WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 8: The Pork Chop at Nina May photographed for Firstbite in Washington, DC on November 8, 2019. (Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Why It Pays To Brine Pork Chops
The Guardian reports that over the years, naturally fatty pigs have been bred leaner and leaner due to dietary trends, so it's become tougher to keep pork chops nice and juicy as they cook. The solution to this problem is brining, a simple prep step that can help restore pork chops to the moist perfection we all deserve to dig into.
Due to a lack of fat, lean pork chops can tend towards toughness and lack of flavor, so Food Network recommends bringing your chops for at least a few minutes. To "wet" brine pork chops, soak the meat in a solution of water, salt, and optional sugar and other flavorings for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight before cooking.
Another option is a dry brine, which calls for coarse salt to be rubbed over the chops before letting the meat sit in the fridge, and you can also add herbs and spices. The technique tenderizes pork just as well as wet brines while saving fridge space, but it does take anywhere between 8 and 24 hours for the pork to be ready.