How to Brine Chicken in 30 Minutes - Ever wonder how restaurants end up with such juicy chicken breasts? Brining lean meats, such as chicken, in a saltwater solution, only takes 30 minutes and makes such a difference!
You’ve probably heard of brining, and maybe you’ve even done it with your Thanksgiving turkey. Although brining a turkey can be quite the ordeal, learning how to brine chicken could not be any easier!
Plus, this 30-minute brine recipe isn't just for chicken breast! Brine any type of lean meat, such as pork, and you will end up with the most juicy and flavourful lean meat ever!
Only a handful of ingredients that I am sure you already have on hand, and you can make the best chicken brine in no time!
And if you are looking for more 30-minute meal ideas, check out my Keto 30-Minute Chili with Olives, this Easy Keto Sweet Soy Steak Tips in under 15 Minutes!, or this Easy Keto Korean Ground Beef which is ready in under 20 minutes!
What does it mean to brine chicken?
Brining is a simple method whereby you soak food in a salt water solution. Oftentimes, you might encounter a recipe that adds in other spices, herbs, or sweeteners, to add additional flavour but all you need is salt and water.
Why should you try this brining recipe?
I seriously believe that to make the best cooked chicken breast, you should always start by brining the chicken. Here are a few reasons for making this easy brining recipe:
- Taste - By soaking your chicken in this brining recipe, it ensures that the chicken absorbs the brine, making the chicken so much more flavourful.
- Texture - I think we can all attest to the fact that we have all eaten dry chicken. This happens due to the fact that all types of meat lose some of their liquid during cooking. However, since brined meats start with more liquid to begin with, meaning juicier chicken in the end.
So, in the end, this 30-minute brine ends up resulting in a perfectly juicy and flavourful piece of chicken!
Best Chicken Brine Ingredients
You only need 3 basic ingredients for this easy brining recipe!
- Chicken - You can use boneless and/or skinless chicken breast or thighs. I find that chicken thigh meat does not need to be brined as there is enough fat in the meat to keep the meat nice and tender after being cooked.
- Salt - I used table salt for my recipe but you can also use Kosher salt. The saltiness of each brand of salt differs but this recipe should work for most basic table (not Kosher) salt.
- Water - Always use cold water to make the best chicken brine.
- Optional - You can add some sweetener, spices, or herbs to this basic brine recipe. However, remember that since this is only a 30-minute brine recipe, fresh herbs will not have time to diffuse into the water and therefore could be lost in terms of flavour.
How to Brine Chickens
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making the best chicken brine!
Whisk together the water and salt. Add the chicken and place the bowl in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towel.
Season brined chicken and enjoy your favourite chicken recipe!
Note: the amount of salt in the recipe depends on what kind you’re using—Diamond Crystal kosher salt, Morton’s kosher salt versus any kind of finely ground salt like table salt. To keep things simple, I used regular table salt for this recipe.
What type of meat should you not brine?
Because the benefits are juiciness and flavor, the best meats for brining are lean cuts of meat, because with less fat they tend to dry out and also have less flavor. Pick cuts like chicken, pork, or turkey.
What types of meat should you not brine?
Beef and lamb are not good candidates for brining because they’re fattier and they can be enjoyed rarer than chicken or pork. Both those things mean they cook up juicier and more flavorful by default.
How should I add herbs and spices to this brining recipe?
If you want to use any fresh herbs or spices, I suggest heating the water and salt and then adding the herbs and spices. This will allow the flavours of the spices and herbs to infuse the brine. Allow the water to cool before placing it in the fridge. Once the brining solution is at fridge temperature, add the chicken.
Can you freeze brined chicken?
Yes! You can brine your meats and then freeze them and cook them at a later time. Brine the meat for the recommended time, drain the excess brine, and store the chicken in the freezer.
Can I brine chicken overnight?
I do not suggest using this brining recipe for longer than 1 hour. Longer brining time will cause the outside of the chicken to start to get tough which will result in tough (and not juicy!) chicken.
How much chicken can I use for this brining recipe?
This chicken brine will do for 1-2 lbs of chicken. You can easily double this recipe for larger amounts of chicken. If you do double the recipe, do NOT double the brining time.
Can you brine bone-in chicken breast?
Yes. You can brine chicken that still has the bone as well as the skin still on the chicken. Always make sure to pat dry any brined chicken before adding seasoning or sauce.
More Easy Chicken Recipes
Looking for other easy keto chicken recipes like this? Try these:
More Quick and Easy Keto Dinner Recipe Ideas
These are my favourite quick and easy dinner recipes!
- 2 lbs chicken breast, boneless, skinless
- 1 L (4 cups) cold water
- ¼ cup table salt
- In a large bowl, whisk together the salt and water. Add the chicken once all the salt has dissolved and place the bowl in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
- Drain the water and pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel. The chicken is ready to use in your favourite recipes!
- this brine is enough for 2 lbs of chicken, 1 pork tenderloin or 4 small pork chops
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Chilling Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Brining
- Cuisine: American, Carnivore, PSMF
- Diet: Diabetic
- Serving Size: 6 oz cooked
- Calories: 240
- Sugar: 0
- Fat: 3
- Carbohydrates: 0
- Fiber: 0
- Protein: 53
Keywords: PSMF, protein-sparing, carnivore, keto, low carb, healthy, zero carb, gluten-free