Simple Pork Shoulder Brine

This brine is for a pork shoulder (butt) but would work for basically anything. The flavors used are some very basic aromatics. The real power of a brine is the salt.

Brining makes whatever you’re cooking come out all the juicier. I am not going to get into the technical aspects of osmosis and salt ions .. let’s keep it easy. Brining prevents dehydration while cooking which means a much moister piece of meat.

Simple Pork Shoulder Brine - Using a brine makes your pork butt extra tender and juicy.


Your basic brine is made of salt, sugar, and some aromatics. Here, we are using some rosemary, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, and garlic. You can add whatever flavor profile you like.

Some brine recipes will tell you to use hot water, this is not necessary at all. Feel free, but you can’t add your meat to the brine until it cools. Do what you like, but the salt and sugar will dissolve just fine in room temp water.


Simple Pork Shoulder Brine - Using a brine makes your pork butt extra tender and juicy.

Once you have the salt and sugar dissolved, get yourself a receptacle for your meat. For us, we like to use a large zip lock bag. We can remove all the air and keep the meat fully submerged in the brine.

Put your meat in what you’re using and add all the rest of your ingredients. Cover the meat and refrigerate.

For our 8 pounds of pork, we’re going to marinate it for 18 hours, but overnight is fine. Smaller cuts of meat require less time, larger can stay in for days if you like.

Once it’s done brining, you’re ready to do to the meat as you will. For us, a rub and onto the smoker!

Simple Pork Shoulder Brine
A simple brine for pork.
  • 10 C water
  • ¾ C salt
  • ½ C sugar
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons Peppercorns
  • 2 bay leafs
  • ½ onion
  • 6 cloves garlic (cracked)
  1. Dissolve salt, sugar in the water
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients
  3. Add the meat to the brine
  4. Fully submerge meat and refrigerate for 12-18 hours, depending on size of cut of meat

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Smoked Pork Shoulder

St. Louis Style Ribs

Filipino Pork Kebabs


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