How to Brine Chicken

Brine chicken breasts prior to cooking in a solution of water and equal parts kosher salt and sugar. Also, never brine meat before you freeze it to be defrosted and cooked later – the defrost process forces water out of the meat and leaves behind only salt!

For bone-in chicken breasts, thighs and/or legs – brine for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 1/2 hours, but no longer than 2 hours.

For boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces brine for at least 15 minutes and up to 45 minutes, but no longer than 1 hour 15 minutes. Be sure not to over-brine as it may make the meat too salty.

1 quart (4 cups) cold water plus 2 Tablespoons kosher salt and granulated sugar
6 cups of water and about 3 Tablespoons each of kosher salt and granulated sugar

If using table salt, reduce salt amount to 1 Tablespoon per quart water. This will ensure juicy chicken no matter what pieces you use, as boneless chicken breasts or thighs work well in this recipe, too. For boneless chicken breasts, reduce time in the brine to 30 minutes.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email