The Golden Brine Ratio For Restaurant-Quality Pork Chops

If you've attempted to make your favorite pork chop recipes, but each time the results are not exactly what you've hoped for, you're definitely not alone. Pork chops are notoriously hard to get right due to their proneness to overcooking. While achieving tender chicken breast and juicy beef cuts are usually a bit easier to come by, pork chops can quickly dry out in the oven or on the stovetop, leaving them tough and chewy.

However, there are a few ways to prevent your pork chops from drying out on you. If you're cooking your pork chops in a skillet, basting the meat with butter is a simple step that will keep them moist. But if you prefer cooking your chops on a grill or in the oven, you should always make sure to brine your pork chops before cooking with them. Luckily, this step doesn't have to be time-consuming and it can be done with just water and salt, as long as you get your ratios right.

It only uses two ingredients

The process of brining your pork chops for even just a few minutes can drastically decrease the risk of chewiness and add a lot of flavor. The exact brine ratio that will inevitably impress your friends and family with juicy, tasty pork chops uses 1/4 cup of salt to one quart of water, according to The Kitchn. Soaking your meat in this solution for a couple of hours will lock in both flavor and moisture. While you can trust this simple ingredient brine to pack in flavor for you, many other brine recipes also call for the inclusion of sugar. 

Adding sugar, either white or brown, admittedly has little impact on the moisture level of the meat. However, it does help enhance the taste and can even help the skin brown better. Along with adding or not adding some sugar, it can also be worth experimenting with adding different aromatics to the brine to infuse more complex flavors into the meat. Anything from bay leaves and rosemary to seeds like fennel and mustard seeds can elevate your pork chops even more. Trying out these tips will keep you from suffering through any more impossibly tough pork chop dinners again and will yield restaurant-quality results.