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Pork Shoulder Brine Recipe

Hey there, foodie friends! Ready to dive into the juicy world of pork shoulder and its briny adventures? Well, grab your apron and let’s get cookin’, because today we’re talking all about the tantalizing magic of pork shoulder brine recipe!

pork shoulder brine recipe

To Brine or Not to Brine – That is the Pork-y Question!

Alrighty, folks, let’s start with the age-old question: should you brine a pork shoulder? And let me tell you, this topic can get as spicy as the barbecue sauce on my grandma’s ribs! Brining is like giving your pork shoulder a spa day – it’s all about soaking it in a bath of goodness before cooking. Now, I’m all for giving meat some extra lovin’, but here’s the scoop: brining can infuse flavor and moisture into your meat, but if you’re in a hurry, you can still whip up a darn tasty pork shoulder without it. The choice is yours, chef!

Unveiling the Brine Brigade – What Goes into the Mix?

Alright, pals, let’s break down the secret sauce of a killer pork brine. You’re gonna need:

  1. Salt – it’s like the captain of the flavor ship, bringing out the best in your pork.
  2. Sugar – adds a hint of sweetness and balances out the saltiness.
  3. Water – the main stage for all these flavor players to dance.
  4. Herbs & Spices – think bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, and whatever else tickles your fancy.

Get Your Aprons On – How To Make Pork Shoulder Brine

Ready to roll? Awesome! Here’s the lowdown on how to whip up a banging pork shoulder brine in a jiffy.

  1. Heat it Up: Pour some water in a pot, crank up the heat, and bring it to a simmer. Don’t rush this step – we’re in for the long haul, folks!
  2. Salt & Sugar Dance: Once your water is getting steamy, toss in that salt and sugar. Stir ’em up until they dissolve like a snowman in July.
  3. Flavor Fiesta: Drop in your favorite herbs and spices – garlic, peppercorns, maybe even a dash of chili flakes if you’re feeling wild.
  4. Cool it Down: Once your brine is all jazzed up, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool down. You don’t want your pork getting too cozy in a hot tub, do you?
  5. The Pork Plunge: Now comes the fun part! Grab a container big enough to house your pork shoulder and pour in that brine like a pro. Make sure the brine completely covers the meat – you want everyone to join the pool party!
  6. Patience is a Virtue: Pop a lid on your container and give your pork a one-way ticket to Brineville. Let it chill in the fridge for a solid 12-24 hours. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!

pork shoulder brine recipe for smoking

The Waiting Game – How Long Should You Brine?

Oh boy, the anticipation! You might be thinking, “How long should I let this pork shoulder soak?” Well, friend, that’s the million-dollar question! Here’s the scoop: a good ol’ 12-24 hours should do the trick. It’s like marinating the meat with a symphony of flavors, giving your taste buds a ticket to flavor-town. But remember, patience is key – the longer you brine, the deeper the flavor party gets.

Let’s Get Wild – Pork Shoulder Brine Variations

Alright, my daring kitchen daredevils, it’s time to add a dash of creativity to your brine game! Here are a few wild variations you can try:

  1. Citrus Zest Delight: Toss in some orange or lemon zest for a burst of zingy goodness.
  2. Herbaceous Heaven: Swap out the spices for a medley of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage.
  3. Maple Magic: Replace the sugar with maple syrup for a sweet and smoky vibe.

pulled pork brine

So there you have it, folks – the pork shoulder brine extravaganza! Whether you choose to dive into the briny depths or take the express route to flavor town, your taste buds are in for a treat. Remember, cooking is an adventure, and experimenting with brine variations is like a flavor treasure hunt.

Finally, thank you a million times for joining me on this culinary escapade! Keep those aprons tied tight and those spices shakin’. And as my grandma always said, “Life’s too short to skimp on the flavor, honey!” Until next time, happy cooking and happy eating, my foodie fam!

Pork Shoulder Brine Recipe

Master the art of juicy and tender pork shoulder with our expertly crafted brine recipe. Get ready to impress your friends and family at your next cookout.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Brining Time 12 hours


  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage


The Flavorful Brine

  1. Place your large pot on the stove and pour in the gallon of water. Crank up the heat to medium-high and bring the water to a gentle simmer.
  2. Once your water is simmering, add the kosher salt and brown sugar. Stir them in until they play nice and dissolve into the water like they've known each other forever.
  3. Toss in the smashed garlic, bay leaves, black peppercorns, dried thyme, rosemary, and sage. This is where the flavor magic begins to happen. Stir it all together and let the pot simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and let your brine cool to room temperature. We're talkin' chill vibes here – you don't want to shock your pork with a boiling bath!

The Pork & Brine Connection

  1. Find that large container with a lid, big enough to accommodate your pork shoulder and the brine. Place the pork inside the container and pour the cooled brine over it. The pork should be fully submerged, like it's taking a cozy dip.
  2. Put the lid on your container and gently place it in the fridge. Now comes the patience part – let your pork soak in all that flavorful goodness for 12-24 hours. It's like a flavor fiesta while it chills!
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