Pork Brine

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    4 cups

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

I always brine any large muscle of pork, such as shoulder or belly, before cooking it. Brining seasons the whole piece of meat inside and out, and, most importantly, ensures a juicy and tender finished product. Use this for other meats, like chicken or turkey, before they are smoked.


  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4 cups (960 ml) cold water
  • cup (65 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (45 g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves


In a small sauté pan over low heat, combine the peppercorns, coriander, and mustard seeds and toast, stirring occasionally, until just fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, transfer to a mortar and pestle, and coarsely crush.

In a large saucepan, combine the cold water, sugar, salt, thyme, bay leaves, and toasted spices and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate before using. Or, transfer to a bowl over an ice bath, and whisk until cool. The brine will keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.