I think I heard somewhere that pork is the most consumed meat in the world. I’m sure I’ve helped contribute to those stats because I’ve cooked and eaten quite a few pounds of it over the years. I love the delicate flavor of pork, it really lends itself to combining with all types of bold flavors. Pork chops are easily found in most grocery stores and they cook quickly making them a great solution to getting dinner on the table any day of the week.
This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board…but you already know how much I like pork. All opinions are my own.
Brining pork chops allows flavors to penetrate deep into the meat and also helps to keep the meat moist during cooking. Most basic brine recipes are a combination of water, salt and sugar. For this brine I replace your everyday white sugar with maple syrup for a kind of breakfast for dinner twist. A few smashed garlic cloves in the brine add even more flavor. I let the center cut pork chops bathe in the brine refrigerated over night, then pat them dry and let them come to room temperature before grilling.
I like to grill the pork chops over natural hardwood charcoal. I must admit that’s not the most convenient cooking method in the world but it may be the most delicious. Even with the relatively short cooking time the pork chops the really do benefit from the smoke of the coals and a bit of a kiss from the flames. If you prefer using a gas grill I totally understand. They are much easier to turn on and start cooking right away. This recipe will work on either charcoal or gas, the pork chops will be delicious either way. Frankly these pork chops are even great on a stove top grill pan.
The most important thing to remember about grilling pork or cooking any meat is beware of over cooking. Cooking times are good estimates, at best and can be unreliable. Use an instant read thermometer to get an accurate determination of the pork chops done-ness. Pork chops should reach a temperature of 145 degrees but pull them off of the grill when the temperature reaches 140 degrees, they should reach 145 degrees while resting.
I served these pork chops with a salad of mixed greens, onion and sliced peaches dressed with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
WHAT’S YOU’RE FAVORITE PORK CHOP RECIPE? Follow @PorkBeInspired on Instagram, for great ideas
- 1 quart of water
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- -OR- ¼ cup soy sauce *instead of * water and salt
- ½ cup maple syrup for the brine + ¼ cup more for basting
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 center cut pork chops ½ -3/4 inches thick
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- In a large container with a lid mix together water, kosher salt and maple syrup.
- Smash the 2 garlic cloves and add this to the brine
- Add the pork chops to the brine, cover the container with the lid and refrigerate overnight
- When ready to cook, remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry.
- Let the pork chops sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling
- Rub the pork chops with canola oil and grill over hot coals until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, about 4-6 minutes per side. Baste both sides of the pork chops with maple syrup during the last 2 minutes of grilling.Final temperature should reach 145 degrees
- Remove from the grill and let the pork chops rest tented with aluminum foil for 3-5 minutes before serving
Maple Syrup Brined Pork Chops