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How to Use Sour Kombucha as a Brine


Common Meat Brine Ingredients:

Kombucha is an ideal ingredient to include in meat brines, especially kombucha that has been fermented to a vinegar stage. The acid in the kombucha breaks down the tough fibers in a shoulder or brisket-type cut of meat.

Salt is another common ingredient in meat brine. It helps to increase the amount of moisture and flavor that the meat can take up by manipulating the structure of the tissues in the meat.

The combination of kombucha vinegar and salt in marinades or brines equals a tasty, juicy, flavorful piece of meat.

An optional ingredient to add to the brine is sugar. While it is not necessary, the sugar helps to increase the caramelization of the meat when it is cooked, resulting in a better finished flavor.


Try this basic formula for meat brine:

  • 3¾ quarts of water
  • ¾ cup sea salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar or Sucanat (optional)
  • 1 cup long-fermented kombucha 
  • Flavorings as desired (see below for ideas)



  1. Combine all ingredients and stir to dissolve. Submerge the cut of meat or whole bird in the solution. 
  2. Refrigerate the meat in the brine for a few hours or 1 to 2 days for larger birds like turkey.
  3. Before cooking, pour off the brine, pat the meat dry, and proceed as necessary.


Meat Brine Flavoring Options:

Add these right to the above brine and be sure to remove any bits of herbs or flavorings from the meat before cooking to prevent burning.


Meat Brine For Chicken

To the basic brine add black peppercorns, dried or fresh thyme, lemon slices, dried or fresh parsley.

Meat Brine For Turkey

To the basic brine add black peppercorns, dried or fresh sage, orange or lemon slices.

Meat Brine For Beef

To the basic brine add black peppercorns, onion slices, dried or fresh marjoram, lime slices.

Meat Brine For Lamb

To the basic brine add lots of fresh peeled garlic, lemon slices, fresh or dried rosemary and/or mint.



Chicken skewers on the grill

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