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Brining Pork Chops

Brining Pork ChopsBrining pork chops is the process one goes through in order to get their pork chops ready for cooking. It is a technique that requires the soaking of the pork chops in a salt water mixture.  The reason for brining pork chops has to do with the attempt to keep the pork tender, juicy, and moist.  When you brine any type of meat, what you are essentially doing is adding water to the meat.  Adding this water to the pork or whatever meat you are brining can if fact increase the weight of the meat by up to 15%.  This extra weight is purely water weight however, but since when you cook meat, water is taken out, brining will allow the meat to start off with more from the start, thus giving you a nice juice pork chop as the end result.

Now, when you are brining pork chops, there is a basic recipe that you can follow that will get the job done quickly and efficiently.  The recipe calls for 1 cup of salt (non-iodine salt is recommended) to one gallon of water.  It’s a pretty simple formula to remember, however you should keep in mind the fact that over brining pork chops is something you definitely will want to avoid at all costs.  The opposite, however, under brining will not affect your pork chops.  If you leave your pork chops in the brine mixture for too long or you just plain use too much salt in your brine solution, what you will end up with is pork chops that are way too salty to enjoy.

So, just how long should you brine pork chops for?  Well, pork chops can stand a hefty amount of time in the brine solution, but also can get the advantages of brining within just a few hours.  If you don’t have however, at least three to four hours to wait for the brining process, I would suggest you don’t even attempt it until you do have the time.  Pork chops that are about one to one and a half inches thick will require brining for about 12 to 24 hours, not over 24 hours.  If you’re dealing with a whole pork loin, you can leave that loin in the brine for up to 2 days and it will come out tasting awesome.

Some folks prefer to add a little seasoning to their pork chop brine as well.  The most common and basic additive for brining pork chops is some sort of sweetening agent, whether it be white or brown sugar, molasses, or maple syrup – the real maple syrup though, not the Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth’s varieties used most often for breakfast pancakes.  An easy rule of thumb to follow measurement wise is to add a half of a cup of sweetener for every gallon of brine you’re dealing with.  Some people add herbs and spices, garlic and onions most notably to give it that extra kick of flavor.  Whatever your fancy, brining pork chops is an easy way to pack an extra punch into an already delicious meal.

Below is a simple recipe for brining pork chops that we hope you will enjoy:

Scrumptiously Sweet Pork Chop Brine

Prep Time:  20 – 25 minutes

Brine Time:  At least 1 day, but not more than 3

Makes 10 cups of brine

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fresh spring water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups honey
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 TBSP rosemary, dry of fresh
  • 4 TBSP black pepper, fresh from peppercorns is best
  • 2 TBSP mustard seed
  • 2 TBSP salt (non-iodine)
  • 1/2 TSP nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)

To Prepare:

Mix together all of the ingredients in an extra large heavy duty stock pot and bring to a nice even boil.  Take the pot off the stove and allow to cool all the way, completely.  You’ll need a large container depending on how many pork chops you are brining.  Place the pork chops in the brine mixture together in a container with a lid and place in the refrigerator, where it should stay covered for at least the next 24 hours.  Make sure you do not keep it in the mixture for more than three days or you will have put to waste perfectly good pork chops.   Once removed, cook as you like.  They can now be grilled, baked, pan fried, your choice.

We hope you have found these tips and recipe on brining pork chops helpful.

 

 

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