How to Brine Meat Overnight

Soaking in a brine bath the night before roasting makes large cuts of meats juicier when cooked. Brine takes many forms but always consists of water and salt, to which an acidic liquid, sweetener and spices may be added. Immersing meats such as whole turkey, pork ribs and beef brisket in this salty liquid overnight keeps their flavorful fluids locked in during long dry-heat cooking.


  1. Image titled Brine Meat Overnight Step 1
    Pour enough water into an appropriate container to cover the meat you want to brine. This should be done 24 hours before you begin cooking the meat.
    • For large cuts of meat, such as pork roasts or whole turkeys, start with 1 gallon (3.78 l) of water, season to taste according to your brine-seasoning recipe and then repeat until you have enough brine to cover the meat.
    • Don’t’ taste the liquid if the raw meat has touched it.
  2. Image titled Brine Meat Overnight Step 2
    Mix the brine well with a spoon to dissolve the salt and sugar crystals.
    • A simple brine can be uncooked as long as you ensure that all the ingredients are well mixed and have totally dissolved into the water.
    • You can also cook your brining liquid before soaking your meat in it. Cooking a brine with many flavors releases essential oils and allows flavors to meld and intensify.
  3. Image titled Brine Meat Overnight Step 3
    If you want to cook your brine before soaking your meat in it, pour it into a saucepan or pot and place it on the stove over medium-high heat.
    • Do not boil the brine, as boiling temps break down the essential oils and flavors that you are trying to release. Let cool completely before using with meat for food safety - ideally to below 40 degrees.
  4. Image titled Brine Meat Overnight Step 4
    Pour cooked brine back into your soaking pot where your meat will sit overnight.
  5. Image titled Brine Meat Overnight Step 5
    Immerse your pork, beef, poultry or other meat in the brine.
  6. Image titled Brine Meat Overnight Step 6
    Chill overnight, turning the meat occasionally and ensuring that the meat is entirely covered with the brine at all times.


  • Flavorful, acidic liquids help tenderize meat. Consider adding apple juice, white wine, citrus fruit juice or other liquids to your brine mix before cooking.


  • Brine cannot be reused after it touches the raw meat. Discard it after you remove the meat for cooking.
  • To prevent the spread of bacteria, wash your hands after working with uncooked meat.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot
  • Spoon
  • Saucepan or pot (if cooking the brine)

Article Info

Categories: Meat