Home-smoked Pork Chops

Smoking pretty much any pork protein is bound to be good. But man I tell ya, brined and smoked pork chops are something else. And honestly they are just not that hard and don’t take too much time. Making the brine is very simple to do. The brining process is pretty short. And when it’s time to smoke the pork chops, they don’t take very long either. I’ve done this a couple times now. And I think it’s something that I’ll do with some regularity because how easy and fast it is, and how good these things taste. Here’s a quick rundown of how I did these:

Simple Pork Brine

  • 64oz apple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whatever dry rub you like using for pork

Heat half of the apple juice in a pot. Add the sugar, salt and pork rub. Bring to a boil and then continue to heat until it is all dissolved. Remove from the heat and add in the remaining apple juice. Allow the brine to cool before using.

Process

  • I bought my pork chops from Costco, so I split up the chops into two groups. Half of them went into the freezer for later use. Because I only used half (6-7 chops), I also halved my brine recipe. I could have made the whole thing and then just stored the unused half of the brine for when I did my second batch of pork chops.
  • Put the pork chops in a gallon-sized freezer bag
  • Pour the brine mixture over the pork chops, squish them around to make sure all pork chops are covered by the brine, seal up the bag, squeezing out as much air as you can without making a mess, and put them in the fridge
  • After approximately 90-120 minutes, pull the brined chops out of the fridge, rinse them off and get them ready to season with some more dry rub
  • Get your smoker fired up. You want the temperature between 225-250F. FWIW, I cooked mine at 225F so that I could get more smokiness into them.
  • Season both sides of the chops with whatever your go-to pork dry rub is and let them sit for 15 minutes or so
  • When the smoker is up to temp, put the pork chops on the pit. Mine cooked for about 90 minutes before the internal temperature reached 140F. At that point I pulled them and did a loose tent with aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes to let them rest and allow the carryover cooking to get them to 145F.

I smoked these on my Traeger Texas Elite 34 using B&B Charcoal Championship Blend pellets. The one thing I would like to do differently in the future with these smoked pork chops is to get a little more of a sear on them – so I might reverse sear them at the beginning and then let them smoke. Don’t get me wrong – they tasted great. But it is true that first we eat with our eyes. So I want to get just a bit stronger of a visual appeal by searing them.

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