Brined Pork from FoodTV

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Washing Up
Jun 26, 2004
Caught a show this afternoon, where the host "brined" pork chops, with a bit of explanation, that I appreciated, and thought to share with anyone who's interested...

Anyways, he went though the pork loin "structure" and that the "rib chops" work best, as those with "tenderloin" in them cook differently, so choose the "single muscle" cut...

For the brine...

1 cup of salt,
1 cup DARK brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried mustard
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 cups very hot applecider vinegar

Mix well, and let "flower" in taste mixing for 10 minutes...

Add 2 cups frozen water, mixing until the ice is almost completely melted...

(he was using icecubes, but I couldn't count how many, and the quantity seems germane)

Immerse your chops (he used four) and store in the fridge for 2 hours...

He then placed each chop into a bagel slicer block, and stuck in the boning knife in each direction, carefully punching down to the bone, and cutting "upwards" to form a pocket with a small mouth...

He then ran up a "stuffing" of bread crumbs, dried cherries etc (check it'll probably be recorded there)...

Grilled it on a PROPANE BBQ, full blast heat to bring up the grill temp, then 2 minutes to sear in some scorch marks, shift 45 degrees to get a crisscross pattern, and 2 minutes more, then "flip" (using tongs, not a fork!) and repeat...check with meat probe, and he was at 140 degrees plus...if this is too "juicy" for any of you, he advises to remove the chop(s) from the grill and leave them "bake" on the raised wire rack at the back, reducing your front burners and extinguishing the back burner...

Can't say I've done this myself, but I surely think it would work well, maybe a couple of you have tried it and could offer further guidance?

Noted too his excellent explanation of "brining"...

Meat is composed of proteins, but the cells have twice the water content as they have salt content (If not more, in my opinion!)

By submersing in a salty watery solution like a brine, the cells attempt to reach "equilibrium" in salt content, and in so doing also bring in the flavours of the herbs and sweeteners...he said that 2 hours was enough for a pork chop, whereas turkey, as we've all discussed at length, takes 6-16 hours (which agrees with the opinions on this List!)...

Anyways, its neat to hear this from a "pro", as that had been my theory, (while I, as usual, didn't phrase it so well!) that the meat weas trying to pull in the salts, and the hebs and sugars were somehow able to follow along...

Anyways, a though for those that would like to brine pork and get it that bit more juicy, or give it a new twist!



Head Chef
Aug 31, 2004
I didn't see that show, but it sure sounds like you were watching Alton Brown.

He's going to be in North Tampa this afternoon, signing his newest book, "I'm Just Here For More Food". It's about an hour's drive, but I'm going up there to get my book signed! :D

Rob Babcock

Head Chef
Dec 23, 2004
Big Sky Country
Yep, that was Good Eats, my favorite show on FoodTV. He called it brining, and it is, but technically only salt & water are needed for a brine. Anything else may add flavor (like a marinade) but doesn't contribute to the main purpose of brining, which is to make the meat moist.

Still, looked really good. :)


Assistant Cook
Nov 26, 2004
Rob is correct in that salt is the only thing really needed.

I use 1/4 cup salt (and 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar) per quart of water. You need to brine for about 2 hours, and no more than 4-6 hours, or the meat will get too salty. Even if you can only do it for 1 hour that will make a difference.

The action is purely mechanical. Proteins in meat are "squiggly"-shaped. When they encounter saltwater from the brine, they change shape and become flat. These flat proteins then form a physical barrier to moisture, so that when you cook the meat, the meat's natural moisture remains inside.

Try it! You won't believe how moist a pork roast or chicken breast will become.

The meat will be a bit salty from the brining, so you probably won't want to add any more salt.

Also, for some reason, I don't think this works very well with beef.


Chief Eating Officer
Jul 14, 2004
Yes this was from Good Eats. I have tried this brine with pork chops and it is very good.
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