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