Juicy Pork Chops

If there's one way to ensure juicy meat from lean, high-protein pork chops, it's time spent in a flavorful liquid brine before cooking. This is my favorite brine for pork chops, adding moisture and flavor to pork that's bred for leanness.
Juicy Pork Chops ♥ KitchenParade.com, my favorite brine for pork chops, adding moisture and flavor to pork that's bred, these days, for leanness. Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly.

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ISO a Really Really Good Pork Chop

It's like a personal ad. "Woman ISO (in seek of) a decent pork chop, even a great pork chop."

These days, pork is bred for leanness. With so little fat, however, cooked chops can turn into shoe leather all too quickly.

A favorite summer-time response is to soak thick chops in a brine before grilling. The result is tender, succulent meat that will have your family and friends begging for more. It's super easy, just needs a little time up front.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Refrigerator time: 6 – 24 hours
Grill time: about 20 minutes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 cups additional water
  • 4 thick-cut bone-in pork chops
  • Oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • Additional chili powder

BRINE FOR SIX TO TWENTY-FOUR HOURS Combine first cup of water with salt, sugar and chili powder in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add remaining water and cool completely. Add chops, submerging completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours.

GRILL Prepare grill. Drain chops and discard brine. Pat chops dry with paper towels and brush lightly on both sides with oil. Season with pepper and a little chili powder. Grill about 10 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer reads 145F - 160F. (Watch carefully for these cook more quickly than you might think. Why 145F - 160F? Should Cooked Pork Be Pink?)

ALANNA's TIPS Ask your butcher to cut “Iowa chops” one to one-and-a-half inches thick. To save on dishes, use the same container to warm the brine and chill the brining chops. Choose a non-reactive (stainless steel, glass or enamel; I use Corningware) covered container that can be used on the stovetop and is also large enough to hold the thick chops and the brine. Don’t skimp on the chili powder for it adds flavor without burn. You will get better results with a coarse salt such as kosher salt.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Chop (assumes starting with a 6-ounce bone-in chop, fat removed before eating): 244 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 11mg Cholesterol; 1884mg Sodium; 5g Carb; 1g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 37g Protein. Weight Watchers Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 5 & Freestyle 5

More Great Ways to Cook Pork Chops

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Pork Chops & Rice Oven Dinner Perfect Thick Pork Chops Thick Chops with Mustard Crust
~ more pork recipes ~
~ more Quick Supper recipes ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.