Simple Chicken Brine


This simple chicken brine will help make the meat more tender and juicy.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 10 mins
1 gallon

This chicken brine recipe results in perfectly tender and flavorful chicken every time. Plus, it comes together quickly with just five ingredients you probably already have on hand!

How to Brine Chicken

You'll find a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions in the recipe below, but let's go over the basics:

Chicken Brine Ingredients

These are the five simple ingredients you’ll need to make this chicken brine recipe: 

  • Water: This simple chicken brine starts with a gallon of warm water. 
  • Salt: Kosher salt tenderizes the meat, helps it retain moisture, and adds flavor. 
  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce lends even more salt and flavor. 
  • Sugar: White sugar adds subtle sweetness and helps promote browning. 
  • Olive oil: Olive oil helps ensure moist and tender meat. 

Note: Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of brine ingredients. The actual amount of brine consumed will vary.

How to Make Brine for Chicken

Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you make chicken brine at home: Pour the warm water into a large container, then stir in the remaining ingredients until the salt has dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

How Long to Brine Chicken

How long to brine your chicken depends on what kind of chicken you’re using. 

  • For skinless breasts, brine for two hours. 
  • For bone-in pieces, brine for four hours. 
  • For whole chickens, brine for at least four hours or up to overnight. 

How to Use Chicken Brine

Always brine foods in a food-grade, nonreactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot. You can also use a brining bag or a food-grade plastic bucket. 

Using the brine is simple: Just place the chicken in the brine, cover, and refrigerate for the recommended time depending on the type of chicken you’re using. 

What to Serve With Chicken

Looking for serving inspiration for chicken? We’ve got you covered. Explore these mouthwatering recipe collections for crowd-pleasing ideas: 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“Been using this brine for years,” according to EE L. “I'll add a half teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder and it is great.”

“This is my go-to brine recipe,” says Alain DeWitt. “I've used it with chicken, turkey, and duck. Easy and adaptable by adding your own seasonings.”

“Delicious,” raves Emily Coker Wedgewood. “The only changes I made were to substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce. I added a little bit more salt because the coconut aminos don’t have quite as much sodium as the soy sauce.”

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 gallon warm water

  • ¾ cup kosher salt

  • ¾ cup soy sauce

  • cup sugar

  • ¼ cup olive oil


  1. Pour warm water into a container that is twice the volume of the water. Add salt, soy sauce, sugar, and olive oil; stir until sugar and salt have dissolved. Allow brine to cool to room temperature.

    Simple Chicken Brine
    Simple Chicken Brine.
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