main dishes

Smokehouse Maple-Brined Pork Chops

Enjoy the contrasting sweet and salty flavors of this smoky maple pork chop brine recipe. Topped with caramelized apples, and seasoned with smokehouse maple, sea salt and brown sugar, these glazed pork chops are an irresistible grilled treat for the summer. Recipe courtesy of Roger Mooking.


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Ingredients 4 Servings

  • 1/3 cup sea salt from McCormick® Sea Salt Grinder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons and a pinch McCormick® Grill Mates® Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 8 cups cold water, divided
  • 4 bone-in center-cut pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 6 wedges each
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, optional


  • 1 Whisk salt, 1/4 cup of the Seasoning, 1/4 cup of the sugar and water in medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour in remaining 4 cups of cold water and mix thoroughly. Transfer brine to a large container with a lid and cool to room temperature. Add pork chops to brine. Cover and refrigerate 8 to 10 hours.
  • 2 Remove pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Brush lightly with oil. Season both sides of pork with 2 tablespoons of the Seasoning. Grill over medium-high heat until bottom side of pork chops are well marked and charred; 7 to 9 minutes. Flip and grill 4 to 6 minutes longer, or until cooked through (internal temperature registers 145°F). Let rest under tented foil while cooking the apples.
  • 3 Place large cast-iron skillet on the grill. Juice one of the lemon halves into a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup sugar to skillet and stir with a heatproof spatula until the mixture resembles wet sand. Cook with grill open, stirring frequently, until sugar melts and deepens to amber, about 8 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Once foam subsides, add apples. Close grill and cook, stirring gently to coat apples in caramel, until the apples are tender-crisp; about 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, being careful of splattering, add remaining lemon juice and a pinch of Seasoning; stir gently.
  • 4 Arrange pork chops on a platter and top with apples. Zest remaining lemon half over the dish. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.


Test Kitchen Tip : Brining pork chops infuses them with tons of flavor and helps make them tender and juicy-- just like a perfectly cooked well-marbled steak.


(per Serving)

Nutrition information coming soon.


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