Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple

These brined pork chops are juicy and tender because of the brine they sit in for 1 to 6 hours before being grilled. The spice rub gives them a great flavor and the grilled pineapple makes them a perfect summer dish.

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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!)

 

Pork chops sitting in a shallow dish of brine.

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.

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Pork chops on a parchment-lined quarter sheet pan with a spice rub.

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. 

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Spice rubbed pork chops on a charcoal grill grate.

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.

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Pork chops cooking on a charcoal grill.

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. 

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Pineapple slices on a charcoal grill grate.

The pineapple should only take about 5 minutes, which is perfect for the chops to rest. All you have left to do is serve everything to your guests.

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Grilled pork chops on a wooden board with pineapple slices and parsley.

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

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

Cooking School
How to Cut a Pineapple

It can be tricky to know how to prepare it, so here's your lesson on how to cut a pineapple.View Technique

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Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 15 m
  • Brining Time: 6 h
  • Total Time: 6 h 30 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

Brine:
  • 4 cups water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh gingerroot
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups ice cubes
Dry Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 bone-in pork chops 1-inch thick
  • 4 slices fresh pineapple cut in half and core removed
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the brine by bringing all the brine ingredients except the ice cubes to a boil in a saucepan. After the brine boils and the salt and sugar have dissolved, add the ice cubes to help cool the liquid. Once the brine is cool, place the pork chops in a shallow baker or a zipper sealable plastic bag and pour the brine over the top. Let the pork chops sit in the brine in the refrigerator for 1 to 6 hours.
  2. Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse them under cold water and pat them very dry with clean kitchen towels. Combine the spice rub ingredients and rub the mix into both sides of the pork chops. Let the chops rest at room temperature for 30 minutes while you pre-heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar and black pepper in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Grill the chops for 4 to 6 minutes per side, rotating the chops to get cross-hatch grill marks. Grill until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 150˚F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chop. Remove the chops from the grill and place them on a plate to rest, loosely cover with foil.
  5. While the pork chops are resting, brush the pineapple slices with the maple syrup mixture and grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Baste with more of the maple syrup mixture as needed.
  6. Serve the grilled pork chops and pineapple slices over rice with a green vegetable or salad.
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Comments (21)Post a Reply

    1. Hi Betty. Make the recipe as written – brine and spice rub – then spray them with oil and air fry at 400ºF for about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on how thick the chops are. Flip them over halfway through the cooking time. The best way to check for doneness is with an instant read thermometer.

  1. can you tell me what cut of pork you used for these chops? They look amazing! I recently used a pork loin chop with good success but these look different. THX

    1. Hi Linda. These were rib chops. Rib chops only have a piece of the loin, whereas loin chops have a T-shaped bone with part of the loin on one side and a little piece of the tenderloin on the other side.

    1. Hi Monique. It does depend on how thick the chops are and the best way to know they are cooked properly is to test them with an instant read thermometer (150ºF) or press on them with your finger for firmness. I would go for a minute or two LESS time with boneless.

  2. 5 stars
    I make a mean potato salad, I would like to have your recipe. I like mine tangy, and mom taught me to sprinkle apple cider vinegar on the warm potatoes, and use sweet relish to compliment the tang.

  3. Every Meredith Laurence recipe I’ve prepared and there have been too many to mention have been outstanding. I took a leap of faith two years ago when I purchased a cooks essential air fryer and haven’t looked back
    Like an oven I feel every kitchen should come with an air fryer. Right now my air fryer is cooking my marinated pork chops and I can’t wait to enjoy them. I made homemade potato salad to accompany the chops just because I can lol
    Thank you Meredith

    1. Hi Linda. It depends on how big an air fryer you have. I did it with two chops in a 3.4 quart air fryer. You could probably fit 3 or 4 in a large air fryer. I wouldn’t stack them right on top of each other, but if they are over-lapping slightly it’s fine. You flip them over halfway through so just make sure to flip them evenly.

    1. Hi Elle. It really depends on how thick the chops are. For a 1-inch chop, I would put them in the oven for about 12 to 15 minutes (flipping them halfway through) at 450ºF. On a stovetop grill pan, about 10 – 12 minutes, but you should check the chops by either pressing on them for firmness or taking the internal temperature (you’re looking for about 150ºF).

  4. RE: Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple

    I am making this dish today according to the recipe but wondering if I could sous vide the pork chops individually in the brine. If so, how long would you recommend and at what temperature. Thanks, in advance.

    1. Hi Jan. You could brine the pork chops AND THEN cook them in a sous vide water bath. If you put the chops and brine as is into a bag and cooked it sous vide, it would be too salty unless you pulled it out at the exact right moment. If you really want to cook the chops in a sous vide brine solution, you would need to reduce the salt in the brine significantly. It is a method called equilibrium brining and is a little more complicated. You can read more about it here: https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/equilibrium-brining

  5. The Pork Chop recipe looks so good. I bought some today and will cook them tomorrow. Thank you for all your help. Joyce

  6. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonite using 1” boneless chops and cooked them on the grill. I cooked for 6 minutes on each side and they were great and the rub gave them a kick, but not too spicy.! I grilled the pineapple on a slotted grill pan about 3 minutes per side. The basting sauce on the pineapple gave it a wonderful flavor. I will definitely be making this again!

  7. This is an absolutely DELICIOUS recipe and the pork chops turn out so tender and juicy….. best grilled pork chops EVER!!!
    I add a little Cointreau or triple sec liqueur to the basting sauce on the pineapple — which makes it utterly AMAZING! In addition to it being great to serve as a side with the pork chops, it is even better served over ice cream for dessert (I’m just saying!).

    1. Hi Denise. You can definitely make the brine ahead of time. I would make it with as little water as possible – just enough to dissolve the salt and sugar. Then, add water when you get to where you are going. I think that will be better for you packing everything up. Add the chops when you are no more than 6 hours out from cooking – you don’t want to brine them for too long or they will be very salty indeed.

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