Brined Rack of Pork


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Tender and juicy brined rack of pork makes a beautiful presentation on a  holiday dinner table.

Earlier this week, I mentioned the amazing pork deals that Costco is running in honor of National Pork Month.  Where now thru October 30 you can save $2.50 on a Rack of Pork.  When you’re cooking for a crowd, the pork rib roast is a real people-pleaser with that extra “wow” factor.  It makes a delicious “cook once, eat twice” solution to weekly meal planning.

We cook a lot of pork in our house, but I had never cooked a rack of pork.  I actually couldn’t recall ever even seeing it in the store.  Then I discovered that rack of pork is not sold year round.  It’s only in stores now thru mid-January – during the holiday season.

I have to be honest, when I was asked by great people at The Motherhood on behalf of the Pork Board and Costco to come up with a recipe using a rack of pork, I was a bit intimidated.  But after doing a little research and help from some friends, I actually discovered it was pretty easy and certainly would make a great impression on a holiday dinner table or special occasion.

Have you ever brined meat?  If you haven’t, you don’t know what juicy and tender is all about!  We like to grill most of our meat, but pork has a tenancy to dry out if not cooked properly.  So I decided this roast would be the perfect candidate to brine!  It does require a little more planning than grilling so be sure to read over all of the directions before jumping in!  Plan on at least 12 hours for brining overnight, with 24 hours being optimal, but not a must.  Trust me, it’s easy and so worth the time!

What is brining?

Brining is similar to  marinating, in the fact that they both soak in a liquid for a period of time.  But unlike marinate, brining actually hydrates the meat.  Resulting in extra tender juicy meat.

The most important ingredient is salt, along with water and sugar,  after that you can add any herbs/flavorings to your liking.  You will also need a vessel large enough for your meat and enough liquid to fully cover the meat.  I don’t have a pot that large, and I love the Hefty 2.5 gallon zipper bags,  one of them worked perfectly!


First you want to bring your salt, water, sugar and herbs to a boil (recipe below).  Then cool completely.

Hint:  My recipe calls for water and apple cider.  I only boiled the water with the seasonings, then added cold apple cider to help cool it down quicker


Next, place cooled brine and roast in a large pot or Hefty bag (make sure it’s large enough to cover meat with brine)

place brine and meat in refrigerator for at least 12 hours, but no more than 24 hours. (I did mine for 18 hours)

Now that you have brined your pork you’re ready to cook it – I chose to cook it on our gas grill, because I love cooking on our Weber grill all year long.

Remove meat from brine and pat dry with paper towel

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large saute pan over high heat.  Season roast with seasoned salt, garlic salt and pepper.  Braise both sides until golden brown, about 5- 6 minutes.

Place roast on preheated grill over indirect medium heat and continuing cooking to internal temperature of 145° on an instant read thermometer (mine took about an hour for a 5 pound roast)  *Note:  I should have covered the bones with foil so they wouldn’t turn black, but I forgot.  It’s not necessary to do, but if the black bones bother you, then just wrap a little foil around each tip

Remove from grill and let rest, loosely tented with foil for about 10 minutes.


Cut pork into chops to serve and enjoy!

Suggested Show Stopping Sides:

Steamed Green Beans and Bacon

Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries, Bacon and Pecans (recipe coming soon)

Spiced Maple Roasted Apples and Squash

Apple-Fennel Salad with Pecans and Pomegranate

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

Potato Rosemary Strudel

For other great recipes check out Costco’s In The Warehouse site and The National Pork Board’s site,


TidyMom Giveaway

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THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.  Congrats to #170 Cara

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Official Rules:  No purchase necessary.  Giveaway will end on November 1, 2011 at 5 pm CST. One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random using  I will email the winner and they will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.


Brined Rack of Pork and Costco Cash

Brined Rack of Pork and Costco Cash


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 whole branch fresh Rosemary
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider


  1. Bring water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, rosemary, and cloves to a simmer in a large stock pot and cook until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and add cold apple cider. Let sit until brine is room temperature.
  3. Submerge the roast in the brine (in pot with lid or in large 2.5 gallon zipper bag).
  4. Refrigerate for at least 12 hour, and up to 24 hours (but no more).

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Shenandoah Growers Organic Fresh Herbs



This post was sponsored by National Pork Board, Costco and The Motherhood to promoted National Pork Month. All opinions expressed, and my love of pork are all my own.