A simple chicken brine recipe with only 3 ingredients that produces juicy and moist chicken! Flavor it up with your favorite seasonings and BBQ when ready to cook on the grill or smoker.
I love to smoke my chicken or grill it in the Summertime and I decided to smoke my whole chicken. If you decide to smoke your meat, make sure your grill is properly clean and follow the instructions on how to start it up.
My Traeger requires a pre-smoke if you must call it that and every SUMMER I forget that needs to be done and I just turn it to whatever temperature it needs to be at right away. When that happens the smoker reaches the highest temp it can go and then I have to shut it off and wait for the whole smoker to get back down to room temperature. I will have another post on Wednesday for smoking a whole chicken in the smoker.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
A simple yet basic chicken brine recipe should only consist of 3 ingredients. My recipe has water, sugar, and salt. THAT IS IT and it produces a moist and juicy chicken no matter what method you decide to cook yours at.
The outcome of this chicken was so flavorful and it reminded me of this Woodfire restaurant near me that makes some of THE BEST smoked chicken. The chicken was so juicy and tender and now I can't wait to make leftovers with it this week. I'll have my method for how I smoke it up on my blog Wednesday
Make this brine before you go to bed at night so the chicken brines all day and night in the fridge and it’s ready to go whenever you decide to cook it.
Ingredients for Basic Chicken Brine
- Water - No chicken stock is needed for this brine. The chicken flavors the water itself.
- Sugar - can also use brown sugar
- Salt - always use Kosher salt
- Whole Chicken - Chicken breasts, chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, or any type of chicken you have in your fridge or freezer. Just make sure to thaw them out before brining. Turkey is also good brined.
- See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Other Ingredients for Brine
You can add more ingredients to your chicken brine such as whole peppercorns, lemons, herbs, whole garlic, and oranges but that is a more complex chicken brine recipe.
How to make a Basic Chicken Brine
Step 1: Mix brine ingredients together well with a whisk.
Step 2: Place 1 whole chicken weighing 3 to 6 pounds (thawed) in the brine for 8 hours overnight. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
Note: It's ok if the chicken isn't fully submerged in the brine. Flip it every 2 or 3 hours.
Step 3: Remove chicken from the brine and rinse the chicken well. The chicken is ready to for whatever seasoning is in the pantry. I like Dano's or Stone Wall Kitchen's Blackened Dry Rub seasoning.
Tips for Basic Chicken Brine
- This also works with turkey or turkey breast meat If doing a whole turkey, put your turkey in an insulated cooler with enough water to cover and add in a 5 pound bag of ice. Brine overnight. Use same measurements for salt and sugar.
- For those on WW and wondering how to count the points for this recipe I simply wouldn’t since you are removing the bird from the brine and getting rid of any excess brine by rinsing it off under the water. If you are a super tracker count the amount of sugar used. Not sure on how you would count servings for a whole chicken. Depends on the number of pounds and how you end up dividing it into servings.
- Find whatever cooking vessel large enough to store the chicken in while it is marinating. I just used one of my large dutch ovens and filled it with water. Freezer gallon bags also work well with this!
You can leave your chicken in the wet brine for up to two days (a larger turkey can handle more without becoming overly salty), but the liquid will need at least 12 hours to work its magic.
Some people tend to lean away from brines because of the salt and they think that the end product will be so salty. That is simply not the case here since you’re removing the brine from the bird and patting it dry with a paper towel before you cook it.
If you tried this How to Brine Chicken or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you! Follow along on Tiktok @jennarecipediariesPrint
Basic Chicken Brine - A simple chicken brine with only 3 ingredients that produce juicy and moist chicken!
- 1 gallon cold water (16 cups)
- 1⁄2 cup kosher salt (reduce to ¼ cup if using regular table salt)
- 2⁄3 cup light brown sugar
- Mix brine ingredients together well with a whisk.
- Place 1 whole chicken weighing 3 to 6 pounds (thawed) in the brine for 8 hours overnight. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
- Remove chicken from brine and rinse the chicken well under water. You are now ready to make a tender juicy chicken dish of your choosing.
It's ok if the chicken isn't fully submerged in the brine. Flip it every 2 or 3 hours.
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Brine
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1
Keywords: how to make chicken brine