Apple Brined Pork Chops

06AppleBrinedChopsPlatebfLOA perfect solution (in more ways than one) for chops, thin or thick, bone-in or boneless, that you’re planning to grill. The brine gives them a nice hit of flavor and keeps ‘em from drying out. Last night was a bit blustery around these parts, so I used our indoor grill to make these beauties. I happen to be a sauce guy, but don’t think chops made this way need anything else; Rich likes his with a bit of honey mustard.

01AppleBrinebfLO 02bAppleBrieAddIcebfLOThe original recipe comes from Sandra Lee, but I’ve changed it around a bit, and we’re quite happy with the results. If you’d like the original, which uses apple juice and brown sugar, email me and I’ll be happy to forward it along.

•2 cups apple cider
•1 tbsp peppercorns
•1/4 cup salt
•1/4 cup maple syrup
•1 tbsp red pepper flakes
•5 rib end pork chops, about 1 1/2 pounds
•1 tbsp sweet Thai chili sauce
•1 tbsp grill seasoning – you know, looking at the original recipe, I believe that Sandra meant to add this to the chops at grilling time, but I’ve been adding it into the brine mixture; you do as you like. Our current favorite grill seasoning is Gateway to the North Maple Seasoning from The Spice House in Milwaukee.

04ChopsDrybfLO 05bChopsGrilledbfLOIn a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 cup of water, apple juice, pepper, salt, sugar and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer making sure to stir occasionally to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat and add to a large bowl with 2 cups of ice.

Once the brine has cooled add pork chops. Let rest in the brine for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours, in the refrigerator.

NOTE!!!!! (I always forget this part, and we get chops that are good – but a might on the salty side): Remove pork from brine, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat grill or grill pan over medium heat. Sprinkle 1 side of the pork chops with 1/2 the grill seasoning (if you haven’t already added it to the brine). Place chops on hot oiled grill, seasoned side down. Sprinkle the topside with remaining grill seasoning (see above).

Grill chops for 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nice chops.

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