Monday Meal Prep

Today I’m brining chicken breast for Jason to grill.

Brining chicken for grilling

I have about 2 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast that I want to brine and have Jason grill for lunches and possibly quick dinners.

I always brine my Thanksgiving Turkey and it is Amazing!

But, as far as I can remember, I’ve never brined a chicken before.

Why I am brining

Basically, I’m only brining the chicken to keep it from drying out during the grilling process because when Jason went shopping for me, he could not find any certified humane chicken breast that was skin-on and/or bone-in.

What flavors should I use in my brine?

I didn’t want to make a brine with distinct flavors because I want the finished chicken to be very versatile.

With that in mind, I’m using a simple brine of salt, peppercorns and lemon.

1 1/2 Lemons and 1/2 tsp Peppercorns

Making brine is like making a salty pot of tea

I started by boiling 8 cups of fresh cool water with 1/3 C Diamond Crystal Salt.

Once it was boiling, I removed it from the heat and let it begin cooling.

Once the salty water had cooled a little, I added the lemons and peppercorns. Then, I gave it a stir and let it sit to cool.

Salted water with lemon and peppercorns

While I waited for the brine to cool, I rinsed the raw chicken breast and put it the container that I want to brine it in.

Why I rinse the chicken

Way back when I was a nanny and child care provider, DHS taught us to, without splashing, etc, remove raw meats from their store packagings, rinse it in cold water, place it in a “safe” (glass or other non-pourous, non-texturized) storage container or cooking pan and then disinfect the sink and surrounding areas.

Apparently, rinsing is no longer reccomended, because of the possibility of not disinfecting well enough.

But, I still rinse the meats because as gross as it is to rinse it, to me, it’s grosser to not rinse it!

I’m excessively careful when I rinse the chicken and disinfect the surrounding areas

I’m extremely careful when I rinse the chicken and EXCESSIVE, in an OCD-like-way, with my disinfecting of the sink and surrounding areas.

I use boiling water inside the sink and on any utensils, like forks or sharp knives, that I used on the raw chicken. Then I spray the sink and surrounding areas with a trusted disinfectant and wait the allotted time, usually 1 to 2 minutes, for the disinfecting to take place before drying and using the areas again.

Additionally, anything that came into contact with the raw chicken that is movable, goes into the dishwasher!

When to make your brine

Ideally, make your brine the night before, to give it plenty of time to cool.

You can make your brine the same day, which is what I did, but it’s important to let the brine cool completely.

You do not want to pour hot brine over the raw chicken!

Once the lemon had steeped and started to smell very strongly, I removed it with a slotted spoon and put it aside for my husband to grill along with the chicken.

Pour the cooled brine over the chicken.

By the time I was ready to use the brine, it was cool to the point of being only slightly warm, so I added some ice cubes and stirred to finish the cooling off process.

After that, I poured the cool brine over the chicken.

As I mentioned above, I had already rinsed the chicken breast and put it inside a glass pyrex dish that was lined with a hefty slider bag.

I closed the bag halfway, carefully squeezed the air out of the bag, closed the bag the rest of the way, put the lid on the dish and put it in the fridge.

How long to brine?

If you’re in a hurry, you can brine chicken breast for as little as 30 minutes or as long as 6 hours.

Today, I left the chicken to brine for 2 or 3 hours, then carefully drained the brine off and put the chicken breast back in the pyrex dish (this time without the zipper bag).

Spray lightly with olive oil

I used my Misto Oil Sprayer to spray the chicken on both sides with my favorite olive oil, put the lid back on the chicken and put it back in the fridge until Jason could grill it.

A little later, Jason grilled the chicken and lemons for me.

The grilled chicken looked so good that I could not resist a taste and it was Delicious!!

My lunch on Tuesday!

If anyone would like to know how Jason grilled the chicken, please let me know!

Published by sharietomlinson

I’m Sharie. Owner of Butterfly Bunny Studio. Mixed Media Watercolor Artist, Bunny & Disney Lover, Gardener, Proud Mother to Josh, Bunny Momma to Princess Buttercup Bunny and Wifey to Jason. I am located in Columbia, Md but I’m a Harford County girl at heart! You can find me on Etsy at and on Instagram at @notjoshsmom Email me at

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