Basic Brine for Seafood, Poultry, and Pork

Basic Brine for Seafood, Poultry, and PorkRecipe
Photo: Iain Bagwell
Brining is a technique that submerges food in a salt solution to prevent moisture loss during cooking, creating succulent, juicy bites. Use our Basic Brine for fish and shrimp, or for white meat, such as chicken, turkey, or pork chops.



Makes 2 1/2 quarts
Total time: 1 Hour, 5 Minutes

Recipe from

Coastal Living

Recipe Time

Prep: 2 Minutes
Cook: 3 Minutes
Cool: 1 Hours
Total: 1 Hour, 5 Minutes


1 cup kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
2 quarts cold water
3 bay leaves


1. Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes or until salt and sugar dissolve. Cool completely.

2. Submerge meat in brine, weighing down with a plate to keep it covered, if necessary. Thin fish, such as flounder, should sit in brine only 10 minutes to 1 hour; thick fish, such as salmon, 1 hour; chicken pieces, 2 hours; and pork, 4 hours. Large meats, such as whole turkey, should brine 12 to 24 hours.

3. Rinse meat to remove any surface salt, if necessary. Cook as desired.