smoked-pork-chop-extra-thick

In this recipe tutorial, we’ll be discussing smoked pork chops and not just any pork chops – these are extra thick, man sized chops and this recipe will show you how to make them into something extraordinary.

I’ve never gotten real excited about pork chops. Without gravy and a lot of sides, they always seem to be a little on the dry side, not a lot of flavor  just sort of boring.

These particular chops are brined overnight, seasoned with my original rub (purchase recipes here) and cooked to perfection in the smoker to produce a smoked pork chop that is unlike anything you’ve probably ever tasted.

In case you can’t tell, I’m a little excited about these and I can hardly wait to show you how I did it!

Brine Time: 5-9 hours | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 2 hours | Smoker Temp: 220°F | Meat Finish Temp: 145°F | Recommended Wood: Apple or Cherry

What You’ll Need

  • 4-6 extra thick pork chops (center cut or whatever your preference is)
  • 64 oz apple cider (apple juice will also work)
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • Jeff’s rub (purchase recipe here)

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Brining the Pork Chops

You don’t always hear a lot about brining pork like you do with poultry but I think it makes a big difference on things like pork chops. It adds lots of moisture to the meat and it adds flavor so it’s well worth your time to do it.

Add 1/2 cup of kosher salt to 1/2 gallon of apple cider and stir until all of the salt is dissolved.

Making the brine

Once the brine is made up, place the pork chops into a large Ziploc bag sitting down in a large bowl for leak protection.

Pork chops into bag for brining

Pour enough brine into the bag to cover the chops and seal them up. Be sure to press all of the air out of the bag.

Place the bowl with the bag into the fridge so it can remain cold during the brining process.

Pour brine over chops

Let the pork chops brine for at least 4-5 hours but you can even leave them overnight if you desire.

Once they are done brining, take them out of the fridge and rinse them well under cold water.

Note: you will notice that they sometimes get a grey color after brining.

Done brining

Seasoning the Pork Chops

As most of you know, my rub (purchase recipe here) is extremely versatile and can be used with so many things and in so many ways. These chops are no different and my rub is used to lightly season the tops and bottom.

To accomplish this, pour a little olive oil on the pork chops

Olive oil on chops

Spread out the oil with a basting brush and sprinkle my rub all over the tops and bottoms of the chops

Jeff's rub on chops

The pork chops are now ready to smoke. I like to leave them sitting on the counter for a few minutes while I go get the smoker ready. If it will take more than about 20-30 minutes then it might be smart to just place them in the fridge to be on the safe side.

About the Smokers I Use

You may have noticed that I don’t always mention the smoker that I used for each particular recipe. I have had a slight issue with folks feeling that the recipe is intended for a particular smoker if I mention it. To clear things up, I try to keep it generic as much as possible.

I have quite a large arsenal of smokers at my disposal including but not limited to the following:

As you can see, I use a lot of them and all of my recipes can be smoked on any of the above smokers as long as I maintain the temperature and the smoke for the allotted amount of time prescribed in the recipe.

I am constantly adding to my repertoire, not so that I can have a lot of smokers to repair, keep clean, etc. but because I feel that it is important that I use the type of smokers that my readers are using.

I have my favorites and I have ones that I do not like to use at all but I continue to use them all for the sake of research.

Smoking the Pork Chops

Set the smoker up for cooking at 225-240 degrees F.

Once the smoker is up to temperature and ready to smoke, place the pork chops on a Bradley rack or right on the smoker grate for maximum smoke exposure.

Pork chops on Bradley rack

Be sure to leave about an inch between each chop to make sure the smoke has great access to each one.

My pork chops where around 1-1/2 inches thick and took about 2 hours to reach 150 degrees. Technically pork chops are done and safe to eat per the USDA at 145 degrees F but I like to take chops just slightly higher to give them a little more time in the smoke and to help them tenderize.

If your pork chops are really lean, you might consider removing them at 145 to ensure they are not allowed to dry out.

Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature using a digital thermometer such as the Maverick ET-732 or my new toy the amazing Thermapen (which I love by the way).

Speaking of the Thermapen – I used my black one this week on the smoked pork chops and several other things that I cooked and I was amazed at the speed by which it read the temperature.

The company touts that it is “super fast” and reads in a mere 3 seconds but I was getting readings in less than a second.

Check out the thermapens and get one in your favorite color HERE. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Finishing the Pork Chops

When the pork chops reach 145°F they are finished cooking and can be removed from the smoker. I recommend placing them in a foil pan and covering it with foil to keep them warm and allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Pork Chops Finished

Serve the smoked pork chops with a salad or go all country and home style by serving them up with mashed potatoes, green beans, grilled or smoked corn and the works!

They are shown here with corn on the cob, and smothered potatoes.

Smoked Pork Chops Plated

Get the Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce


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***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!

If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.

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Love the sauce and rub
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Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well! ~Peter S.
I tried the rub on a beef
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..I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while. ~Darwyn B.
Love the original rib rub
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 Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future! ~Michelle M.


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About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

21 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Ryan December 22, 2015 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Thinking about using this brine on a rack of pork. Would the pork be ok to be in the brine for 2 days?

  2. Mjordan September 15, 2015 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Jeff – do you keep adding wood so there is smoke for the entire 2+ hours of cooking time?

    • Jeff Phillips September 16, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      I generally do keep adding light smoke for the entire time on these. You can technically add smoke for about 1 hour and it would have a nice smoky flavor but I like to replicate the continuous smoking effect that meat gets in a traditional wood smoker when I am using smaller charcoal, electric and gas smokers.

  3. Tim July 11, 2015 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    I am curious, you never mention spritzing or mopping any of your meats. Is this something you do not do or is there a reason why you do not mention what you use to maintain moisture during the cooking process?

    Thanks

  4. the Hungry Hillbilly July 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    I know I’m late to the party but thought I would chime in to help any others who follow… I too employ the 3-2-* method but my final step is to grill over a very low flame. When I’ve had to have large quantities of ribs ready I’ve done them in batches the day before, leaving the final step until right before the party. I usually cool them as quickly as possible after the “2” hours without smoke. Once cooled I re-wrap in individual foil packets then refrigerate overnight. The next day I add a little water to the packets/ribs and throw them on the grill on indirect heat. Once heated through I unwrap and brush on my finishing sauce, placing the unwrapped ribs on the grill until the sauce caramalizes. I brush on a little “fresh” sauce once they come off the grill. I know most purists prefer the sauce on the side but I find that the layers of smokey pork goodness topped with a flavourful rub, sticky caramalized bbq sauce and fresh sauce give it a wonderful and well-received flavour profile.

  5. Samantha June 12, 2015 at 7:18 am - Reply

    @SJC, did you rinse the brine off really well with water after? If you forget that step (which I have lol), your meat will be pretty salty. Give it another try. The brine keeps your meat from drying out so it’s worth the effort (especially with pork and turkey).

    • SJC June 15, 2015 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks! It was my first time to brine anything and yes… I was in a hurry and did forget to wash it off. :o) I did wonder if that made the difference.

      Thanks!

  6. SJC May 11, 2015 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    I did the brine overnight, since I was preparing everything the day before, and you said it would be fine to do so. Anyway, maybe it was too much salt (I used the amount you said), or the length of time (or both). But OMG was it WAY too salty. It was my first attempt at brining. I’ll have to seriously think about doing it again. I’ll definitely use less, if I do. This was a Mother’s Day dinner for my mother, she loves smoked food. And she wanted super thick pork chops. And the weird thing is, she LOVES extra salty things (so much so that she has to be told to tone things down when cooking for others), but this was too much even for her. Is there any way to “undo” it afterwards? Maybe soak in “X” for a certain amount of time afterwards??? I think I’ll just stick to my wet marinades in the future. It usually does a good job of tenderizing and they always taste great. But it’s always good to try new things and see how they work.

    Thanks!

  7. Chris November 8, 2013 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Jeff,

    I plan on smoking the chops this weekend.  Should I get bone in or boneless chops?

  8. Jeff Lyons October 8, 2013 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Jeff, I purchased your rub and sauce recipe. My question is, at what point will I need to start adjusting ingredients when make larger batches of each?

    Jeff L.

    • Jeff Phillips October 14, 2013 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Weight is always more accurate than dry measuring when you are making rubs however, I usually make 2-3 batches at a time using dry measures and it seems to be true to the flavor.

      I would say anything over about 3-4 batches, you are going to be better off using weight.

  9. bill June 13, 2013 at 5:43 am - Reply

    What kind of wood did you use and how much wood did you use

    • Bernard August 7, 2014 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Apple & hickory

  10. Bryan S. June 9, 2013 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Just got done making these pork chops with your rub and eating them – Fantastic!  Some of the best smoked chops I ever ate – everyone loves them!  

    Thanks for sharing!

    Bryan

     

  11. Jim May 24, 2013 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Jeff -I bought your recipe last year I believe. Now on a Mac and cannot access it

    do you have a way of checking and sending to me.

    Love your work!

    Jim

    • Jeff Phillips May 24, 2013 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Jim, I have sent these files to you again via email. Please let me know if you need further assistance with this. Have a great day!

      • Ken Az June 22, 2013 at 11:04 pm - Reply

        Is the "Jeff's Rub n' Sauce Recipes" in the book "Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue"?

        • Jeff Phillips June 24, 2013 at 11:01 am - Reply

          Due to the red tape involved, we have opted to not include my very own rub recipe and sauce recipe in the book. However, there are a number of other recipes in the book for rubs and sauces that are all very good.

          Let me know if you have further questions about this. Have a great day!

  12. rxguydon May 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    We are having a big party in July for my Mother-In-Law (who is a sweetheart-lucky me) for her 87th birthday and are expecting 40 plus people. My wife wants me to smoke ribs for the party. I have 2 smokers, 1 charcoal grill and a gas grill, my question is can I smoke the ribs for 3 hours (3-2-1 method) refrigerate over night and finish them the next day? Would appreciate any and all sugestions.

    • mribs January 23, 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Did you try that – letting the ribs sit overnight after the 3 part of the 3-2-1? I’m curious myself. No doubt the “2” part had to be lengthened to get to the temp at the end of the “1” step. Great question.

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