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How to Brine Pork Chops to Keep Them Tender

Do your pork chops turn out a little on the dry side when you cook them? Do they sometimes come out tough and chewy when you would prefer them to be soft, tender, and juicy? It’s a problem a lot of people have when they cook pork chops, and the solution is to brine them first.

I want to show you how to make brine for pork chops and prepare your chops before cooking them so that they turn out juicy, succulent, and soft every time. You want a pork chop that you can cut through easily and that you will not spend all night chewing on. Who wants to look like a cow chewing the cud when they eat their pork chops?

Some people try to make up for hard, dry pork chops by adding a gravy or sauce or pairing the chops with some soft foods like mashed potatoes. That is a solution you could use, but it isn’t the best one. If you know how to brine pork chops, you won’t have to make due with all of those cheats. You can enjoy pork chops the way they were meant to be enjoyed.

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How to Make a Brine for Pork Chops

Before I go into detail about how to prepare your pork chops with the brine, let’s talk about making the brine. It’s a fairly simple item to make, but you have respect the process. This isn’t something that you rush, otherwise the flavour will be off and the brine won’t work like it is supposed to.

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So, to start off, you will need to mix together the ingredients for the brine. Here they are:

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Brine for Pork Chops

Keyword: brine, pork chop

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 bay leaf , dried
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup of kosher salt
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary

Instructions

  • Mix together all of your ingredients in a pot and warm it on the stove. Bring that to a boil over a medium heat. You don’t need it to boil for long or to boil rapidly. Just make sure that the sugar and salt has dissolved all the way.
  • Once they have dissolved, you can take them off the stove and let the mixture cool. It can be put into the fridge to cool faster, and once your brine has cooled completely, then it is ready to be used.

How to Brine Pork Chops for Grilling

When you grill or bake your chops, you want them to come out tender and juicy every time, and a brine helps with that. I want to tell you how to use the brine to tenderise and hydrate the chops and how to brine pork loin chops for any cooking method you want to use.

Adding brine to the chops and getting the chops fully hydrated and full of sweet brine flavour is similar to marinating. If you have ever marinated chicken, then the two methods are almost the same, but brining is easier.

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How to brine pork chops for frying or grilling? Just place the brine and the pork chops in a resealable bag. The brine will settle into the pork chops, hydrating them and making them very flavourful and succulent. You won’t believe how tasty and tender your pork chops are after you are done cooking them.

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How Long to Brine Pork Chops

The amount of time you spend brining the pork chops is considerably less than the time it takes to marinate chicken or some other meat. Brining is faster, but there are ways to speed up the process as well. So, how to brine pork chops quick? You can prepare the brine faster by cooling it in the freezer after it cooks. You have to wait for it to cool in order to use the brine, and setting it in the freezer to chill is the fastest way to get it ready for the brining process with the pork chops.

If you set the brine out on the counter after it is cooked, it can take well over an hour to cool properly. Setting it in the fridge works great and allows it to cool in about half an hour, depending on fridge settings the container you use to store the brine. Try not to rush things and use the brine while it is still hot. You probably won’t like how it reacts to the pork chops. It’s best to wait until the brine is at least room temperature to start using it with the pork chops and moving onto the next step.

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Once the brine is in the bag with the pork chops, how long should they sit together? You want to be careful about brining the chops for too long. One of the keys for how to brine pork chops for baking or other preparation methods is to ensure they don’t brine for more than four hours. If that happens, the chops can become mushy and lose their texture. They should be tender but not too tender. Anywhere from two to four hours is probably fine.

If you are wondering how to brine boneless pork chops, the method and times are the same. You can use the instructions I have given you for any kind of pork chops, with or without bone in them.

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Using Your Brined Pork Chops

Once you have let the chops soak in the brine, what do you do next? You need to toss the unused brine (what hasn’t been absorbed by the chops) and then dry the pork chops. How to dry brine pork chops? It’s simple- all you have to do is pat them dry with a paper towel. This gets rid of the excess moisture so that you are not frying the chops in a sauce. You want the pork chops to be tender and juicy but not dripping brine. Pat them dry and then prepare them however you like.

I know that when I bake pork chops without brining them first, they can dry out inside the oven. They may taste okay, but the texture is not great, and that’s because of how dry they are. Once you have brined them for a few hours, though, they can bake in oven and still come out tender and juicy. I use this brining method to keep my chops from burning as they cook and to keep them from becoming too hard and tough.

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You can grill, dry fry, or bake the pork chops. You don’t need to brush them with oil or another lubricant before cooking them either, if they have been properly brined. I know a lot of people like to dry fry their pork chops in a pan on the stove, and that makes for a quick and simple way to cook them. However, the chops can easily burn and turn out too dry and tough. Just brining them for a few hours changes all that and fixes the common problems with dry pork chops.

You will get juicy, tender pork chops every time. Just give yourself time enough to prepare for the brining process You may want to mix up the brine at lunch time and give the brine time to cook and the chops time to soak in the brine before supper. This is a method that takes some planning ahead to make it work, but it is easy enough to do and gives you a wonderful texture and taste to the pork chops without having to do a lot of hard work.

Written by Pauline

I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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