Brined pork chops

Jana purchased some boneless, center-cut pork chops from Sam’s Club, so tonight I decided to grill them using a flavor brine.  My simplistic explanation:  The salt in a brine is more concentrated than the salt in the meat so initially water flows out of the meat into the brine solution to attempt to balance the salt concentrations. After 30 minutes or so, this process reverses itself, with the water and salt going back into the meat. The salt breaks protein bonds in the meat, capturing water molecules within the proteins and increasing the moisture content of the meat. Any flavors added to the brine will enter the meat along with the salt, infusing flavor into the depths of the meat.

I made a 5% brine solution plus I added 1 tablespoon of Cluck and Squeal’s All Purpose Rub as the flavor.  I kept the pork chops in the brine in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, before removing and briefly rinsing under running water to remove any excess salt. I dried them, added a light coating olive oil on all sides and dusted liberally with the same rub that was in the brine solution.

I wanted a smoky, slow initial cook, with a quick finishing sear at the end. I got a good fire going in my large BGE with a platesetter in place and a foil drip pan on it. I added a couple of handfuls of dry cherry chips and smoked the chops until their internal temp was about 118-120*.

I removed chops and the platesetter, added 2 panels of my Grill Grates and got the dome temp up to 400*. I then seared the chops about 90 sec. on each side, then I held them with tongs while I seared the fat along the edges.

They were very juicy and one could taste the flavor throughout the whole chop. Delicious!!



Here are colorful pictures of Jana’s mixed, oven-roasted veggies, including our garden squash, and her tasty sautéed Asian green beans.







A little black rice finished off the meal!

Misippi Egger
(Clark Ethridge)


2 center-cut, boneless pork chops (a least an inch thick)
50 gm Morton Kosher salt
1 T Favorite rub
800 ml water
Olive oil

(1) Make a 5% (6% if using non-metric measures) brine solution. Add 50 gm Morton Kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of rub to 800 ml water. Mix with a whisp until all the salt is dissolved, then add ice until the volume equals 1 liter. Pour this into a ziplock bag with the pork chops and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to overnight. (For non-metric measures, use 1/4 c Morton Kosher salt, 1 T rub, and 3.5 quarts of water. When mixed well, add ice to a total volume of 4 quarts (6% solution).
(2) Remove the chops from the brine and rinse briefly under running water to remove some of the salt. Dry them well, then coat all sides with olive oil. Apply rub to both sides of the chops and allow sit at room temp while getting the fire ready.
(3) Prepare a low-temp (250-300*) indirect fire. Add any preferred wood chips then the chops. Cook until they reach an internal temp of 118-120*. Remove the chops, convert the fire to a direct, hot fire for searing (400-500*). Sear the chops for abut 90 sec. per side, then using tongs and gloves, sear the fat edge of each chop.
(4) Remove and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Pork chops (a rub comparison) and Roasted Sprouts

St Patty's Egg Pic

Happy St Patrick’s Day!!  (Photo courtesy of my tailgating friend – David Hyde).

Last night we had a healthy meal of pork chops and a new oven-roasted Brussel Sprouts recipe. Pork chops can be boring, so I decided to liven things up by doing a rub comparison. The chops came from the “Farmers Market” in Oxford, MS and were local, farm-raised hogs.

The rubs for this “test” were Carnivore (Carnivore BBQ) “Rub Me Raw” – one of my favorite butt rubs – and Mike’s All Purpose Seasoning “Spicy Recipe” that I purchased at the Livingston Farmers Market a while back. The Mike’s rub had a lot of paprika, making it easy to tell which chop it was on.

I smeared a small amount of olive oil on each chop before applying the rubs, allowed them to melt for about 20 minutes, then onto the Mini BGE (it was raining on the large) at 300* for 4 minutes on one side and about 3 minutes on the other side. They temped out at about 135-137* internal so I pulled them and let them rest a few minutes.


Assessment: I split each chop in half, so we could both compare the rubs. We both agreed the Carnivore needed a little more salt, thus making the bolder “Mike’s All Purpose Seasoning” the slightly better choice tonight! I have to admit I deliberately sparingly applied the Carnivore, as I was unsure how salty it would be and thus chose to err on the light side – apparently a little too light. (It has more subtle flavors, although it makes a great bark on a Boston butt). I will definitely layer on more next time. Either of these rubs will give you excellent results, as will other choices like “Sprouts” (a local rub), lemon pepper, Greek seasoning or an herbal choice like Italian Seasoning or Herbes de Provence.

Of course, the Egg shined again with this cook – delivering chops that were so juicy one would find it hard to believe they had not been brined before grilling.


Serves 2

2  8 oz center-cut pork chops
Olive Oil
Carnivore, Mike’s or your favorite rub

(1) Smear a light coating of olive oil on both sides of each chop.
(2) Liberally apply the rub to both sides of the chops and allow them to rest at room temp for 20-30 minutes.
(3) Prepare a direct fire at 300-350* dome temperature.  Grill the chops for 4 minutes , then flip and grill until the internal temp is 135-137*.
(4) Cover with foil and rest for 5-8 minutes before serving.

Bonus recipe: Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Smoked Salt

Serves 2

4 cups Brussel sprouts, halved
4 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked salt
2 tsp Maple syrup (I used Walden Farms brand – no calories)
2 slices of bacon, chopped (leave this off if on the Ideal Protein diet)

(1) Preheat oven to 425*.
(2) Mix together all ingredients to make the marinade. 
(3) Put the halved sprouts in a ziplock with the marinade and shake around to thoroughly coat them.
(4) Place the Brussel sprouts, cut side down, on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Flip them over and roast for another 10 minutes or until they are a nice brown color.


Happy St. Paddy’s Day from Misippi Egger (Clark Ethridge)