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posted October 19, 2022

Apple and Herb Pork Chop Brine

Ready for the most flavorful and juicy pork chops you’ve ever had? This apple and herb pork chop brine adds the most amazing flavor to chops. You may never cook pork chops the same way again!

Brined and grilled pork chop on a cutting board next to herbs and apples with text overlay - Pork Chop Brine.

Pork Chop Brine

A brine is a real key to super juicy and tender pork chops. The ratio of salt, sugar, and liquid is designed to penetrate deeply into the meat itself, infuse each bite with savory notes, and also reinforce the cell walls so they hold in liquid during the cooking process. The results speak for themselves with more flavor and better texture in each bite than any pork chop you’ve ever had before.

This pork chop brine is the ideal balance of savory and sweet with some fresh aromatic flavors of apple, herbs, and spices.

Ingredients for Pork Chop Brine

This brine is great for weekday dinners and will easily brine 4 pork chops. Here’s what you’ll need to make this apple and herb pork chop brine.

  • 1/2 cup non-iodized fine grind sea salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 gallon (8 cups) apple juice or apple cider

Spices and fresh herbs in a bowl.

How to Brine Pork Chops

There’s no need to be afraid of brining pork chops before you cook them. It’s a quick and easy step that takes a few hours of planning with a major payout. Here’s how to brine pork chops.

  1. Make the brine. Combine all ingredients for the brine and whisk until everything is dissolved. You can brine in a large plastic container or even a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Whatever you use for the brine, you want to make sure the pork chops remain fully submerged in the liquid during the entire brining time.
  2. Brine the chops. Place the pork chops into the brine, ensuring that the meat is fully covered by the brine. Place the brine into the fridge and allow the meat to brine for 1 hour per pound of pork chops, not exceeding 4 hours total.
  3. Remove and pat dry. When ready to cook the chops, remove them from the brine and pat dry. Remove any herbs or remaining salt on the surface of the meat.
  4. Grill or smoke. Cook these chops however you please. I have great recipes for Smoked Pork Chops and Grilled Pork Chops that would both work well with these brined pork chops (just skip adding the seasoning prior to smoking or grilling the pork).
  5. Enjoy! These chops turned out so amazingly tender and flavorful. The family greatly enjoyed them, and they’ll most definitely be added to our monthly rotation of dinners.

Pork chops in an apple and herb brine.

Tips for Brining Pork Chops

Before you snag some chops from the store and toss them in this brine, here are a few tips to help you get a great result.

  • Be sure to plan ahead when brining meat. Slightly different than a traditional marinade, brining needs to be done with the correct timing. You typically plan 1 hour of brine time per pound of meat you are preparing. With pork chops, you don’t want to brine for longer than 4 hours or you can over-brine your meat. Over-brined meat is generally too salty and the process that makes the meat so juicy can end up making your chops too tender to the point of them becoming mushy.
  • Buy the right pork chops. This recipe works with any type of chop you can buy. Center cut, rib chops, bone-in, or boneless, they all work great! I prefer rib chops as they tend to have higher fat content and better flavor, but a brine will help you make even the leanest cuts juicy and delicious.
  • Cook to the correct temperature. The brine will do a lot when it comes to adding moisture and flavor, but cooking your chops to the right temperature is the other half of the flavor equation. You’re looking for 145 degrees F internal temperature on your chops. A good internal thermometer will really help you master that doneness and serve juicy pork chops every time.

Brined and grilled pork chop on a cutting board next to herbs and apples.

More Brine Recipes

Now that you know the ins and outs of brines, expand your horizons and try out these other brine recipes from Hey Grill Hey. Check out a few of our favorite brine recipes below.

Pork Chop Brine Recipe

Ready to become a backyard BBQ hero? Join my members-only group The Grill Squad for full access to all my meat, rubs, sauces, and meat-buying masterclasses, podcasts, and so much more. It’s an amazing community of grillers that will help support you and increase your confidence in all things BBQ.

Brined and grilled pork chop on a cutting board next to herbs and apples.

Apple and Herb Pork Chop Brine

Susie Bulloch
Ready for the most flavorful and juicy pork chops you've ever had? This apple and herb pork chop brine adds the most amazing flavor to chops. You may never cook pork chops the same way again!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time : 5 mins
Total Time : 5 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 222kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 4 pork chops

Apple and Herb Pork Chop Brine

  • ½ cup fine grind sea salt (non-iodized)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ gallon apple juice or cider

Instructions

  • Make the brine. Combine the brine ingredients with the apple juice or cider and whisk until the brine is completely dissolved and no salt remains and the bottom of your mixing bowl.
  • Brine the pork chops. Submerge the pork chops completely and refrigerate. You can invert a plate on top of the chops to keep them submerged or brine in a gallon zip-top bag, pressing the air out completely before sealing. Brine in the refrigerator for an hour per pound of pork chops, but do not exceed four hours in the brine.
  • Grill the chops. Remove the chops from the brine, pat dry to remove any remaining salt or herbs on the surface, and grill or smoke as desired. No additional seasoning is necessary, as the chops will be well seasoned from the brine, but you could add additional salt and pepper to the chops before cooking if you like some extra seasoning.

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 553mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
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