Whether you are using a pellet grill or a good, old-fashioned offset smoker, this Smoked Pork Chop recipe delivers the most perfect pork chops you've ever tasted. Not only are these chops the perfect balance of sweet and savory, but they're tender, juicy, and well-equipped with that irresistible smoky flavor.
Our friends and family go nuts for these pork chops! They are never not a hit. No pan-searing or complicated ingredients required. In fact, you probably already have everything you need in your pantry to whip up the simple brown sugar spice rub and quick-fix brine.
It's a budget-friendly dinner that is loved by kids and grownups alike. Easily doubled or tripled to serve a crowd and perfect for cooking out with friends. For more of our favorite pork recipes try our slow cooker spare ribs, pork tenderloin, stuffed pork chops, or baked pork chops next!
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED PORK CHOPS
Before we can take our pork chops to the smoker, we first need to brine them. This quick and simple brine will enhance both the flavor and the texture of the Smoked Pork Chops.
It comes together with 3 simple ingredients: brown sugar, kosher salt, and whole black peppercorns.
To make the brine, all you have to do is add the brown sugar and kosher salt to a large saucepan and top off with about 6 cups of water. Place your pot over high heat and as soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and add the peppercorns.
Stir until the brown sugar and salt dissolve and then set aside until completely cooled. You cannot add raw meat to warm water. It is very important that your water has come to room temperature before you add your pork chops!
This recipe calls for bone-in pork chops. The bone does cause meats to cook a bit slower, so it is fairly important that you don't use boneless pork chops for this recipe.
Another contributing factor in cooking time when it comes to Smoked Pork Chops is the thickness of your chops. For this recipe, you definitely want thick-cut pork chops, and you'll want to snag either pork rib chops or pork loin chops somewhere around ¾ inch to 1 ½ inch thick.
Once your brine has cooled, place your pork chops in the brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours. Do not brine for any longer than 6 hours or your pork chops will end up too salty!
As soon as the brine time is up, get your smoker preheating. Preheat your smoker to 275°F using either Applewood, oak, or Cherrywood wood chunks. If you are using a pellet grill, you'll need wood pellets on hand, not wood chunks.
If you've been browsing the internet for the perfect Smoked Pork Chop recipe, a word on temperature might be worth a mention.
We've seen lots of recipes out there calling for a pan sear prior to putting the pork chops on the smoker. This is not at all necessary! These recipes are also calling for a smoking temperature of 225 degrees. If you want to avoid the extra step of pan searing, all we have to do is increase that smoker temperature to 275 degrees and you'll still get beautiful browning, and some major Maillard effect action going on. Simple as that.
Now, back to the pork chops. Once the smoker is ready, you can remove your pork chops from the brine. Rinse the pork chops, and transfer them to a work surface. Time to make that delicious sweet and savory spice rub! To make the rub all you need is brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Mix all of the spices together until well combined.
Sprinkle the spice rub all over the top, bottom, and sides of the pork chops. You should have a nice even layer. Discard any remaining spice rub, and transfer the seasoned pork chops to your smoker.
If your pork chops are closer to ¾ inch thick you will cook them for about one hour. If they are closer to an inch and a half, you will cook them for about an hour and a half. Take care that you turn and rotate the pork chops halfway through the cooking time. Once the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees (which is best gaged using an instant-read meat thermometer), remove the Pork Chops from the smoker and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
For another smoked meat to try, save our Smoked Turkey Breast for next time!
HOW TO KNOW WHEN PORK CHOPS ARE DONE
The easiest and most reliable way to tell if your Smoked Pork Chops are done is by enlisting the help of an instant-read thermometer, but if you don't own one there are some other handy ways of checking if your chops are done.
You can start by giving your pork chops a little poke. If they are still undercooked they will feel very soft and give considerably. On the other hand, if they are overcooked they will be very firm to the touch. You want to try to achieve a density that is somewhere in the middle.
Alternatively, you can take a look at the juices. It is okay to eat pork chops that are still a little pink in the middle, as long as the juices are clear.
6 MORE PORK RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Pork Chops With Mushroom Gravy
- Pork Loin Roast
- BBQ Spare Ribs
- Skillet Pork Chops With Apples
- Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
- Smothered Pork Chops
A foolproof and reliable method for making the juiciest, most tender Smoked Pork Chops you've ever tasted.
- ¾ cup brown sugar, separated
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, separated
- 6 cups water
- ⅓ cup whole black peppercorns
- 4 to 6 bone-in pork chops, ¾ - 1" thick
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Bring a ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup Kosher salt, and 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. As soon as the water boils, remove from the heat and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add peppercorns and set aside until completely cooled to room temperature.
Add the pork chops to the brine, cover the pot with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2-6 hours.
Preheat your smoker to 275° with your wood of choice.
Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse, and pat dry. Transfer to a work surface and make the rub.
In a small bowl, combine a ¼ cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix until well combined.
Evenly season the pork chops, rubbing all over the pork chops to adhere. Discard any remaining rub.
Place the pork chops in the smoker and close the lid. For ¾" pork chops, cook about 60 minutes; for 1 ½" chops, cook about 90 minutes. Flip and rotate the pork chops halfway through the cook time.
When your pork chops have reached an internal temperature of 145°F, remove them from the smoker and tent with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy.