Maple Syrup and Apple Cider Brine for Pork Recipe

A Pork Chop With Apples and Onions in a Skillet
Acme Food Arts/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
441 Calories
18g Fat
29g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 441
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 132mg 44%
Sodium 5143mg 224%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 32mg 159%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 709mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Brining infuses the flavors of apple and maple syrup in pork chops or pork loin. It also helps tenderize as well as adds moisture. Depending on the cut, you will need to let the pork sit in the brine anywhere from four hours to two days, so plan ahead.

"The Complete Meat Cookbook" by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly


  • 7 cups hot water

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

  • 2 cups apple cider

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns

  • 6 (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch thick) center-cut loin pork chops

Steps to Make It

  1. Stir the hot water and salt together until the salt is dissolved. Add the apple cider, maple syrup, and peppercorns. Cool to below 45 F. in the refrigerator.

  2. 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.

  3. The chops should take 4 to 6 hours in the brine; the tenderloin, 6 to 8 hours; 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.


  • To test the 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.

Recipe Variation

  • You may substitute 4 pork tenderloins (1 to 1 1/4 pounds each) or 1 (4- to 6-pound) piece of boneless pork loin.

Recipe Source: by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly (Houghton Mifflin)
Reprinted with permission.

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