Herb Garlic Brine

Great for chicken, this herb garlic brine adds flavor, improves texture and preserves juiciness. It can be used equally well whether you're smoking or grilling your chicken.

With this chicken brine recipe you can use up all the fresh herb odds and ends you might have left over in the fridge from other dishes you've cooked up. Click on any of the following pictures for a larger view.

Herb Garlic Brine Recipe

This chicken brine recipe uses just a few ingredients. I actually used two cans of beer in this recipe, since the one can didn't provide enough liquid to completely cover the six chicken breasts I brined.

Luckily I have a few herb plants on my front porch, so I have a ready supply to choose from. For this recipe I chose fresh basil, thyme and oregano, a couple of sprigs of each.

This is a big clove of garlic, huh! I liked this one so much I used two of them.

This is the same clove, sliced. It was repeatedly whacked with the knife until it was coarsely chopped.

You ever use one of these things? It's a stainless steel deodorizer bar that removes garlic and onion smell from your hands.

It works pretty good. Just rub it in your hands under running water, and it neutralizes odors much better than soap and water can.

Here are all the chicken brine ingredients in a stainless bowl, with a half dozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts inserted. After two hours of brining, the chicken is ready to go.


  • 2 cans of beer, 24 ounces total
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Fresh herbs, chopped. Basil, thyme and oregano used here.

Chop the herbs and garlic. Add to a medium non-reactive bowl along with the beer, vinegar, molasses, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, until salt and molasses is dissolved.

Brine skinless chicken pieces for up to two hours, and skin-on chicken for 3 to 4 hours before grilling or smoking.

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