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How to: smoke pork chops on a pellet grill

See how a pellet smoker can turn you into a pork chop champ.

Ingredients:
  • 2 8-oz. boneless pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons pork seasoning or rub
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Basic pork chop brine
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 4 cups water
  • Optional enhanced pork chop brine
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 12 oz. ginger ale
  • ¼ cup peeled fresh ginger chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Prep time: 24 ¼ hours
  • Cook time: 1 ½ hours
  • Servings: 2

Pork chops are polarizing. Biting into a bad one is like chewing a catcher’s mitt. But just one taste of a good pork chop gets your taste buds happy. Smoked pork chops like the ones we make here are tender, succulent and full of flavor.

Unfortunately, most pork-loving home cooks have experienced the former. But now’s the time to say goodbye to dry, flavorless, and chewy pork chops. This smoked pork chop is full of character and far from dull.

This recipe uses boneless pork chops because they are readily available and cook more evenly than bone-in pork chops. If you prefer to smoke a pork chop with an attached bone, take care when inserting the thermometer probe. It should reach the thickest part of the chop without touching bone.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. 1

    Soak the pork chops in a brine bath.

  2. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup water with bay leaves, peppercorns, ginger and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and stir until all salt is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  3. Add ice and ginger ale. Place pork chops in brine and allow the meat to soak in the solution for 6-24 hours, refrigerated.
  4. 2

    Prep the pork chops. Preheat the grill.

  5. Remove the pork chops, and discard the brine. Then rinse the chops in cold water and pat dry.
  6. Slather both sides of the porch chops with oil and then season both sides with pork seasoning. Place the seasoned chops on a plate in the refrigerator, uncovered.
  7. Preheat your pellet grill to 225°F.
  8. 3

    Smoke the pork chops on low.

  9. Place a temperature probe into the thickest part of your boneless pork chop, and set the pork chop on your pellet grill. Smoke until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 100°F (about 45 minutes).
  10. 4

    Now bring the heat.

  11. Increase the heat on your pellet grill to 425°F and cook the pork chops until they reach an internal temperature of 140°F.
  12. Continue to cook the ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 195°F. The meat should pull back significantly from the bone. It should also look absolutely delicious.
  13. 5

    Serve ’em up.

  14. Remove the pork chops and allow them to rest on a plate, covered tightly with foil for 10 minutes or until the meat reaches an internal carryover temperature of 145°F. Serve immediately.
  15. Allow the meat to rest for 30-45 minutes. Then serve up and eat up, no sauce necessary.

What are pellet smoked pork chops?

Smoked pork chops are individual cuts of meat that are prepared in a pellet grill or smoker over a lower temperature. As a light or white meat, the flavor of pork is enhanced significantly when smoke is introduced. The distinct flavors of sweet and savory with notes of dried fruit are delicious.

Cooking at a lower temperature (225–275°F) takes a little longer but it allows the meat to absorb more flavor over time.

How should you make smoked pork chops on a pellet grill?

Smoked pork chops are easy to make when you’re using a pellet grill. This recipe uses a simple brine to supercharge flavors and retain moisture. The pork chops absorb smoke from Kingsford® Natural Hardwood Pellets, giving them a taste you just can’t replicate using a gas grill or oven. All of Kingsford’s pellets are 100% hardwood so you’re guaranteed to get an all-natural smoke flavor. Maple pellets are a delicious choice for smoking pork chops because they infuse meat with both sweet and fruity flavors.

If you’re looking for more robust flavors, try Kingsford® Classic Pellets. The Classic blend delivers plenty of spice with a balanced mix of hickory, oak and cherrywood.

How should you prepare smoked pork chops?

To prepare pork chops for the smoker, you’ll want to make a simple brine. A brine is a liquid containing water and salt that will infuse the meat with both additional moisture and flavor.

Brines can be customized to fit your taste. You can add ingredients like brown sugar, molasses, or maple syrup for sweetness. Savory additions like garlic, peppercorns, chilies, bay leaves, and citrus zest can also work in concert with the smoke from Kingsford® pellets to introduce layered nuance to your dishes.

Brine your meat for no less than 6 hours and no longer than 24. You can also brine pork chops 1–2 days ahead of when you plan on smoking them as long as they are removed from the liquid during the appropriate window.

What temperature do you cook pork chops on a wood pellet grill?

If you’re smoking pork chops on a wood pellet grill, you can’t go wrong at 225°F. At 225°F the pork chops will get plenty of smoke flavor and should be ready to eat in about an hour.

For someone who prefers to grill pork chops, cooking them on a pellet grill at 450°F will still produce a delicious dish. The higher temperature cooks the meat quicker, and results in a beautifully browned exterior that’s satisfyingly flavorful.

Whether you’re smoking pork chops at 225°F or grilling them at 450°F, just be sure to cook to the recommended safe internal temperature of 145°F, and you’ll be happy with your results.

How long should I smoke pork chops on a pellet grill?

When using all-natural Kingsford® wood pellets, pork chops start absorbing smoky flavors almost immediately. Since we love those flavors, the meat in this recipe is smoked until it reaches a safe internal temperature. This typically takes less than an hour.

Don’t forget side dishes for your pork chops.

When it comes to side dishes to accompany smoked pork chops, there are many worth trying. Here are a few favorites to consider.

Salads. A typical green salad is a wonderful side dish for pork chops. Macaroni salad, potato salad, and broccoli salad all work well too.

Beans. A great side dish for pork that packs a pop of protein. Texans enjoy ranch beans that are a spicy pinto bean in a dark rich sauce. If you prefer something slightly sweeter, traditional baked beans or navy beans often already have hunks of pork mixed in them and absorb smoked flavors when cooked on the pellet grill. A personal favorite is black beans with cotija cheese and cilantro which also warms up nicely on the grill.

Potatoes and other tubers. If you’re feeling starchy, it’s hard to go wrong with potatoes as a side dish. Roasted with rosemary, mashed with garlic, or simply baked, the potato is a simple side that most enjoy. Consider other types of tubers like the sweet potato or yam. More adventurous cooks should consider cooking up cassava or taro root for a more unique spin on a starchy side.

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