How to Make the Best Pork Chop
The secret to a terrific pork chop is a tasty brine. Like a marinade, a brine will uniformly infuse the chop with flavor — in this case, salt, garlic, pepper, Bay leaf and rosemary. It softens the meat, and helps it hold onto its juices throughout cooking. Here we’ve added brown sugar to the brine, too. On the grill, it caramelizes, giving the pork chop a lightly sweet, aromatic bark.
Okay, maybe there are two secrets: In order to get that caramelization, we grill the chop over high, direct heat for a handful of minutes. That sears all the juice into the chop too, and then you can finish it with a pat of butter and some thyme in the oven. The result is a beautiful, glossy brown pork chop that tastes wonderful — crispy at the edges, meat full of garlic and herbs and so moist and tender.
If that doesn’t convince you to make it, maybe this will: these pork chops prep in just 5 minutes, and cook in under 25 minutes. The brining happens overnight, so you could come home from work, throw the pork chops on the grill and have dinner on the table in no time at all. We’d serve them with a citrusy beet salad — and maybe a few slabs of garlic toast, since you’ve got the grill fired up.
Preparation time: 5 minutes (Not including 8 to 12 hours for brining)
Cook time: 22 minutes
2 cups water
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup of kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs rosemary
3 cups ice cubes
2 to 4 Frenched, double cut Berkshire pork chops
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 sprigs thyme
- In a stainless steel pot, combine water, brown sugar, salt, garlic cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf and rosemary sprigs and bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and stir the liquid to dissolve the salt.
- Stir in 3 cups of ice and allow the brine to cool completely.
- In a baking dish or food-safe plastic container, cover the pork chops completely in the brine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or the lid and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Heat the oven to 350 F.
- Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Drizzle the pork chops with grapeseed oil and place them on the grill. Cook for 3 minutes and then turn them 45 degrees and cook for another 3 minutes. (This will give you cool, crosshatched grill marks.)
- Flip the pork chops over and cook the second side according to step 6.
- If using a grill, transfer the pork chops to a baking pan. Top each pork chop with one tablespoon butter and two thyme sprigs.
- Bake the pork chops in the oven until the meat is done, about 10 minutes. The temperature should reach a minimum of 135 F on an instant-read thermometer.