Learn how to brine pork chops before grilling. I use Alton Brown’s pork chop brine every time.
The pork chop, a classic American slice of pig.
I would say pork chops are a comfort food.
But let’s vote on it Raise your left hand if you think pork chops are a comfort food and raise your right hand if you don’t think they are.
Since I can’t see your hands and I am a lefty, I say pork chops are a comfort food!
One of the most flavorful way to eat pork chops is grilling them. But it doesn’t come without it’s pitfalls and challenges.
Let me show you how I grill pork chops to absolutely perfection.
Should I Brine Pork Chops?
This is the first question I ask when it comes to pork chops. The answer is always yes, yes, and yes some more.
Brining pork chops is always a good idea. Since our modern pork is pretty lean, giving your chops a soak in a brine is like taking out insurance that your pork will be juicy
Pork Chop Brine by Alton Brown
The brine is basically the same one that Alton Brown used on an episode of Good Eats to make a slow cooked pork dish. Even pork chops you are going to slow cook can benefit from a brine.
It is also the same brine I use when making a pork loin roast.
Here are the ingredients for the brine, just as Alton uses for pork chops.
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
If you want to omit the sugar for dietary purposes you can do so. Honestly a brine of just salt and water would be worth it. But why not add more flavor when you can.
You can use chicken broth if you want to. Or add your favorite spices or herbs. Just remember to use more than you would if you were putting it direclt on the pork.
See how we are using 2 tablespoons of black pepper. That would be way too much to go directly on the meat.
How to Brine Pork Chops Before Grilling
To make your brine you need to dissolve the salt in hot water first. But you also have to make sure the water isn’t hot when the pork goes in.
So you can either make the brine, let it cool, then refrigerate until fully cold before adding the pork or you could add enough ice to the brine to cool it down so that you can add the pork right away.
Once you have a chilled brine take your chops and place them in a gallon sized plastic bag and dump the brine into the bag. Seal the bag well, place it in a container just in case the bag leaks, and place it into the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Grilling Pork Chops on Cast Iron
How Long to Grill the Pork Chops
My instructions from here on will be for cooking with the grill pan. If it doing it with an outside grill it’s going to be very similar.
Spray some oil on your grill pan just to make sure we don’t have any sticking and turn the heat up to medium high.
In about 5 minutes when the pan is nice and hot, add your pork chops, making sure to only fit on what you can without any of them touching.
Cook times will vary, but I cook mine about 6-7 minutes per side. You can use a instant read thermometer to see if the pork is done. You are looking for at least 160 degrees.
Since you brined your pork before hand if you go beyond that temperature it won’t be as dry as it you don’t brine them. This is why I always brine my pork. And also to add flavor.
Add some freshly ground pepper or some coarse set salt and enjoy!
Other Pork Recipes You Might Like
Brined Grilled Pork Chops
To brine the pork chops
- Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan over high heat. Cook until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Then remove from the heat and add about 1 pound of ice to cool the brine down. Give it a good stir and set it aside.
How to grill pork chops
- Spray some oil on your grill pan or grill grates and turn the heat up to medium high.
- In about 5 minutes when the pan is nice and hot, add your pork chops, making sure to only fit on what you can without any of them touching.
- Cook times will vary, estimate about 6-7 minutes per side. You can use a instant read thermometer to see if the pork is done. You are looking for at least 160 degrees.
- Allow pork chops to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into.
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