Don’t Forget to Do This for Even Juicier Grilled Meat

updated May 1, 2019
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Grilling season is upon us, and that means we’re trading our sheet pans and skillets for the grill whenever we can. Meals cooked outdoors are fast and easy to make and clean-up — win, win!

So, are you ready for a summer of great grilled meats? Of course you are! The key to grilling up juicy meat every time is simple — as long as you remember to do this one thing first.

Brine Lean Meat for a Juicier Result

Brining, the process of marinating meat in a salt water solution, is particularly helpful before grilling lean cuts of meat like chicken breast and pork tenderloin. A brine enhances the flavor of meat, but most importantly it adds and preserves moisture. It’s the key to keeping lean meats juicy when they come off the grill, and helps prevent overcooking. As little as 30 minutes of brining will make a difference, but if you really plan ahead, meat can soak in a mild brine for eight to 12 hours.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Brine Before Grilling — No Recipe Required

Brining is simple and doesn’t actually require a recipe. All you need to know is the correct ratio of salt to water. The basic ratio for a brine is one tablespoon of salt per one cup of water. Just be sure to use enough liquid to cover the meat. Depending on the size, four to six cups of liquid should be sufficient.

Just because you don’t see this step listed out in most grilling recipes, that doesn’t mean you should leave it out. Go ahead and include it anyway. No matter the recipe, even a quick brine is beneficial to the texture and flavor of the meat.

What’s your favorite thing to grill in the summer?