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Brined Pork Chops

Brine Recipe

Adapted from here.
Servings 4 servings
Author Brandon Matzek


  • Scant 2 cups (15 oz.) water
  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz.) kosher salt
  • 1 small brown or white onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole but peeled
  • 4 sprigs thyme (you could also use rosemary or sage)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, roughly cracked
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 18 ice cubes (15 oz.)
  • Pork, chicken or turkey (4 boneless pork chops pictured above)


  • In a medium saucepan, combine water, salt, onion, garlic, thyme, bay, peppercorns and lemon. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring until the salt has dissolved. Take mixture off of the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
  • Add ice to a large bowl. Pour over hot brine and stir until the ice has melted.
  • I've depicted the brine above in a baking dish, but I'll have to admit, this was just for aesthetics. Normally, I use a large freezer bag. Place pork chops (or chicken or turkey) into a large freezer bag. Add brine and seal tightly. Let sit for 3 hours at room temperature.
  • Rinse pork chops under cold, running water, pat dry then set aside. Discard brine. Let pork chops rest for 1 hour before cooking or transfer to the refrigerator to use later.
  • If I want to throw together a quick dinner, I like to sear these chops in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Once each side is nice and golden, I'll transfer to a 350 oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 140 - 145 (10 to 15 minutes longer depending on thickness of chops). Keep in mind, no additional seasoning is needed. If you salt again, the chops will be too salty.
  • If I have a little more time in the kitchen, I like to bread and fry the pork. Set out 3 plates - one with flour, one with an egg beaten with a little water, one with panko breadcrumbs. Coat each chop with flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in the egg then coat with panko breadcrumbs. Shallow fry in a skillet until outside is golden brown. Finish in the oven (same as above) if needed.