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Grilled Pork Chops

This recipe for Grilled Pork Chops, which happens to be one of the easiest proteins to cook, can be made with just a few ingredients in less than an hour (most of which is hands off time) so they’re perfect for busy weeknights but fabulous enough for entertaining.  To make, the pork chops are brined 20 minutes for maximum juiciness, enveloped in an insanely delicious homemade rub that’s slightly sweet, slightly savory, with just the right punch of sassy chipotle heat, grilled to perfection then brushed with your favorite barbecue sauce – or my outrageously delicious homemade barbecue sauce. Add a side of baked beans, potato salad, watermelon and grilled corn and your quintessential summer meal is served!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Brine

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (NOT table salt)
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes

BBQ Spice Rub

Instructions

  • In a gallon-size freezer bag, mix salt with warm water until the salt dissolves. Whisk in apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and ice. Add the pork and seal (make sure all the chops are submerged).
  • Brine for 20-30 minutes at room temperature or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Don’t brine any longer or the pork can become mushy. If making homemade barbecue sauce, you can make it while the pork chops are brining. Remove pork from brine and thoroughly rinse in cool water. Pat dry.
  • Whisk all of the spice rub ingredients together in a bowl; set aside.
  • Lightly drizzle and rub the top side of the pork chops with olive oil then season and rub with half of the spice rub; repeat with the other side. Let pork chops sit at room temperature for 30 minutes if they have been refrigerated in the brine, otherwise, if you have brine at room temperature, you can grill right away.
  • Heat grill to 400 degrees F with the lid closed, this will take about 10-15 minutes. Thoroughly clean the grill using a wire brush. Once the grill reaches temperature, grease the grill using tongs holding a wad of paper towels greased with vegetable oil.
  • Add the pork chops to the grill and cover. Reduce heat as needed to maintain heat around 400 degrees F. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side or until the thickest part of the meat registers 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. If your pork chops are extra thick, then you will need to grill longer, reducing the heat as needed. Baste the pork chops with some barbecue sauce the last 30 seconds of cooking on each side.
  • Transfer pork to a plate and brush with desired amount barbecue sauce. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Let pork rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

Notes

MAKE ahead 

You can prep the grilled pork chops up to different stages depending on your schedule:
  • Brine:  brine the pork for up to 4 hours in advance in the refrigerator or go one step further:
  • Brine, season and refrigerate: brine, rinse, pat dry and season.  Place the pork chops in an even layer and refrigerate uncovered for up to 48 hours.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT 

  • Serve:  don’t leave the grilled pork chops at room temperature longer than 2 hours because they can start to grow harmful bacteria. If you’re taking them to a potluck or barbecue, plan accordingly.
  • Storage:  transfer grilled pork chops to an airtight container.  Store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • Microwave:  transfer pork chops to a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 60 seconds then at 15 second intervals as needed.
  • Skillet:  drizzle some olive oil in a skillet and heat to medium heat.  Add pork chops, cover and cook until warmed through, flipping once.
  • Oven: Transfer pork chops to a baking sheet, cover with foil and reheat at 350⁰F for 10 minutes or just until warmed through.