There is nothing quite like the succulent meat of grilled pork chops. You can easily accomplish this on your grill. To make certain your results are exceptional, start with high quality, double-thick pork chops. The prepackaged, thin-cut chops are not worth your time or effort because your results will not be anywhere near as ideally cooked or juicy.
The Importance of the Rub
For truly memorable pork chops, you will need to begin with a rub. Prepare your rub like a pro by making any adjustments you desire to make the rub your own. This recipe for smoked pork chops used an excellent rub based on seasoned sugar and salt to ensure moisture and the best flavor. You will need the following ingredients for your rub.
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Four teaspoons cumin
- Two tablespoons black pepper
- Two teaspoons onion powder
- Two tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- Two teaspoons garlic powder
- One tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup paprika
- Two teaspoons dry mustard
- Two teaspoons sage
- Two teaspoons coriander powder
- Two teaspoons thyme powder
Purchasing the Perfect Pork Chops
In order for the smoke to penetrate your pork chops correctly, you need to purchase double-thick chops. You want your chops to be approximately two inches or five centimeters thick for this recipe. You will be using a barbequing method referred to a low and slow to make certain the meat of your pork chops is smoked perfectly, tender and juicy. If you do not see this type of amazing pork chops at your local market, visit the butcher. They will be happy to cut some exactly the way you want. If the blade chops are available, grab them immediately. If not, loin chops are also great.
You can make this recipe more than once and try out both types of chops to see which one you prefer. Keeping your pork chops in the refrigerator below forty degrees Fahrenheit or 4.4 degrees Celcius prior to preparation is extremely important. You will need to exercise patience for the low and slow method. This is the secret for the most succulent smoked pork chops you will ever taste. You will need to set aside about an hour to prepare your pork chops.
The Gas or Charcoal Grill
To make this amazing recipe, you have two choices. The first is a gas grill with a minimum of two burners. This is excellent for indirect cooking. The second is a charcoal grill. Any high-quality kettle-style grill will work nicely. We prefer Weber. You can also use a horizontal charcoal grill as long as it is sturdy. If you are using a charcoal grill, your coals will need to be placed to the side. This is true no matter what type of charcoal grill you are using.
You will need tongs for handling any kind of meat including your pork chops. The secret is using tongs that are both strong and long. If you have tongs that came with a barbeque toolset, you will probably have to throw them away. We recommend using high-quality, professional tongs such as the sixteen-inch locking tongs from Oxo Good Grips or the professional-grade from Weber for the easiest handling of your meat.
A good thermometer is the only way for you to be certain how your pork chops are progressing on the grill. Do not rely on any thermometer built into the meat. We recommend either the high heat oven thermometer from CDN or the kitchen oven thermometer from Admetior. The best way to know your pork chops are at the perfect temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit or 63 degrees Celsius is with an instant-read probe thermometer.
The two we recommend are the quick read Proaccutate digital thermometer from CDN or the even faster digital pocket thermometer from Thermoworks. This thermometer is even water-resistant. The only instant-read thermometer we are aware of that works even faster is the super-fast, splash-proof Thermapen. This is the choice of numerous professionals but it is expensive. If you use your grill a lot, you may want to consider making this purchase.
The Smoker Box
Your grill may have come equipped with a smoker box for placing your wood chips. If your grill does not have one, there is an easy solution. Make a pouch using heavy-duty aluminum foil. Soak a couple of handfuls of chips in hot water for roughly ten or fifteen minutes. Fold the chips into a pouch or envelope shape. Make certain you poke a few holes in the top so the smoke can be released.
The Hardwood Chips
The only thing you should ever use for smoking meat is hardwood chips or chunks. For this particular recipe, we recommend using apple, mesquite, hickory, cherry, oak or a combination of your favorites. The fruit woods provide a lighter smoke. Using 2/3 pear or apple wood and 1/3 hickory is also an excellent combination.
The Chimney Starter
The very best way to start and maintain your coals is with a chimney starter. Not using one means you are working a lot harder than you need to. There are a lot of chimney starters available but we recommend the Weber Rapidfire. This is the champion of chimney starters.
Preparing your Pork Chops
Take all of the ingredients listed above for your rub and thoroughly mix them together. Liberally rub your mixture all over your meat. Place your pork chops in a plastic or glass container with a lid or wrap them in plastic wrap. Put your meat in the refrigerator for between two and 48 hours. The longer you leave your pork chops in the refrigerator the better.
Preparing your Grill
If you are using a gas grill, fire-up every single burner. You want to maintain a temperature of about 275 degrees Fahrenheit or 135 degrees Celcius. Use your oven thermometer on the side of your chops cooking on your grill. This is incredibly important for making certain your cooking temperature is correct. A higher temperature will be displayed on your lid thermometer. You should only use this number as a reference. Take your pouch containing the wood chips and place them over the burner on the far right or left. Then turn off all of the other burners.
Close your grill to enable the smoke to start. This is the only time during your cooking cycle you will have to be concerned about the smoke. If you are using a charcoal grill with a charcoal lighter fluid, your coals need to burn down to a grey ash coating. Look for one of the fire-starters without the potential to leave dangerous chemicals on your pork chops and that will not taint your meat. You need to use six pounds or 2.7 kilograms of briquettes. This is approximately 100 briquettes.
We recommend using a chimney starter because it is the easiest and quickest way to ignite your coals. If you are starting your coals with the pyramid method, make certain they are banked on one side of your grill.
Controlling the Temperature
To prepare pork chops on your grill, you will need to control the temperature. This is accomplished using the vents on the side and bottom of your grill. Opening the vent provides more heat and oxygen. Adjust the top vent until it is halfway open. Put your pouch containing the wood chips over the coals. Close the lid to give the smoke a chance to start. Using actual tongs is extremely important. The sharp thing that looks almost like a long fork that usually comes with a barbeque set will pierce your meat. This will allow all of the fragrant juices to run out.
Cooking your Pork Chops
Put your meat on the grill. Make certain the side with the bone is facing the fire. Never let the pork chops overlap the fire when cooking the meat. If your meat is burnt or crispy, there is absolutely nothing you can do to make it right. Close the lid, be patient and do not peek. This will cause you to lose vital smoke and heat. Open the lid as little as possible to do the job. If you are using a gas grill, you can maintain the correct temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit or 135 degrees Celsius by using the oven thermometer.
Use your instant-read thermometer to check your meat at the thickest section. You want to see 145 degrees Fahrenheit or 63 degrees Celsius. Once you have the correct temperature, more your pork until it is directly over the fire. Your pork chops will have been cooking for about one hour at this point. Leave the lid open and brown your chops for approximately two minutes per side. Place your pork chops on a platter and get ready for the compliments.