Monday, April 6, 2009

slow and easy food: hot-smoked pork chops

In case you don't follow my dorky tweets about food, you should, because Saturday I posted my first ever live-tweeted recipe and cooking session (see chronology and photos): smoked pork chops! These are so easy, and the flavor will detonate your taste buds. Not surprisingly, it's quite difficult to capture ingredient lists and measurements in 140 characters, so I've posted the full recipe here.


  • 4 thick cut, free range, well marbled pork chops from a local farm (MN-folk should try Pastures a Plenty or Prairie Pride), about 8 oz per chop
  • 1/2 gallon cold tap water
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp pink curing salt (to buy)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly smashed
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • wood smoking chips (apple wood, hickory, etc.), soaked in warm water
to brine chops:
  1. In a large, non-reactive bowl, place water and pork chops
  2. Run about 1-2 cups of very hot tap water into a smaller bowl
  3. Add kosher salt, sugar, curing salt, and garlic to hot water in small bowl. Stir with a fork until salt and sugar is dissolved.
  4. Pour this mixture into the large bowl and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.
  5. When ready to cook, remove chops from brine and pat dry.
to smoke chops:
  1. Mix remaining spices in a small bowl and apply to all sides of pork chops. Let chops sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes to come to room temperature.
  2. Light about 1/3 of a chimney starter loaded with charcoal briquettes (wood/lump charcoal burns too hot/fast for smoking).
  3. Bank coals on one side of your grill, put the wood chips on top (ideally in a smoker box or wrapped in a foil packet), and place a small pan on the bottom of the grill opposite the coals.
  4. Place pork chops on the grate opposite the coals. Cover and begin smoking.
  5. After about 1 hour, add 10 unlit charcoal bricks to the top of the pile. Cover and continue smoking.
  6. Chops will be ready approximately 1-2 hours later, depending on the temperature inside and outside of the grill. They should be a dark red-orange w/ and be very tender (slight charring on the edges is ok, too).
  7. Rest chops for 5 minutes before serving.
*Serves 4 people

These go really well with a strong beer, some fried or roasted potatoes, and a green salad. Sauerkraut is also an excellent choice, especially in winter.

1 comment:

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