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Vanilla Brine for Pork Recipe

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Vanilla is usually associated with desserts. Try this unusual use of vanilla with pork and it will change your mind. Plan ahead for marination time.

Prep Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes


  • 9 cups hot water
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 6 (1-1/4-inch to 1-1/2-inch thick) center-cut loin pork chops


Stir the hot water, vanilla, sugar, and salt together until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the black pepper. Cool to below 45 degrees F. in the refrigerator.

Trim any excess external fat from the meat. Submerge the pork in the brine in a large bowl or small crock. Make sure the meat stays under the surface during curing by using a heavy plate to weight it down. Refrigerate the pork in the cure. The chops should take 4 to 6 hours in the brine.

To test flavor of brined pork, cut a small piece off the meat, pat it dry and pan-fry it. If the meat is sufficiently flavorful, remove it from the brine, let it come to room temperature and grill. If not, leave it in the brine and test again later.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Note: You may substitute 4 pork tenderloins (1 to 1-1/4 pounds each) or 1 (4- to 6-pound) piece of boneless pork loin. The tenderloin will need 6 to 8 hours in the brine and the loin, 1 to 2 days. (Bone-in pork can take a day longer in the brine because of the bone, which gives it a larger diameter.) If marinating for a day or longer, stir the brine daily and turn the pork occasionally.

Source: The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly (Houghton Mifflin)
Reprinted with permission.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
AWESOME!, Member jbryanbarnes

Best Pork Chops I've ever had. My wife is not a big pork chop fan, but she absolutely loved them. And super easy!

8 out of 8 people found this helpful.

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