to 17 pounds)6 to 12 hours2 gallons1 cup
1 turkey (18 to 24 pounds)6 to 12 hours3 gallons1 1/2 cups
1 bone-in turkey breast (6 to 8 pounds)3 to 6 hours1 gallon1/2 cup
4 bone-in rib loin pork chops (12 ounces each), 1 1/2 inches thick1 hour1 1/2 quarts3 tablespoons
1 pork roast (3 to 6 pounds)1 1/2 to 2 hours2 quarts1/4 cup

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