A brine is a mix of salt, liquid (usually water) and flavourings. When foods are submerged in a brine, some of their cells break down, allowing water and more salt to easily get inside. If meats are being brined, the salt can then help prevent the muscles from contracting and squeezing out the water during cooking.





  • ​When you want flavour added to your food
  • When you want lean foods tenderized
  • When you want something to come out juicy after being cooked
  • When you have time and want to do something special




  • ​Whole turkey or turkey pieces
  • Pork chops and economical roasts
  • Economical beef steaks or roasts
  • Whole chicken or chicken pieces
  • Corn on the cob
  • Root vegetables (carrots, beets, radishes, celery root, etc.)
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Other relatively lean foods





  • ​You will need to make enough brine to completely cover the food. Sometimes, you may need to weigh food down with a plate and a jar of water on it to submerge the food completely.
  • Only use the type of salt called for in the recipe to avoid measuring too much or too little salt.
  • Do not pierce meat to allow brines to penetrate farther into the meat unless you plan on cooking it to medium (160°F) or above.
  • Be sure to brine for only the recommended length of time to avoid over-tenderizing meats.
  • When brining for long periods of time, make sure that your food is refrigerated or in a cooler with ice packs (switch the ice packs out regularly).
  • If your recipe calls for it, rinse brine off with cold water and pat it dry. Some brine recipes have less salt and do not need this step.
  • Food-safe food containers must be washed inside and out with hot soapy water before using. See below for food-safe container ideas:





  • ​Cambros or large food-safe containers
  • ​Garbage bags or cans, or non-food-safe containers/bags
  • ​Food-safe plastic buckets
  • ​5-gallon utility buckets from hardware stores
  • ​Coolers
  • ​Clean laundry detergent or pet food buckets
  • ​Heavy-duty zip-lock plastic bags, turkey roasting bags or other food-safe bags
  • ​HDPE white plastic containers of unknown food grade status
  • ​Unchipped, good condition enamel canner
  • ​Chipped or damaged enamel canner
  • ​Glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowls
  • ​Aluminun pots or bowls
  • ​Non-food-safe plastic buckets lined with a food-safe bage
  • ​Food grade containers that have ever been used to store non-food items
  • ​Stainless steel or anodized aluminum pots (use with caution)
  • ​Any non-food-safe containers (unless lining with a food-safe bag


Last updated on January 21, 2019