Chowing down on grilled pork chops with a sticky, finger-lickin BBQ sauce is one of the finest things about summer. Growing up in out around the bay in rural Newfoundland, having a BBQ, 90 percent of the time meant having grilled pork chops covered in Kraft BBQ sauce. There was nothing fancy about them, they were usually a frozen variety pack of chop cuts, quite often a fairly thin bone-in sirloin. Donlt get me wrong, I still love those chops, but now when I go to relive my youthful memories of BBQ pork chops, I go at it a little differently.
First of all, my preferred cut of chop is a thick-cut rib chop. This is similar to the pork line chop but has a little T-Bone in it and contains mostly center loin along with a bit of tenderloin...just line a T-Bone steak would. This is a lean cut of pork, so that' why I like to go thick, it won;t dry out as easy. A key is to not cook it to death. Pink in the center with clear juices or 160 degrees is as far as you want to take these puppies. An instant read thermometer will be your best friend.
Another way to insert flavor, seasoning and juiciness through the meat is to brine it. A simple saline solution bath of water, salt and a little apple cider and apple cider vinegar for a few hours will do the trick. Other ways to enhance the seasoning will be to give the chops a dusting with a spice rub before putting on the grill.
The last key to a better chop is to slather it with a homemade BBQ sauce. I mix up the ingredient combination of my BBQ sauces all the time, but they always start out with ketchup, apple cider vinegar, molasses and dry mustard. I usually also add some of whatever dry rub I am using and varying degrees of sweet, sour, savory and heat.
Brined and Grilled Rib-Chops
4, 8-10 ounce, thick cut rib or center cut pork chops
1 qt of water
1/4 cup of salt
1/4 cup of apple cider (or apple juice)
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP of dry rub
Mix the wet ingredients to dissolve the salt. Place pork chops in a large ziplock bag, pour in the brine, and let the pork chops swim in the brine for at least 4 hours, but 12-24 hours will be best.
When ready to cook, preheat a gas or charcoal grill and oil the cooking surface with vegetable oil. Pat the chops dry with paper towels and season with a little of the dry rub. Place chops at an angle on the grill so you can give them a quarter turn to get those nice chop house grill marks. I'm not great with cooking times. I go by feel and eye mostly, and I use an instant read thermometer when I am unsure. You'll want to cook the chops to slightly pink, with clear juices. An overcooked pork chop will be tough. The brine process will give you a little forgiveness. For chops of this size I would cook them for about 12-14 minutes and a 5 minute rest time on a warm, covered plate. So, after 3 minutes I would turn for grill marks, at 6 minutes I would flip, at 9 minutes I would quarter turn, apply a brushing of BBQ sauce and at 12 minutes I would re-flip to apply sauce to side A, and remove from the grill to let rest.
Pork Dry Rub
1/2 cup of kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP of each of the following:
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- chili powder
- black pepper
- dry mustard
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
Combine salt, sugar and spices well, and store in an air tight container in a cool dry place. Will last for ages.
Pork Chop BBQ Sauce
2 Cups ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp dry mustard
2 TBSP dry rub spice
1 TBSP allspice
dash of Tabasco sauce
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Cook over a medium heat and whisk together. Bring to a simmer, and reduce to low. Cook for 10-15 minutes and reserve for chops and onions. Store in the refrigerator after use.
1-2 Large Vidalia, or other sweet onion, sliced into rounds
Dry Rub Spice
Keep the onion slices together (i.e. do not separate as if making onion rings) and coat with a little oil and season with the dry rub spice. Place on a hot grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to char and carefully turn with a spatula. Cook until limp and brush with BBQ sauce. Turn again and brush the other side with BBQ sauce. Serve while hot along side grilled pork chops.
A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.
This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.