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Maple-brined grilled pork chops

2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5

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SKILL LEVEL :
Easy and quick

Moist and juicy grilled pork chops

Say goodbye to tough, dry pork chops. The secret to moist and juicy pork chops is brining. A salty brine allows moisture to enter the pork chop and literally traps it between protein cells, keeping the chop plumper and juicier when it is cooked. Skeptical? Weigh your pork chop before and after it is brined. Or better yet, cook one brined pork chop and one unbrined pork chop. I guarantee you will taste an enormous difference.

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A little brining works wonders

This recipe comes from Jody Adam's In the Hands of a Chef cookbook, published in 2001. I make a few changes. Jody thinks 12 hours is the optimal brining time, but for me, 12 hours leaves the pork chop too salty. I think 3 hours is plenty of time to achieve a moist, but not too salty pork chop. Likewise, I use less salt and less water than her recipe specifies. Her sugar and spice combinations, however, add great flavor.

Under 30 minutes active time

These pork chops are very quick and simple to prepare. Just remember they need a few hours to brine.

Maple-brined grilled pork chops

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 servings

The secret to moist and juicy pork chops is brining. A salty brine allows moisture to enter the pork chop and literally traps it between protein cells, keeping the chop plumper and juicier when it is cooked.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 T whole grain mustard
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1" peeled ginger root, sliced and smashed
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 center-cut pork loin chops, 1" thick
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. To make brine, put first 10 ingredients in a non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and turn off heat. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Let cool. Put pork chops in a glass baking dish or non-reactive container that is just big enough to hold the pork chops. Pour brine over pork chops and cover. Refrigerate for three hours. Brine may be made in advance and held until three hours before it is time to grill.
  2. Prepare a grill with hot and medium grilling areas. Cooking time will depend on thickness of pork chops. Sear the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side over the hot side of the grill. Finish grilling on medium heat until the internal heat is about 145 degrees. Take pork chops off heat and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  3. Or alternatively, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Sear the pork chops in a grill pan or cast iron skillet on the stove, over high heat, about 1 - 2 minutes for each side. Transfer to the oven and cook until internal heat is 145 degrees, about 8 minutes. Let rest 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

Cuisine New American

 

THIS SERVES WELL WITH

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8 COMMENTS

Comments

  1. Angela says:

    Kim….did you forget the water in this recipe?

    1. Kim says:

      Oops. Yes I forgot the water. The 10th ingredient is 3 cups water. My apologies. The recipe is now corrected. Thank you Angela!

  2. Angela says:

    Since I was making this brine early this am (Michigan time) I took a chance and used 5 cups of water….the chops turned out delish. I’ll never again make a pork chop that isn’t brined. Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to share it with friends.

    1. Kim says:

      I’m glad it worked out Angela. Thank you for the correction!

  3. Kim Turner says:

    My family loved this recipe! It was easy and so tasty for a weeknight dinner. Thanks Kim!

    1. Kim says:

      Glad you liked it Kim!

  4. jean says:

    loved it. had only 30 minutes to marinate it but still wonderful. and was even delicious even though i ran out of gas on the grill before it finished searing on the first side and had to bring it inside to complete on the stove top. thank you! can’t wait to make it again with a full tank of gas!!!!

    1. Kim says:

      Glad you liked it Jean. These chops make for a great quick dinner!

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