Perfect “Dry-Brined” Pork Chops – Come for the Oxymoron, Stay for the Juicy Meat

watch_later Tuesday, April 26, 2016
I’ve wanted to do a video on “dry-brining” for a while now, and was reminded of that fact after recently seeing a friend’s blog post on the subject. That friend would be the lovely and talented, Jennifer Yu, who publishes the blog, Use Real Butter.

Seeing those juicy pork chops in her post inspired this video, which features one of my favorite getting-meat-ready-for-the-grill techniques of all time. If you can call sprinkling salt on pork chops, a “technique,” and for the purposes of this post, we will. 

By the way, if this looks familiar, it should. We’ve used this trick before in previous videos, but just never called it “dry-brining,” mostly because that’s not a thing. By definition, a “brine” is a liquid, but since this contains the same active ingredients, and has the same effect, we don’t let a minor detail like no water get in our way.

I could go into a long, scientific explanation of what exactly happens here, but instead I’ll provide a link to this great article on Serious Eats, by J. Kenji López-Alt. Jen used his cookbook, The Food Lab, as a guide, and so we’ll send you his way for all the pertinent details.

While our friend Kenji will do a much better job explaining the science behind this magical method, I think I did a decent job in the video explaining how wonderfully this works. As long as you don’t horribly overcook your meat, this “dry-brine” technique will produce the juiciest, and most flavorful pork chops you’ve ever had.

So, a big thank you to Jennifer for inspiring us, as well as to Kenji for inspiring her. With peak grilling season right around the corner, I really do hope you give this amazingly simple trick a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 large pork chops:
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix and apply generously to both sides of the chops. Let “brine” uncovered in the fridge for 18-24 hours. Some say you can do this in less time, but I’ve always let it go at least overnight.

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