9 Meats You Should Brine Besides Your Thanksgiving Turkey

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Find out which meats benefit the most from brining

Shutterstock / Silvia Bogdanski

9 Meats You Should Brine Besides Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Shutterstock / merc67

Perhaps when you thinking about brining, only the Thanksgiving turkey comes to mind.  However, there are many cuts of meat that can benefit from brining.  Leaner and drier cuts have benefit from brining because they don’t have a lot of fat to account for flavor or moisture. Chicken breasts, pork chops, and veal chops are all meats that take well to brining. 

Chicken Breasts

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Chicken breast is perfect for brining because it gets another layer of flavor that you wouldn’t get from seasoning. Brining the meat before-hand also allows the breast to stay moist as it cooks. The chicken gets brined in a mixture of Earl Grey tea, cinnamon, thyme, sugar, and water.

For the Earl Grey Tea-Brined Chicken Breast with Eggplant Parmigiano recipe, click here.

Chicken Wings

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After trying out the brine in this recipe, you’ll never skip soaking your wings again. The wings only get brined for two hours in this recipe, but it still manages to impart so much flavor. Make a brine with water, salt, chile flakes, and garlic — simple, but flavorful. We also loved the new approach it took with the sauce: mayonnaise. You’ll find it adds a creamy and flavorful texture to your regular wing sauce. — Tim Love

For the Barbecue Wings recipe, click here.

Corned Beef

Shutterstock / Brent Hofacker

Brining brisket to make corned beef is perfect because the meat gets infused with delicious flavor and the brine will also act as a tenderizing agent — making the meat juicy and tender. The base of the brine for this recipe is Samuel Adams beer which takes this recipe from ordinary to extraordinary.

For the Samuel Adams Corned Beef recipe, click here.

Pork Belly

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This recipe is a multi-stage recipe that involves brining the pork belly over several days, but the result is well worth it says special contributor Cathal Armstrong. The pork gets brined with fresh herbs and vegetables such ascarrots, garlic, onion, and leeks.

For Chef Cathal Armstrong’s Roast Pork Belly recipe, click here.

Pork Chops

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Who doesn’t love a big, juicy, grilled pork chop? This recipe is so simple and takes only minutes to pull together. We like to brine our pork chops for 24 hours, so we make the brine a day ahead of time. The brine adds moisture that your pork might otherwise lack. If you can get locally raised, free-range pork from a farm stand or butcher, you will be rewarded with some of the most succulent pig you have ever sunk your teeth into. — Mike DeSimone

For the Peppercorn Brined Pork Chops recipe, click here.

Pork Loin

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This loin of pork gets two doses of flavor — the first during the overnight brine, and the second the rub it’s seared and roasted in. Only a few simple steps result in an incredibly delicious and flavorful pork loin that’s great for large crowds and will easily become the star of your holiday meal. — Adam Bordonaro

For the Spiced Pork Loin recipe, click here.

Pork Shoulder

Shutterstock / Brent Hofacker

This recipe has you brine the pork shoulder for up to three days so that it's extra moist and tender says special contributor Chad Bowser. The pork gets brined in water, salt, garlic, brown sugar, bay leaves, and beer.

For the Pulled Pork Sliders recipe, click here.

Shrimp

Shutterstock / Silvia Bogdanski

Shrimp is a “meat” that can also be brined, surprised right? While large cuts of meat are brined for days at a time, shrimp only stays in the brine for about 20 to 60 minutes before you cook them.

For the Pickled Shrimp and Celery recipe, click here.

Veal Chops

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This brine marinade is used at BLT Steak for the herb-Parmesan crusted veal chop. Simple and easy on hand ingredients make it a no-brainer next time you are preparing your favorite chop says special contributor Branden Reardon. At BLT Steak they use a brine of water, sugar, salt, bay leaves, garlic, and thyme — all ingredients that you may already have in your pantry.

For the Veal Chop Brine from BLT Steak recipe, click here.