Smoked Pork Chops Two Ways – Brined & Dry Rubbed Recipe

Smoked Pork Chops Two Ways – Brined & Dry Rubbed Recipe

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Smoked Pork Chops Two Ways – Brined & Dry Rubbed Recipe
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Pork chops can be a tricky protein to cook properly. It is very easy to overcook them to the point that they become dry. Dry pork is not a pleasant texture. Smoking pork chops in a Masterbuilt Smoker is a good way to prepare the meat to ensure that it remains moist.

There are a few tips that you may want to consider when smoking pork chops. First, the cut of chop is important. A thicker cut, say 1-1/2 to 2 inches, is better than very thin chops. You do want a bone-in chop to add flavor. And, the fat cap is good to leave on. The fat will add moisture as the chops cook slowly. You can always cut it off after the meat has rested if desired.

That brings me to the second important tip. You must allow the pork to rest before serving it. Otherwise, all of the juices will run out of the meat as soon as you slice into it. A good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes of resting. You can tent the chops with foil to keep them warm.

Brining the meat can also help to impart much needed moisture. You can submerge the chops in a bath of water or apple cider that has salt, sugar, and spices dissolved in the liquid. Brining can be for 2 hours and up to 24 hours before cooking.

Varieties of Pork Chops

There are a few different cuts of chops you can smoke. Let’s take a look at some of the options available.

Loin chops are the cuts located near the lower back of the pig. These are fairly lean and tender. Rib chops are the loin chops that are attached to rib bones. Center cut chops are the porterhouse or T-bone that includes a tenderloin section and steak portion.

Shoulder chops are cut from the front quarters of the pig. Blade chops are the most common cut from the shoulder area. They have a distinctive shoulder blade bone and are marbled with some fat. These chops are sometimes butterflied and referred to as country-style ribs. The fat makes these chops especially tasty when smoked.

If you don’t see the cut of chop or the thickness that you want, don’t be shy about asking your butcher to cut exactly what you want.

Smoked Pork Chop Recipes

There are 2 fairly simple recipes for smoking pork chops outlined here. The first is for brined chops with a pesto sauce on the side. The second is for pork chops that well seasoned with a dry rub and mustard. Pretty much any type of chop will work for these recipes.

Brined and Smoked Pork Chops

  • 4 bone-in pork chops, approximately 1-1/2” thick
  • 1 quart filtered water at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsps whole peppercorns
  • 1 garlic clove smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Apple juice and water
  • Apple or hickory wood chips
  • Herb pesto for serving (recipe follows)

Total time: 2 hour 5 minPrep time: 5 min + 8 hours for brining – Cook time: 2 hour – Serves: 4 people

Directions:

1. In a large baking dish or bowl, combine the water salt, sugar, peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaf. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Place the pork chops in the brine, submerging them completely. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, but not more than24 hours.

2. Remove the pork chops from the brine and rinse under cold water. Pat the chops dry with plenty of clean paper towels. Take a rack from the smoker and place the pork on the rack. Set this aside to come to room temperature while you prepare your smoker. Discard any excess brine.

3. Prepare your smoker by filling the side tray with wood chips. Fill the water bowl 1/2 way with equal parts apple juice and water. Preheat the smoker to 250°F with the top vent open.

4. Place the rack in the smoker. Smoke for 90 minutes and check the temperature with a reliable meat thermometer. You are looking for an internal temperature of 145°F. Continue smoking for approximately 30 minutes longer if the temperature is below that. Remember to check the wood chips and liquid supply every 45 minutes and replenish as necessary.

5. Remove the pork chops to a cutting board and tent with foil. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving to ensure they remain moist.

6. Serve the pork chops with herb pesto sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite BBQ sauce.

Herb Pesto for Pork

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 TBS fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Note: You can use any combination of your favorite fresh herbs.

Total time: 10 minPrep time: 10 min – Serves: 4 people

Directions:

1. Pulse garlic, oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs in a food processor until very finely chopped. Place this in a serving bowl and stir in the salt and pepper. Serve with your smoked pork chops.

Dry Rubbed and Smoked Pork Chops

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops, approximately 1-1/2” thick
  • 1-1/2 TBS sea salt
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 TBS smoked paprika
  • 1 TBS onion powder
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 2 tsps freshly ground pepper
  • 2 TBS mustard + 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Water
  • Hickory or mesquite wood chips

Total time: 2 hour 5 minPrep time: 5 min – Cook time: 2 hour – Serves: 4 people

Directions:

1. In a large small bowl, place the salt, sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir well to combine. In another small bowl, combine the mustard and EVOO.

2. Rinse the pork chops under cold water. Pat dry with plenty of clean paper towels. Coat each chop completely with the mustard and oil mixture. Then, cover the chops with the dry rub and press it into the mustard and oil to adhere well. Take a rack from the smoker and place the seasoned pork on the rack. Set this aside to come to room temperature while you prepare your smoker.

3. Prepare your smoker by filling the side tray with wood chips. Fill the water bowl 1/2 way with water. Preheat the smoker to 250°F with the top vent open.

4. Place the rack in the smoker. Smoke for 90 minutes and check the temperature with a reliable meat thermometer. You are looking for an internal temperature of 145°F. Continue smoking for approximately 30 minutes longer if the temperature is below that. Remember to check the wood chips and liquid supply every 45 minutes and replenish as necessary.

5. Remove the pork chops to a cutting board and tent with foil. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving to ensure they remain moist.

6. Serve the pork chops with your favorite side dishes.

Side Dishes that Compliment Smoked Pork Chops

There are so many delicious sides you can serve with pork chops. My personal favorite is a crunchy cabbage and apple slaw. The sweetness of this salad marries well with the smoke from the pork.

I also enjoy smoked cabbage that you can prepare on the rack above the pork. The recipe is available in the Smoked Vegetables and Fruits section of our website.

And, of course, macaroni and cheese is always a hit with pork. The recipe that pairs nicely is our Smoked Macaroni and Cheese.



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