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Ultimate Grilled Pork Chops

A little brining and a special dry rub go a long way to making the perfect pork chop. Once you've mastered how to cook thick pork chops, you'll be enjoying them all summer long. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + brining Grill: 10 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups ice water
  • 4 center-cut pork rib chops (1 inch thick and 8 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • BASIC RUB:
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin and ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, combine salt, sugar and 2 cups water; cook and stir over medium heat until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat. Add 2 cups ice water to cool brine to room temperature.
  • Place pork chops in a large resealable plastic bag; add cooled brine. Seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible; turn to coat chops. Place in a 13x9-in. baking dish. Refrigerate 8-12 hours.
  • Remove chops from brine; rinse and pat dry. Discard brine. Brush both sides of chops with oil. In a small bowl, mix rub ingredients; rub over pork chops. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Grill chops on an oiled rack, covered, over medium heat 4-6 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Grilled Pork Chop Tips

How long does it take to cook 2-inch pork chops?

The standard cook time for 2-inch pork chops is 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 140°. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving. Learn more about grilling pork chops.

How long should you brine pork chops?

Pork chops can be brined anywhere from 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. If brined any longer, the proteins in the meat will break down too much and the chops will taste too salty. Start brining your pork chops in the morning so that they will be ready for cooking at dinner time!

Do you rinse meat after brining?

You do not need to rinse meat after brining. Simply pat dry with paper towels and proceed with the recipe.

What are some other pork chop rubs that you recommend?

For a smoky pork rub: prepare rub as directed, using smoked paprika in place of regular paprika. For a spicy pork rub: add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to rub mixture. For a sweet pork rub: add 3 tablespoons brown sugar to rub mixture.
Nutrition Facts
1 pork chop: 300 calories, 18g fat (4g saturated fat), 72mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 2g fiber), 30g protein.