Why Brine Pork Chops?
Before preparing your Grilled Brined Pork Chops, lets talk about why it’s a good idea to bring them first. Brining is a perfect way to infuse seasoning and flavor into pork while also ensuring that the meat remains moist. It works similarly to a marinade and uses the rule of osmosis to allow flavors to penetrate the meat, rather than just seasoning the outside surface. Basically you allow the meat to sit in a very salty solution for a period of time – allowing it to marinate.
The dictionary definition of osmosis is “the movement of water or other solvent through a plasma membrane from a region of low solute concentration to a region of high solute concentration.” This means that if the water outside the meat is higher in sodium than the water in the meat, moisture will be drawn out of the meat in order to dilute the exterior solution. Then, at some point the water in the meat will be higher in sodium than the solution the meat is sitting in and the reverse will happen. Water will start to be drawn into the meat, along with all the flavors that you’ve put into your brine. (If you’re not a science-lover, or just don’t care why brining works, ignore that paragraph except for the first sentence!)
How Long to Brine Pork Chops
The pork chops should sit in the brine for 1 to 6 hours in the refrigerator. You do not need to soak them overnight in the brine, six hours is enough time to help break down some of the muscle tissue and draw moisture into the meat. Longer than six hours could result in the pork chops being too salty.
Seasoning Brined Pork Chops
The important thing to remember when you do brine meats, is that you rinse the brine off after it has marinated, dry it well and do NOT season the meat again with salt. In this recipe, we rub a spice blend on the pork instead that does not contain salt. The pork chops can sit out for about an hour or so to come to room temperature before you grill. This will allow the chops to cook faster on the grill and it gives you the necessary time to get the grill ready, especially if you are cooking on a charcoal grill like I do.
How Long to Grill Pork Chops
The time it takes to cook the to cook the chops depends entirely on how thick they are. Chops that are roughly 1-inch thick with the bone still in will take about 5 minutes per side, give or take a minute. You can mark your chops with cross-hatch marks on the grill if you choose to, but it’s not necessary. A single set of grill marks is just fine.
Internal Temperature of Pork Chops
When you check the internal temperature of the chops with an instant read thermometer – the temperature should be 150ºF. You will know they are cooked through if they feel firm to the touch, but still have a little give. The next step is critical – the pork chops must rest. Remove them to a plate and cover them loosely with foil while you grill the pineapple.
How to Grill Pineapple
Grilling pineapple is very easy – you just have to cut it to create a flat surface. That means you could slice the pineapple into rings or half moons, or you could cut long wedges of pineapple. Either way, you can opt to leave the hard peel on or take it off. (You can read about how to cut a pineapple here.) The important thing to remember is to brush the pineapple pieces with a little fat and sugar. This recipe calls for a maple syrup mixture that flavors the pineapple perfectly. The pineapple should only take about 5 minutes, which is just about the right time for the chops to rest. All you have left to do is serve everything to your guests.
Fruit and Pork Chops
Pairing pork chops with fruit on the grill gives you a great flavor profile and the fruit and pork compliment each other nicely. Another great recipe made with ripe summer peaches, are Grilled Pork Chops with Peach BBQ Sauce. Of course on a rainy day or when it is too cold to grill, my go to pork chop recipe is my Easy Glazed Pork Chops.