By: Rick Bakas
I’ve tried cooking pork chops more ways than I can remember. From an electric cook top to an iron skillet and over hot coals. The seasonings have run the gamut from salt/pepper/garlic powder to BBQ rubs with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Some were flavorful but dry and others were bland but moist. And then I came across Alton Brown’s brine recipe and decided to give it a shot. With a reverse sear technique we ended up with flavorful and moist.
After I served these my wife and kids unanimously voted them the “best ever in the world, daddy”.
- 4 thick-cut pork chops bone in
- 3/4 cup kosher salt (i used whisky flavored)
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 2 tbsp mustard powder
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 pound ice cubes
This particular brine is called a 2-hour brine for a reason. You really want to keep it close to two hours or the flavor can start to get a bit overbearing. Plan for 15-20 minutes of cook/rest time.
Then allow about 30 seconds to devour and start looking around the table to see who’s not going to gnaw on their bone.
Step by Step Instructions
In a large plastic container (one that has a lid) combine all the dry ingredients. Bring the apple cider vinegar to a boil, then pour into the container with dry ingredients. Stir until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
Let the mixutre cool for 5-10 minutes, then add in ice cubes and stir until ice is almost melted. You’ve made a brine that will be cold, which is fine.
Submerge chops in the brine, cover and store in the refrigerator until it’s GO time. Be sure not to brine more than 2 hours.
After 2 hours remove chops from the brine and rinse under cold water. Don’t worry, you won’t be rinsing away any flavor. Pat dry and season conservatively with salt and pepper (or your favorite).
Preheat your gas grill to high if you have an upper rack. You’ll be grilling with indirect heat. If you have charcoals or don’t have an upper rack prepare your grill for indirect grilling as you normally would.
Grill with indirect heat for 10-12 minutes total turning once. Finish by moving the chops over the direct heat and searing for about a minute each side. The heat will carmelize the brown sugar giving your chops that “charred” appearance. Let rest then serve.
People Who’ve Made This
“My daughter can be challenging to feed at dinner time. But this is one of the few recipes she gobbles down and wants seconds.”- Jamie B
“So easy and perfect for weeknights!” – Jennifer M.