All-Purpose Brine

Cs brining hd1280
Use this all-purpose brine to add flavor and juiciness to chicken, turkey and pork loin.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Views: 33,922
  • Success: 100%

Step 1: Preparing the Brine

• 1 to 2 tsp juniper berries (optional)
• 1 tsp black peppercorns (or white)
• 1 bay leaf
• 5 to 6 stems fresh thyme
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 cup water
• 2 tbsp table salt (or 30 g of any other salt)
• 1 tbsp granulated sugar
• 3 cups COLD water (or ice water)


To prepare the brine, place one cup of water into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and sugar and stir to dissolve.

Smash the whole clove of garlic and add it to the pot. Press the juniper berries to release their aroma. Add the berries, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let steep for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Before using the brine, add the 3 remaining cups of cold water (including ice, if needed). For food safety, the brine must be very cold before the meat can be added.

Depending on the amount of meat you are brining, you will likely have to multiply this recipe.

Chef's Notes

As a general rule, it takes about one hour per pound of meat for the brine to effectively penetrate the meat.

Since this is a low-salt solution brine, larger pieces of meat (such as whole chickens, turkeys or large pork loins) can be brined over night without becoming too salty.

This recipe makes 1 L/qt of brine. If you need more, simply multiply the amounts.