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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 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!
- 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 original rub
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.
Once the brine is made up, place the pork chops into a large Ziploc bag sitting down in a large bowl for leak protection.
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.
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.
As most of you know, my original rub 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
Spread out the oil with a basting brush and sprinkle my original rub all over the tops and bottoms of the 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.
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:
- 22 inch Weber Smoky Mountain
- Great Outdoors Smoky Mountain propane smoker (Big Block)
- XL Big Green Egg
- Brinkmann Electric (the red one)
- Brinkmann charcoal “ECB” Bullet smoker (modified)
- Bradley 4-Rack Digital Smoker
- Brinkmann Horizontal smoker with side firebox
- Meadow Creek TS 120P Reverse Flow smoker with insulated firebox
- Drum Smoker (homemade)
- Traeger Lil' Texas Pellet Smoker
- Smokin-it Model 2D
- Bradley Smart Smoker
- Cajun Injector XL Electric Smoker
- Nordic Ware 365 Stovetop Smoker
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.
Set the smoker up for cooking at 225-240°F using apple and/or cherry wood for smoke.
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 145°F. Remember, pork chops are done and safe to eat per the USDA at 145°F.
Be sure to keep an eye on the temperature using a digital thermometer such as the amazing Thermapen (which I love by the way) or if you prefer, use a remote digital probe meat thermometer such as the “Smoke” by Thermoworks. This is the one I use and there is none better in my opinion. Dual probes, easy alarm settings, 300 foot range, built like a tank, and much more.
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.
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.