Brining pork ribs will give them more flavor and better texture, every time. (Scroll to Bottom of Page for Rib Brine Recipe)

We’ve always known that brining adds juiciness and flavor to poultry. Based on a scientific experiment conducted by our friends at, we know that brining also adds juiciness and flavor to pork as well. (Feel free to read the details or just scroll to the bottom of the page for the result.)

This pork brine recipe is sure to add flavor and juiciness to all your grilled pork. You can also click here for an awesome brined pork tenderloin.

brining pork ribs

Brine for Pork Ribs – Why Brine?

What is brine? In short, brine is a saltwater mixture that is used to add moisture and flavor to a meat. Brine has a lot of intrinsic benefits.

First of all, brine adds moisture. That’s because the salt forces the moisture out of the brine solution and into the meat. Don’t ask us how it does this, we’re not chemists. All we know is that it works.

Secondly, brine tenderizes. This is because the brine solution breaks down the connective tissues in the meat.

Last but not least, if you add some flavoring agents to the brine solution (for example root beer, regular beer, or apple cider), your meat will be more flavorful. So if pork is a meat that is very prone to drying, why don’t more people brine it? We don’t know. 

But here is some science around why they should brine their pork every single time.

Brining Pork Ribs Experiment – The Details

The Grillin Fools conducted a (pseudo)scientific experiment that included two groups of pork ribs. Two slabs of 8 ribs were tested. The control group of ribs was treated with a spice rub the night before they were to be grilled. The experimental group was treated with a brine mixture for an equal amount of time. 

Just prior to grilling the brine was patted off of the experimental group of pork ribs and a dry rub was applied. At the same time a liberal amount of kosher salt was applied to the control group (i.e. the unbrined ribs). The brined pork ribs were not salted due to the salt in the brine.

Both slabs of pork ribs were cooked in an identical fashion on an identical grill.

Both the control group and the experimental group of pork ribs were tested on a panel of seven test subjects. None of the subjects were told which pork rib had been brined. Seven out of seven test subjects indicated that the brined pork rib exhibited superior flavor and juiciness to the non-brined pork rib.

Brining Pork Ribs Experiement – The Conclusion

The Grillin’ Fool’s pork rib brining experiment indicated without a doubt that brining pork ribs adds flavor and juiciness.

Basic Recipe for Brining Pork

Grllin’ Fools Pork Brine Ingredients:

1 qt apple cider
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup table salt
10 turns ground black pepper
10 turns ground white pepper

Combine ingredients in a bag. Put ribs in bag and make sure the are coated with brine. Refrigerate overnight.

This scientific experiment about brining pork ribs was brought to you by the Pit Boss BBQ Tool Belt. The Pit Boss makes an outstanding gift for any man and helps your keep your grilling tools organized. Man your Grill.

FAQS about brining pork ribs

brining pork ribs

How long do you dry brine pork ribs?

The time needed may vary depending on the size and thickness of your pork ribs, however generally 4 to 8 hours is an adequate amount of time for brining. It is recommended that you start with 4 hours and then check your pork ribs after that.

If more tenderness or flavor is desired, then up to 8 hours of brining may be necessary. If you are short of time, 4 hours is sufficient but 8 hours is ok if you need to leave them overnight.

Do I need to rinse pork ribs after brining?

Rinsing your pork ribs after brining may be beneficial to remove any excess salt and to enhance the flavor profile. To rinse, simply submerge your pork ribs in cold water for a few minutes and then pat dry with a paper towel.

Is brining necessary for pork ribs?

Brining is not strictly necessary but it can help to enhance the flavor and tenderness of the pork ribs. Brining helps to break down some of the proteins within the meat making it more tender and juicy when cooked.

It also helps to keep the pork ribs nice a moist while cooking. For these reasons, if you have the time then brining can definitely be beneficial.

What spices should I use for brining?

When seasoning your brine, there are no strict rules as to which spices you should use. However, some commonly used spices for pork ribs include garlic, onion powder, oregano and bay leaves.

Other herbs and spices that work well with pork are rosemary, thyme and paprika. Experimenting with different combinations is a great way to find the flavor profile that works best for you!

How can I tell if my pork ribs are done after brining?

Typically the best way to determine doneness is by using an instant read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, being sure not to touch any bone. When cooked to medium rare, your pork ribs should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you find that your pork ribs are not done after brining, they can always be cooked a little longer until the desired doneness is achieved.

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