Welcome to this exciting edition of the Smoking Meat newsletter where we will be talking about apple smoked pork chops!
After getting bombarded with tons of snow over the last few weeks, it is good to finally see some sun shining brightly and slightly warmer weather. The snow is almost melted now and even though the aftermath of melted snow has left a lot of mud in its wake, I just can't get enough of the outdoors. So with my mud boots on and a keen imagination, I head out to the "lab" to see what I can come up with.
This newsletter is focusing on pork chops.. boneless, butterflied, smoked with apple and a touch of hickory, flavored with my very own rub and served with some delicious sides made by my wife. We are in for a treat and that's quite an understatement! I am getting ready to spill the beans on every step that I took to get these babies from store-bought chops to the dinner table complete with lots of pictures.
By the way..
Last months Newsletter:
Apple Smoked Pork Chops
What you'll need for this recipe:
- 6 boneless/butterflied pork chops
- Jeff's rub recipe and sauce recipe
What to Buy
You could essentially buy almost any kind of pork chops even the ones with the bones still intact but I decided that the boneless ones would work better this time. I also opted to get some that were already butterflied. I like to use the butterflied chops for stuffed pork chops but I digress.. that is something for a another newsletter and another day.
Try to find chops that have plenty of marbling within the meat.. this is what will keep the chops from drying out while they are cooking/smoking.
Brine the Pork Chops: Optional
You can brine the pork chops if you like. I usually don't but if you wish to do so, just use the following recipe and brine the chops for about 4 hours. I don't think I would go too much longer than that.
1 gallon of water
1 cup of kosher salt
3/4 cup of brown sugar
Add the salt and sugar to cold water and stir until the salt and sugar is dissolved. Pour the brine mixture into a container, add the meat then cover and place in the fridge.
Be sure to rinse the meat well using cold water once it is finished brining.
Adding some Amazing Flavor to the Pork Chops
I needed a batch of my rub mixed up and almost at that precise, exact moment my 8-year old son walked in and exclaimed that he was bored. The wheels started turning in my head and before you knew it, I magically made his boredom disappear;-) He is always happy to help.
I laid the pork chops out on a serving platter to be coated with my rub. I sometimes use yellow mustard, oil or some other substance to help the rub to stick, but I had plenty of time so I decided to just sprinkle it on and once it started getting that typical "wet" appearance, I would turn them over and do the other side.
Here are the chops all nice and coated with my very own rib rub. That stuff is so tasty, I have to be careful that I don't lick my fingers!
Getting the Smoker Ready
While those pretty little chops sit on the cabinet and absorb the flavors of the rub, I need to go out and get the smoker ready. This is my "really old" Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain smoker still in great shape. It's not as shiny as it used to be and the door thermometer no longer works, but it sure does a great job of smoking meat.
I mixed apple chips and hickory chips together in equal amounts and filled the smoke box up almost to the top. I like the apple with pork but sometimes it's just a bit too mild flavored for me. Adding the hickory to the mix will make the smoke flavor a little more robust.
The water pan in this gas smoker does a great job of keeping the heat regulated a little better. You can also use other liquids such as apple juice, beer, etc. or you can add aromatic vegetables/herbs to the water such as onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, etc.. I don't know if it truly adds more flavor to the meat you are cooking but it sure smells good!
I like to cover the inside of the water pan with foil. This makes cleanup a breeze.
The water pan is filled with hot water then placed into the smoker.
The smoke box now filled with dry apple/hickory wood chips is placed into the smoker just over the flame.
To get the smoke flowing properly in this type of smoker, I recommend turning the heat to high once the smoke box is inserted then leave the door cracked open just a little to dispel some of the heat. The high heat will get the chips to smoldering and once you start seeing/smelling light smoke come out of the top vent, you can close the door and place the heat setting back on medium or wherever you keep it to maintain about 225 degrees.
Smoking the Pork Chops
While you are waiting on the smoke to start in the picture above is a great time to go get the pork chops and/or other meat and place it on the grate. Make sure to leave plenty of room between the pieces.
I use 5-inch apple discs that I cut up to set my thermometers on.. this keeps them from getting too hot and destroying the electronic circuits on the inside.
It's hard to see, but the thermometer reads 215 degrees. this is the temperature that I tried to maintain throughout the cooking session. It did get up to around 225 here and there but for the most part it remained steady and the rub did not burn.
The pork chops cooked for 3 hours and when they got to 160 degrees F, I immediately took them out of the smoker and brought them in the house for serving.
Serving the Pork Chops
My wife made baby potatoes with parsley and buttered brussels sprouts to go with the chops.. her original recipes are below.
Now to taste these babies.. I knew they would be good but when I took that initial bite the first words out of my mouth were OMG!!
I have a feeling that you will agree. This is a really tasty dish with a sort of fanciness to it that you don't see with a lot of barbecue. Excellent for when special company is coming over or just about anytime. Better yet, it's no muss.. no fuss.. and super easy!
Some final words on the apple smoked pork chops:
This recipe could easily be done with all wood, charcoal or even electric, the important thing is to keep the heat on the low side so that the rub does not burn. Anywhere between 215 and 225 is near perfect.
I kept the smoke going for about 2 hours, after that I just finished it off with the heat.
I recommend using apple wood with these pork chops. If you really like to taste the smoke then add a stronger tasting wood with it such as hickory like I did at a 50:50 ratio.
The Recipes for the Sides
My wife is such a great cook.. she almost always does the indoor cooking while I do what is required on the grill or smoker. I try to get her the best estimate I can on when the meat will be done and she does her best to make sure the sides get done at about the same time. These sides that she came up with were absolutely amazing and in my opinion, was a major part of what made this meal a great success. The recipes are yours to use as you wish.
Baby Potatoes with Parsley
1 lb. baby red or gold potatoes, washed and trimmed of eyes
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. salted butter
¼ c. Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, coarsely chopped
kosher or sea salt
coarse black pepper
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes or until just tender but not mushy. Remove from heat and drain. Blot potatoes dry with a paper towel or lint free hand towel. Quarter the potatoes and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, butter and parsley. Add the potatoes and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and coarse pepper.
1 lb. brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
coarse black pepper
Steam brussels sprouts in a steamer basket for 7-8 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat and slice while hot. Toss sliced Brussels sprouts with butter and season with salt and pepper. (If you don't have a steamer basket, boil the sprouts in salted water for 5 minutes and then drain.)
My Famous Recipes for Rub and Sauce
My recipes are something out of this world when it comes to flavor and turning something pretty good into something extremely amazing. I created these recipes more than 7 years ago and they are still the best thing out there. The WOW factor is off the charts! It still continues to amaze me when I taste it on things like turkey, ribs, brisket, pork shoulder, and even pork chops.. you name it!
You will be amazed at the flavor that my rub recipe imparts to these pork chops.. it is nothing shy of amazing and not only in flavor, but also in the color and texture added by the rub.
My recipes are well worth the price that I'm asking and when you are the star of the neighborhood, you can just smile and know that it was so worth it.
Here's a few testimonies that I have received recently from folks just like you who wondered if they should do it but are now so glad they did:
Jeff, All I can say is, WOW!!!!
I have been reading your news letters for over a year and I Just now purchased your rub recipe. I have used it on steak and chicken legs on the grill so far. Both times I have people say that it was the best steak or chicken they had ever had. I can't wait to smoke something with it. Great job, you are THE MAN!!!!
Jeff,I tried your rib rub recipe on some fresh pork ribs, It was a huge hit everyone loved it. This was my first time using a rub, the flavor was awesome. Although there wasn't much leftovers, it was even better the next day. Well worth the small price. I would recommend everyone to try it. The recipe is perfect, I won't change a thing. I look forward to try the bbq sauce next. Thank You!!!
I have to admit I was skeptical that the recipes were worth paying money for. But I haven't had a single complaint, in fact my woman says the baby back ribs are the best yet with your rub and sauce. Thanks for your web site. Keep it up!
I just wanted to let you know that I bought your recipes for your rub and your sauce about a year ago. I have now had the chance to use them on just about every kind of meat imaginable and wanted you to know they are FANTASTIC!!!! Money well spent!!!
I purchased your rub recipe and have delighted friends and family with its great flavor. When they ask me for the recipe, I tell them to go to your site and purchase. Something this awesome deserves compensation to the inventor!!! Thanks for all of the smoking tips!
It had been a while since I had fried chicken tenders for my family. I decided to throw in a couple of handfuls of your rib rub into the flour. I salted and peppered the chicken as usual, breaded the chicken in the flour/rib rub combo and then fried the chicken. My family thought it was delicious!
Well! Thank you everyone!
You deserve the very best and it is completely within your grasp! Only $18.95 and worth every penny. Not only do you get the best rub and sauce recipe available, you are supporting this website and helping to make sure the bills get paid so we can keep on doing what we do to teach thousands and thousands of people across the world the art of smoking meat.
If you want to amaze your friends with something super special.. order the recipes today!! It's a small price to pay for such a big WOW!!
Got Questions? We Have Answers!!
That's right.. if you have a question about smoking meat then look no further than our online community at SmokingMeatForums.com. With more than 44,000 members and 850,000 posts on every smoking meat subject known to man, you will certainly be in great hands.
What's more.. it's absolutely free and it's just a quick registration away. Once you've registered, don't forget to stop by the "Roll Call" area to introduce yourself and tell us a little about you, what smoker you are using (if any), what kind of work you do, and anything else you want to tell us.
We also have our very own one of a kind product review area, a buy/sell/trade area, a wiki system with lots of how-to information, personal photo galleries and so much more.
I personally look forward to seeing you there!
We're on Facebook and Twitter!
Just a quick reminder that we are on Facebook and Twitter and I'd love to have you follow me on twitter or join me on facebook. Here are a couple of links to make that happen:
Thank you for being a part of the smoking meat family which includes the newsletter, the forum, the smoking-meat.com website and many other resources that we try to provide to help you and countless others learn this great art.
A HUGE thank you to all of you who support the site by purchasing the recipes and other products that we sell.
Until next time.. keep smoking and God Bless.