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Pastorio's Basic Meat Brine

Gretl Posts: 670
edited November -1 in Sauces, Rubs, Marinades


• 1 qt water
• 4 Tbs sugar
• 3 Tbs kosher salt
• 1 Tbs freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp thyme
• 2 tsp oregano
• 4-5 bay leaves, crushed
• 4 Clove garlic, smashed
• 2 Tbs vinegar


Heat water and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a low simmer, stir a few times and remove from heat. Let cool.

Place meat in a large plastic bag. Set this in a container (bowl or bucket) in case the bag leaks.
Pour in the cooled brine. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag, zip or twist tie the top, and refrigerate until you're ready to cook.
Discard the brining solution, wipe the meat with paper towels, and roast or grill as you always do.
Brining tends to shorten the cooking time, so be sure to check internal meat temperature.


Just add or subtact the flavorings. The amounts of water, salt, and sugar should remain fairly constant, but the other ingredients are variable.
For duck, goose, and other oily birds, add 2 tablespoons ground ginger, a cup of soy sauce, and one half cup orange juice concentrate. Brine for 3 or 4 days.
Chicken pieces benefit from the juice of a lemon and a tablespoon of rubbed sage added to the brine.

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