Grilled Maple-Brined Pork Chops

Melissa Kelly, the chef and owner of Primo in Rockland, Maine, raises her own Tamworth pigs. She uses a sweet and tangy maple-syrup and cider-vinegar brine to enhance the natural juiciness of the meat.

Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Time(Other): plus 8 hr for brining
KEY: Grilling/Barbecuing, Barbecue/Cookout, Father's Day, American, Make Ahead

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Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 whole clove
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 6 double-cut, bone-in pork chops (about 1 pound each)
  • Olive oil, for brushing

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large pot, combine the water, salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, clove, bay leaves, allspice berries, mustard seeds, sage and pepper. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Let the brine cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 hour. Add the pork chops to the brine and refrigerate for 7 to 8 hours, turning the chops after 4 hours. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry.
  2. Light a grill. Lightly brush both sides of the chops with olive oil and grill over a medium-hot fire, for 18 minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 155°. Transfer to plates and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

The chops can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

Serve With

Polenta and braised greens.

Suggested Pairing

A creamy Chardonnay with hints of fruit and oak or a spicy and slightly sweet Gewürztraminer.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published November 2004

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