I followed a brining recipe tonight for the first time. I added water, salt, sugar, worcestershire, and various dried seasoning to a saucepan, brought to a rapid boil, let cool, then refrigerated. I am going to use part of this on the 2 turkey legs I bought today, but that will leave me with a lot of leftover, unused brine. (I didn't realize it until I started, but the recipe I followed produced almost 6 quarts of brine.)

What can I do with this 'extra' brine? Would it be safe to store it in the fridge (if so, for how long?) or the freezer? What would this do to the effectiveness of the brine?

  • 2
    the 'best' way to store it is 'down the drain'...
    – Cos Callis
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


Brine can be stored in the fridge pretty much indefinitely. It might even be safe at room temp, but you'll want it to be cold when you use it anyway. If you used whole seasonings (which are, indeed, pretty pointless,) strain them out, especially if you plan to store your brine for more than a week.

I have kept a half-gallon jar full of brine in the fridge on weeks when I want to use it for several small items over a week or two. Brine-making never seems worth it for a pork chop, but my pork chops definitely benefit from a 24-hour brine soak, so it can be worthwhile to have some on hand.

  • 1
    If you've got empty space in your fridge, it's worth filling it with some sort of a thermal mass, and this would work rather well. (and it's more useful than just water bottles)
    – Joe
    Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 4:59

While your brine is almost certainly salty enough to refrigerate nearly indefinitely, there are (or should be) no expensive ingredients in it. As the only effective ingredients (contrary to myth) in a brine are pretty much water, salt, and sugar, the effectiveness of the brine will not be diminished.

I would suggest that you simply discard it rather than dedicate storage space. You can make more quite easily when it is required.

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