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On the grill, in a cast iron skillet, or baked in the oven, this simple garlic rosemary pork chop brine yields moist, tender, and flavorful meat every time!

Side shot of a bone-in pork chop flavored with the best garlic rosemary pork chop brine.

If you love pork recipes, be sure to try this honey garlic Dijon pork tenderloin marinade, a pork chop and rice casserole, and this cozy Dutch oven pork roast with gravy, too!

How to Brine Pork Chops | 1-Minute Video

I made these a couple of weeks ago! And I’m doing some more tonight! They are the juiciest most tender pork chops I’ve ever eaten! Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s a keeper!

– Tery
Horizontal overhead image of the best pork chop brine recipe on pork chops in a cast iron skillet.

Tips Before You Get Started

  • Lean meats like pork, chicken, and turkey benefit greatly from the brining process, which is why you often see a turkey brine for Thanksgiving. But don’t wait until a holiday to brine your meat! Pork chops are also a great candidate for brining. The salt in the brine seasons the meat and changes the structure of its proteins, allowing them to absorb and hold on to more moisture. Brined pork chops are more tender, moist, and less chewy than non-brined pork.
  • A basic brine ratio is ¼ cup of kosher salt per 4 cups (1 quart) of water. Brines often include sugar, so the brown sugar is also a part of this simple brine. You can scale all of the ingredients to create more brine if you’re planning to cook more meat. Just make sure to keep the formula of salt to liquid the same.
  • For a slightly sweeter brine, replace some of the water with apple juice or apple cider.
  • Use kosher salt; do not substitute with table salt. Table salt will make the brine much too salty. I like Diamond Crystal brand (which has less sodium that table salt).
  • Use this brine with any kind of pork chops — thick or thin, boneless or bone-in. You can also use the brine on pork tenderloin, which is another lean cut of meat that benefits greatly from the brining process.
Horizontal collage image of process shots showing how to brine pork chops.

How to Brine Pork Chops

This easy pork chop brine comes together in about 10 minutes, and the rest of the process is almost entirely hands-off. Similar to marinating, brining pork chops yields flavorful, tender meat. It’s worth the extra step!

I’ve included detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick overview:

  1. Prepare Brine. To make the brine, simply combine all of the ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, and stir to make sure that the salt dissolves. Remove the brining mixture from the heat and cool completely. You can add ice cubes to help it cool faster, but this will also water-down the mixture.
  2. Brine Pork. Add the pork chops to the cool brine, cover, and refrigerate. You can do this in a large bowl, in the pot that you prepared the brine, in a dish, or in a large Ziploc bag.
  3. Rinse and Dry. Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse under cold water, and pat dry. Discard the brine solution. The meat has absorbed the flavor and plenty of salt during the brining process. Making sure that it’s really dry will help the chops get browned and crispy when cooked.
  4. Cook the Brined Pork Chops. You can cook the brined pork chops in a variety of ways. They work well on the grill, baked in the oven, or pan-fried in a cast iron skillet (as shown here). I’ve included each set of instructions in the recipe card below, so pick your favorite method!
Horizontal overhead shot of two brined pork chops cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Serving Suggestions

These flavorful, juicy pork chops go well with just about any of your favorite sides. For instance, pair them with flaky biscuits, red skin mashed potatoes, Charleston red rice, cheese grits, or Dutch oven mac and cheese. Round out the meal with a classic wedge salad, traditional coleslaw, Southern collard greens, Southern-style green beans, or this easy homemade applesauce.

Square overhead shot of a skillet of pork chops flavored with the best pork chop brine recipe.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Allow plenty of time for the brine to cool before adding the meat. You can prepare the brine in advance and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • How long to brine pork chops: for best results, brine thick-cut, bone-in pork chops for 1-4 hours in the refrigerator. You can do a quick brine for as little as 30 minutes. Smaller pork chops or thinner, boneless pork chops do best in the brine for about 30 minutes – 2 hours. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​While some recipes suggest that you can brine pork chops overnight, I do not recommend brining the meat for more than about 4 hours. If you leave the meat in a brine solution for too long, it will negatively impact the texture of the meat and may yield overly-salty pork.​​​​​​​
  • You can freeze already brined pork chops before cooking. To do so, remove the chops from the brine, rinse under cold water, pat dry, and wrap tightly. The brined chops will last in the freezer for up to 1 month.
  • Store leftover cooked pork chops in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Wrapped tightly, the leftover pork will last in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • How to reheat: Place the pork chops in a dish and cover with foil. Warm in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or just until heated through. Be careful not to overcook them, or they will become tough and dry.
Cast iron skillet full of garlic rosemary pork chops.

Absolutely the only way to prepare thick pork-chops to be able to cook through enough without drying them out. You don’t even need seasoning afterward. The herbs and garlic permeate the meat so well…

– Jamie

More Popular Pork Chop Recipes

Square side shot of pork chop brine on a bone in pork chop in a cast iron skillet.

Garlic and Rosemary Pork Chop Brine

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 2 – 4 people
Calories 342 kcal
A simple garlic and rosemary pork chop brine yields tender, juicy, and flavorful meat!

Ingredients
  

FOR THE BRINE

FOR THE PORK CHOPS

  • 2-4 thick-cut bone-in pork chops (about 1 – 1 ½ inches thick)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • Combine all of the brine ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer and whisk to make sure that the salt is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow the brine to cool completely.
    Process shot showing how to make a brine for pork chops.
  • Add pork chops to the brine and refrigerate for 1-4 hours (or a quick brine for at least 30 minutes). If you're using thinner or boneless pork chops, you can brine for just 15-30 minutes. Do not brine for too long, or you risk overly-salty, mushy meat.
    Process shot showing how to brine pork chops.
  • Remove pork from refrigerator and let come to room temperature on the counter for about 20-30 minutes. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it’s very hot — about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, remove pork from brine. Rinse under cold water; pat very dry with paper towels. Brush or rub each side of the pork chops with additional olive oil. The chops will be salty from the brine, so you shouldn’t need to add any more salt and pepper at this time.
    Patting pork chops dry after brining.
  • Add chops to the hot skillet and cook until browned on both sides and a meat thermometer registers 145°F (about 7-8 minutes per side). Smaller bone-in pork chops will cook in 5-6 minutes per side, so just keep an eye on your chops and use the thermometer to know when they’re done. Transfer pork to a serving plate; pour pan juices over top. Let pork rest for a few minutes before serving.
    Horizontal overhead image of the best pork chop brine recipe on pork chops in a cast iron skillet.

Video

Notes

For Grilling:
If you prefer to grill the brined pork chops, heat the grill to medium-high heat. Refer to the pork chop grill time chart below for specific grilling times based on your cut of meat (about 20-30 minutes for bone-in thick-cut chops).
Pork Chop Grill Time Chart
For Baking:
Brown the chops in a skillet over high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side, then bake in a 400°F oven for 6-10 minutes (for thick-cut chops), or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pork chopCalories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 29gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 88mgPotassium: 500mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 71IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: pork chop brine, rosemary pork chops
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

Variations and Tips for Success

  • Use different herbs — parsley, oregano, basil…whatever you enjoy!
  • Add citrus to the brine. A squeeze of lemon juice or orange juice is a nice touch. For a stronger citrus flavor, use citrus zest.
  • Add sliced onions or dried onion powder to the brine.
  • Double the amount of brine that you make if preparing 4 very large, very thick pork chops. You need enough liquid so that the meat is completely submerged.
  • Do not season the pork chops with extra salt. They will absorb plenty of salt from the brine.
  • Use an instant-read thermometer to know when your pork is done. Cook pork chops to an internal temp of 145°F. A juicy pork chop with some pink in the middle has been given the official “okay” by the USDA.
Brined and cooked pork chops in a cast iron pan.

This recipe was originally published in November, 2020. It was updated in July, 2024.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Susan says:

    5 stars
    Loved this porkchop brine!!

    1. Blair says:

      Wonderful! Thanks for your note, Susan. I’m so glad that it was a hit!

      1. Tery says:

        5 stars
        I made these a couple of weeks ago! And I’m doing some more tonight! They are the juiciest most tender pork chops I’ve ever eaten! Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s a keeper!

        1. Blair says:

          That’s so good to hear. Thanks for letting me know!

        2. Nancy A Stentz says:

          I love the sound of the porkchop brine. I don’t have a printer, do will you please send it back to me?
          I would appreciate it very much. Thanks! ~ Nancy

    2. Minda Monsanto says:

      5 stars
      I always use your recipe . It’s really very juicy and I would reduce salt if it’s too salty . One of my go to recipes. Thank you . They all love it.❤️❤️❤️

      1. The Seasoned Mom says:

        Thank you so much, Minda!

  2. lynn rafferty says:

    5 stars
    EXCELLENT! Very juicy and tasty!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Lynn! I’m so glad that you loved it! 🙂

  3. Susan from Flagstaff says:

    Excellent recipe. This is the first time I’ve brined anything and was so happy with it. My pork chops turned out great and were not dry as pork chops tend to be.
    The only thing I did differently, after I removed to pork chops, was to add about 1/4 cup marsala which I simmered to reduce a bit. The marsala created the extra pan juice to pour over the pork chops. I only did this because there was very little pan juice.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Sounds perfect, Susan. Thank you!

  4. Candy says:

    This brine sounds delicious!
    Could I leave the chops in overnight or would that make the flavor overpowering?

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Hi, Candy! Some recipes suggest that you can brine chops overnight; however, I never let them go more than about 4 hours. I just worry that they’ll be overly salty and/or mushy after sitting in the brine that long. Totally up to you, though — feel free to experiment with a longer time if necessary.

  5. Jamie says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely the only way to prepare thick pork-chops to be able to cook through enough without drying them out. You don’t even need seasoning afterward. The herbs and garlic permeate the meat so well. Just curious, do you think you could use same method on a tougher cut of steak? Maybe just less marinating time?

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Hi, Jamie! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the brined pork chops!

      It’s a great question about using the brine on tougher cuts of meat. I think you can certainly do that to infuse the flavor into the meat (I’ve seen recipes for brined roast beef or pot roast), but you’d still need to cook the roast low and slow to make sure that it’s tender. That low, slow cooking process breaks down the tough fibers in cuts like chuck roast, which is what gives them that fall-apart tender, juicy finish. 🙂

  6. Amy Barone says:

    5 stars
    Made these pork chops for dinner. My husband said they were the best pork chops he ever had. I have to agree. They were amazing.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you so much, Amy!