The correct ratio is more like 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt to a quart of water. You should also use a similar amount of sugar. Smaller items like chicken should be brined for a couple of hours. A pork shoulder, if you brine it at all, should be brined for 6-8 hours. Beef isn't usually brined.
Brining too long can give your food a ham like flavor.
You can add seasonings like pepperorns, bay leaves, thyme, etc for flavor.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan