Monday, April 4, 2011

Brined Pork Chops

As I've mentioned on several occasions, I really like pork. Quick-cooking and lean, it's perfect for busy weeknights at our happy home. One cut of pork that can be tricky to work with, however, is the chop.

Often, my pork chops were turning out dry and tough. I knew the meat itself wasn't to blame; it must be an issue with the way I was cooking it. When porterhouse pork chops went on sale at my local market, I seized the opportunity to conquer the elusive juicy chop.

The Thanksgiving turkey is another culprit in terms of dryness, and brining has been a fabulous method to salvage that particular cut. So, I busted out my salt and sugar and set to brining my pork chops.

After a mere hour in the brine and a quick stint on the grill pan, my dinner was ready. I must admit a bit of performance anxiety as I sliced into my chop, but my fears were quickly allayed. The brined meat was juicy and flavorful.

Next time pork chops are on sale, give brining a shot. I think you'll like it.    

Brined Pork Chops
Serves: 4

Lots of water
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons salt
4 porterhouse pork chops (or your favorite bone-in cut), about 1.5" thick each
Your favorite dry rub, seasoning, or salt and pepper (to season the pork)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Fill up your largest bowl with water. Stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of salt until dissolved. Add your pork chops. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

After your chops have brined for an hour, discard the brine and rinse your pork chops thoroughly. Pat them dry and season them with your favorite dry rub or a hearty sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Heat a grill pan (or skillet) to medium-high and oil the grates. Place your pork chops on the grill pan and allow them to cook until they release easily from the pan, about 6 minutes.

Flip the chops over and cook about 3 minutes. Then, reduce heat to medium and cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 135-140 degrees, about 6 more minutes. (If your pork is getting too dark before it's cooked through, pop it in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until it reaches the appropriate temperature.) Remove the meat to a plate, tent with foil, and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.


  1. I have never thought to brine a pork chop. Love this idea. And I don't think I have ever seen such perfect grill marks:)

  2. That pork chop does look super juicy! I'll have to try your brining method next time, mine are so hit or miss!

  3. Dry and tough pork chops are not fun. I always brine or marinade them before cooking. Those grill marks came out perfect on the pork chops! :)

  4. This was my first time using the husband's grill pan, and I'm lovin' those grill marks!! Glad you all appreciate them, too. We'll see if I can pull those off again. :-)

  5. Beautiful color and I love the grill marks.

  6. Great idea!! I never thought to brine pork chops, yet I often do it with chicken. I will definitely do this next time. Great post!!

  7. I made these for dinner and they were just wonderful. I used Famous Dave's Rib Rub and a little sea salt. This was my first experience with brining and I am sold. Thank you for this wonderfully easy recipe!!

  8. Ellie, I am just THRILLED that the pork chops worked out for you!! Thanks for sharing your success!