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U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Blueberry Root Beer Brine

Blueberry Root Beer Brine

Recipe developed by Chef Jason K. Morse, CEC, 5280 Culinary, LLC



  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, granulated
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • 2 12 ounce cans alcoholic root beer
  • 1 cup dried blueberries



  1. In a large 2-3 gallon stock pot, bring the water to a boil and turn off.
  2. Add the blueberries, seasonings, ketchup, vinegar, spices and root beer. Mix well to combine.
  3. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture for 2 minutes.
  4. Set aside 2 cups of brine mixture for finishing sauce. Pour rest of the mixture into stock pot.
  5. Prepare your protein for the brine.
  6. Add protein to the brine and make sure it is completely covered.
  7. Brine for approximately 45 minutes per pound of protein.
  8. Remove from the brine when done. Do not rinse. Cook as desired.

Finished Sauce Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pan, add the 2 cups of reserved brine.
  2. Add 1 cup of dried blueberries.
  3. Over medium heat, reduce this mixture until thick like a barbecue sauce, approximately 5-8 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cool. Use as the finishing barbecue sauce on protein.


  • Brine mixture will brine 10-15 pounds of beef, pork or chicken.
  • Brine should be used one time and then discarded. Do not reuse.
  • Brine will work with non-alcoholic root beer, if desired.