Brined Pork Chops

Yet another excellent recipe I adapted from Adam Perry Lang’s  BBQ 25: The World’s Most Flavorful Recipes-Now Made Fool-Proof. I cut these 1-inch thick chops from the rib end of a whole pork loin. Brining the chops adds a ton of flavor and keeps them very juicy.

The Brine
6 pork chops
Juice of 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic
3 green onions, chopped
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil

Put the garlic, salt, and onions in a food processor and pulse until the garlic and onions are minced. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chops, and give them a whirl until everything is well-combined.

Put the chops in a zip-top bag and cover with the marinade.  Toss to coat. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it, and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is better.

The Baste
Combine in a foil pan or heatproof pan and warm on the side of the grill:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
5 crushed garlic cloves
4 tablespoons finely chopped savory herbs such as rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano and/or sage

The Cook
Set up your grill for a direct cook over medium (350°F) heat.

Remove the chops from the brine and put them on the grill. Grill the chops 5 minutes on one side. Then flip, baste, and grill another 5 minutes on the second side. Flip again, baste, and grill for 5 more minutes. Flip one last time, baste, and grill another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork hits 140°F.

Remove the chops from the grill. Baste one last time, and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

The Verdict: ★★★★★
Wow! These chops were incredibly moist and tender with very rich layers of flavor. The original brine recipe called for fresh coriander, which we were out of, so I substituted dried cilantro – not the same thing. I’d use fresh next time as well as maybe a little diced jalepeño.