Easy Whole Chicken Brine (One Pot)

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Quick and easy whole chicken brine recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in one pot on stovetop in 20 minutes. Loaded with salt, honey, fresh herbs, garlic, citrus (lemon and oranges). This is meant to give you a super moist and juicy chicken every time!

Brining meat is no longer just for the restaurant chef! With this easy recipe, you will end up with the best chicken ever! This Turkey Brine Solution (One Pot) will also help you get though hosting the next holiday meal like a pro.

Easy Whole Chicken Brine Recipe in Glass Bowl on White Background

How To Make Easy Whole Chicken Brine Recipe From Scratch?

  1. Cook ingredients– This includes water, salt, honey, bay leaves, garlic, black peppercorns, cloves, orange, lemon, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme.
  2. Cool mixture– Until it’s room temperature.
  3. Add chicken– And submerge it.
  4. Chill– For 12 – 24 hours.
  5. Do cooking prep– Rinse chicken with cool water.
  6. Enjoy– Continue with your normal cooking method.

Cornish Hen Brine/Fried Chicken Brine

This recipe works well for both. For frying, I recommend using drumsticks or thighs instead of a whole chicken.

Closeup Shot of Fresh Herbs and Spices in Simple Brine Solution

Ingredients For Chicken Brine For Grilling, BBQ, Smoking, Baking, Roasting, Or Air Frying

Salt & Water– These are the two main ingredients. I recommend Kosher salt, as it works best for brining.

Honey– To balance the acidity and saltiness.

Herbs– Fresh parsley, rosemary, thyme, and basil are best.

Garlic– Use lots. They should be slightly crushed.

Black peppercorns– They provide so much flavor.

Bay leaves and cloves– They add depth of flavor.

Citrus– Add lemon and orange slices allowing the acidity to tenderize the meat and add more flavor.

How Long Should You Brine Chicken?

You should brine for about 1 hour per pound. For this recipe, I suggest 12-24 hours depending on the size of the chicken used.

Can You Brine Chicken Too Long?

Yes, you can brine for too long. Do not brine longer than 24 hours because this will cause the meat to become too salty and inedible.

Why Do You Brine Chicken?

It tenderizes the meat and helps it to retain moisture while it cooks. The chicken absorbs the salt solution, and therefore liquid, so that while it cooks it doesn’t dry out as easily. It keeps the meat moist and juicy while also adding tons of flavor from the herbs and aromatics.

How To Cook Brined Chicken?

You can cook it in the slow cooker, air fryer, grill, smoker, oven, or BBQ, whichever method you prefer.

Do you need to rinse the chicken after brining

Yes, rinse the chicken lightly in cold water and then pat it dry to ensure a crisp skin.

Variations For Overnight Chicken Brine

Add other herbs– Such as sage, coriander, or oregano.

Add other spices– Such as juniper berries, whole star anise, allspice, cinnamon sticks, or nutmeg.

Add alcohol– Like prosecco or sauvignon blanc.

Make it Mexican– Use jalapeno, cilantro, ancho chiles and Mexican oregano.

Make it Asian– Add soy sauce, cilantro, ginger, chili paste, and more garlic.

Beer brine– Add your favorite beer to the solution for a flavor twist.

Add onions– White, yellow, red or a combination of all three.

Add mushrooms– Such as porcini mushrooms.

Use another sugar– Such as granulated or brown sugar in place of honey.

Use other fruit– Such as apples, grapefruit, or limes.

Make it smoky Add a small amount of liquid smoke for another flavor profile.

Tips And Techniques

Make sure to COMPLETELY COOL the brine before adding the raw meat– Because this ensures the meat doesn’t start cooking when added to the liquid.

Should the meat be completely thawed before brining? Can you brine frozen chicken? It is ok if it is partially thawed as long as it can finish thawing in 12-24 hours. You do not want to keep the chicken sitting in the solution longer than that or it will become too salty, and the texture of the meat will be “odd”. Therefore, a totally frozen chicken will not work, but a partially thawed one should be just fine.

Do you refrigerate meat while brining? Yes. This is vert important because the meat can go bad at room temperature. Be sure to so make room in that fridge!

Can I take the chicken straight out of the solution and put it in the oven? Yes, but it will be a bit salty. You must still pat it dry first.

Use FRESH herbs – Because they produce the best flavors.

Don’t exceed 24 hours– Because that would make the chicken very salty and also make the meat tough.

Quick Brine Solution For Chicken (Breast, Whole, Wings, Drumsticks) in Glass Bowl


Refrigerate– The prepared solution (without chicken) can be stored in the fridge for up 2 days. However, if the chicken is already in the solution, it should be refrigerated no longer than 24 hours.

Freeze– The prepared solution (without chicken) can be frozen for up to 1 month and thawed in the fridge overnight. However, you cannot freeze the solution and use it again after a raw chicken has been in it. Yuck! Simply discard it.

More One Pot Chicken Recipes

Easy Whole Chicken Brine Solution In Glass Bowl

One Pot Whole Chicken Brine Solution

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
12 hrs 20 mins

Quick and easy whole chicken brine recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in one pot on stovetop in 20 minutes. Loaded with salt, honey, fresh herbs, garlic, citrus (lemon and oranges). This is meant to give you a super moist and juicy chicken every time!

Servings: 4 People
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade brine solution
Calories: 511 kcal
Author: Abeer Rizvi


  • 8 cups Water
  • 1/3 cup Salt Preferably kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 6-8 cloves Garlic Slightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp Black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cloves
  • 1 Orange Roughly sliced or diced
  • 1 Lemon Roughly sliced or diced
  • 2 sprigs Parsley Fresh
  • 2 sprigs Basil Fresh
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary Fresh
  • 2 sprigs Thyme Fresh
  • 1 Whole chicken 3-5 pounds


  1. Add water, salt, honey, bay leaves, garlic, black peppercorns, cloves, orange, lemon, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat.

  2. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes until salt has dissolved completely.

  3. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool completely.

  4. Once it cools completely, place the whole chicken in the brine solution. It should be fully submerged.

  5. Cover pot with lid and chill in fridge for for 12 – 24 hours. Do not go past this time frame or else the chicken will become very salty.

  6. When you are ready to cook, remove chicken from the brine solution and rinse it with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels to ensure a crispy skin.

  7. Then, continue with your normal chicken baking/ roasting cooking method. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Read all my tips above.
  • Brine cannot be reused. Discard after chicken has been removed. 
Nutrition Facts
One Pot Whole Chicken Brine Solution
Amount Per Serving
Calories 511 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 143mg48%
Sodium 9591mg400%
Potassium 530mg15%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 485IU10%
Vitamin C 38mg46%
Calcium 87mg9%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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