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Grill-Smoked Pork Chops with Brown Sugar and Cider Vinegar Gastrique

4 Servings

1 hour 50 minutes 40 active minutes

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In this recipe, we brine thick-cut, bone-in pork chops, then grill them with a generous amount of wood chunks to infuse them with smokiness. Look for chops that are evenly sized so they cook at the same rate, and opt for ones that do not include a section the tenderloin, which easily overcooks and turns dry. You can use almost any type of hardwood chunks to provide the smoke, but steer clear of mesquite and hickory, as their flavors can be too potent. We pair the chops with a simple gastrique, or a sweet-tart, slightly syrupy reduction of sugar and vinegar. We make ours with brown sugar and cider vinegar, with bay and thyme to add savory notes. The gastrique can be prepared while the chops brine and is easily reheated for serving. A standard kettle-style charcoal grill works best for creating a deep, intense smoky flavor and aroma; with some modifications, a gas grill will work, but produces milder results.




Don’t test the doneness of the chops by checking their temperature at the very center of the meat. Test near the bone, which is the area that is the last to finish cooking. Also, don't serve the chops hot off the grill. Give them time to rest to redistribute the juices so that they won't flood out when the meat is cut into.

1 hour 50 minutes

40 active minutes

For the pork chops:


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Caroline A.

The brine worked well and tenderized the poor k chops but they were salty
Should I have rinsed them before bbq?

Janelle C.

Hi Caroline,

How long did you refrigerate the pork chops?

The Milk Street Team

Theresa S.

This was excellent! Moist and tender.
I had to use 4 1/2 T. table salt that was on hand instead of 6 T. Kosher salt and marinated two 14 oz. bone in chops that were 1 in. thick, for 2 hours. I also did not have a bayleaf for the gastrique and still, the outcome was delicious.
Could you please let me know the proper adjustment for this recipe using table salt instead of Kosher salt?
Should have made 4.....yum!!