In Episode 060, we’re diving into the world of pork chops! These juicy and flavorful chops are a perfect addition to any dinner table, whether you’re serving them up for a big cookout or just a weeknight meal. Join Taryn as she teaches you how to make smoked pork chops and gives some great ideas for serving them up!
These are some of the recipes mentioned in the episode, all of which are on Hot Pan Kitchen.
- Traeger Boneless Pork Chops
- Apple Broccoli Slaw
- Pineapple Coleslaw
- Grilled Zucchini
- Grilled Onions
- Potato Salad
- Grilled Potatoes
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- Episode 58: Smoked BBQ Meatballs
- Episode 59: Meatloaf on a Smoker
- Traeger pellet grill and smoker
- Traeger Signature wood pellet blend
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Epicurious salt conversion chart
- Large food storage container with lid
- Temperature probe for smokers
- Using a meat thermometer for grilling (includes recommendation)
Taryn Solie: Hello grillers, and thank you for tuning in today! I am your host, Taryn Solie, and I am here to give you some grilling inspiration.
In the last two episodes we’ve gone over some smoker recipes – smoked meatballs in episode 58 and smoked meatloaf in episode 59. Today we’re staying on the smoker trend but we’re going to cover a different cut of meat – pork chops. And specifically, boneless pork chops.
Boneless pork chops are one of my favorite things to smoke because they’re just really straightforward to make. Brine them, put a rub on them, then smoke them and you’re done. Plus they go with all sorts of side dishes and they’re pretty kid-friendly too. All wins in my book.
We like to make these smoked pork chops on our Traeger grill, but you can make them on any wood pellet grill or smoker. For wood, we typically use a fruit wood with this recipe – like an apple or a cherry. You could also use a mild and slightly sweet wood like a pecan or maple. Or you could use an all-purpose blend as well – we use our Traeger Signature blend for a lot of recipes we make.
Okay, let’s kick things off with the ingredients you’ll need! Grab the following items:
For the brine:
- 2 cups of apple juice;
- 2 cups of cold water; and
- ¼ cup of Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
Then for the pork chops:
- 1 pound of boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick – this is usually about 3 pork chops;
- ¾ tsp of Diamond Crystal kosher salt;
- ½ tsp of smoked paprika;
- ¼ tsp of garlic powder;
- ¼ tsp of onion powder; and
- 1 tsp of oil – I like to use avocado oil.
A few quick notes before we dive into the recipe:
- First about the kosher salt – I use Diamond Crystal brand as it’s less salty by weight than other salts, which leaves a little more room for error when you’re cooking. If you’re using a different type of salt, you’ll want to use less. I’ll put a resource on the show notes page for how to calculate that.
- Second – for this recipe we’re going to do a wet brine on the pork, which is where you submerge the meat into a salty liquid solution and let it sit for awhile. Typically I prefer to do a dry brine on meat as I usually find it to be less messy and have just as good of a result as a wet brine, if not better. But a wet brine solution works well for this recipe so we’ll go with that.
- Also about the brine – you want to use cold liquids when making a wet brine. Or if you use hot liquid to help dissolve the salt, you want to wait to add the meat until the liquid is all the way cooled down. If you place the meat in warm or hot liquid it could help promote bacteria growth, which is definitely not what you want!
- And lastly, before you start you want to make sure you have a container with a lid that’s large enough to fit the pork chops in a single layer at the bottom, as well as the brine solution. But you don’t want it to be so large that the pork chops aren’t fully submerged. I use a container that holds roughly 3 liters, and I would say a container sized anywhere in the 13 to 14 cup range would work well – I’ll provide a link on the show notes page to some options.
Alright, let’s get into the instructions!
Start by measuring out the water and apple juice and pouring both into the container you’ve chosen. Measure out the quarter cup of kosher salt and pour it into the container as well.
Stir the mixture with a whisk until the salt is all the way dissolved – this will take a full minute or two since the water isn’t warm. Then place the raw boneless pork chops into the brine in a single layer. Put the lid on the container and place it in the fridge for 1 to 1.5 hours.
When the pork chops are done brining, remove them from the fridge, taking them out of the container and putting them on a plate. You can pour the brine solution down the sink.
Take some paper towels and dry off the pork chops as best you can. Let them sit on the plate for a moment while you turn on your grill or smoker and also make the spice rub.
Set your smoker or wood pellet grill to 225 degrees F. While it’s coming up to temperature, prepare the spice rub. Measure out and add the kosher salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder to a small bowl, stirring to combine everything together.
Next, measure out the oil then pour it over the pork chops. Use your hands to rub the oil over each pork chop, coating them as best you can. Sprinkle half of the seasoning on one side of the chops and rub it in with your hands to spread and coat the pork in seasoning. Then flip the chops over and sprinkle the other half of the seasoning and rub that in as well. Make sure all sides of the pork chops are covered with seasoning as evenly as possible, then wash your hands!
At this point your smoker should be just about up to temperature. Use a pair of tongs to place the pork chops on the grill and, if you have it, insert a temperature probe into the thinnest (or smallest) pork chop. The reason you want to see the temp on the thinnest pork chop is it will likely be done cooking before the other ones. This way you can remove that one from the grill before it gets overcooked and just monitor the larger ones as they finish cooking.
Set the temperature probe to 145 degrees F and close the lid to let the pork chops cook until they reach that internal temperature you just set. If you don’t have a temperature probe, you’ll want to check the pork with a meat thermometer after 45 minutes to see what the internal temperature of each pork chop is, then check again every 10 to 15 minutes and pull them out once they each reach 145 degrees F.
Once the pork chops are done smoking, pull them off the grill or smoker and onto a clean cutting board. Let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.
Alright, now that we’ve got our smoked pork chops, let’s talk about what to serve them with! Of course my mind immediately goes to pork chops and applesauce, but there are a lot of other options. I love to serve these with coleslaw, and I have an apple broccoli slaw that goes really well with pork. I also have a pineapple coleslaw that would work well too.
You could of course do grilled veggies, like grilled zucchini or grilled onions. You could also add a starchy side, like cooked rice, potato salad, or even grilled potatoes.
I’ll include a link to the full printable recipe for these smoked pork chops, as well as the other recipes I’ve mentioned, on the show notes page. To get to it you can either go to my main website at Hot Pan Kitchen dot com and click on podcast in the main menu, or you can click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on.
If you enjoyed this recipe, consider subscribing to the show on your favorite podcast platform so you don’t miss out on future episodes! I’ve got so many more great grilling and smoking recipes you’re going to love.
That’s it for today, thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep grilling like a mother.