Peppercorn Brined Pork Chops

Peppercorn Brined Pork Chops
Staff Writer
Peppercorn Brined Pork Chops

Frances Janisch

Peppercorn Brined Pork Chops

Who doesn’t love a big, juicy, grilled pork chop? This recipe is so simple and takes only minutes in the kitchen. We like to brine our pork chops for 24 hours, so we make the brine a day ahead of time. We are enamored of European pork, which tends to have a higher fat content than its American counterpart, but the brine adds moisture that your pork might otherwise lack. If you can get locally raised, free-range pork from a farm stand or butcher, you will be rewarded with some of the most succulent pig you have ever sunk your teeth into.

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Notes

*Note: We usually use boneless pork chops for even cooking times. In our childhood, everyone, including our mothers, teachers, and the media, warned against eating undercooked pork. The beauty about brining pork chops is that the salt kills most of the bacteria so you don’t have to overcook the meat until it is dry and inedible. Brined meats remain moist, juicy, and, most of all, delicious.

Ingredients

  • quarts water
  • 1/2  Cup  coarse salt
  • 1/2  Cup  sugar
  • 1/4  Cup  whole black peppercorns
  • dried habanero pepper
  • boneless 1 1/2-inch-thick pork chops*
  • Thyme sprigs, for garnish

Directions

In a pot, bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the salt, sugar, peppercorns, and habanero. Cover and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

When the brine is cool, place the pork chops in the brine. Make sure that they are completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When you’re ready to cook the pork chops, preheat the grill for at least 10 minutes so it will be hot enough to sear the meat. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and grill them until a meat thermometer reads 150 degrees, 4-5 minutes on each side. Let rest for 3 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
4g
6%
Sugar
1g
1%
Saturated Fat
1g
4%
Carbohydrate, by difference
11g
8%
Protein
1g
2%
Vitamin A, RAE
3µg
0%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
9mg
12%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
1µg
1%
Calcium, Ca
2mg
0%
Choline, total
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
2g
8%
Folate, total
9µg
2%
Magnesium, Mg
5mg
2%
Phosphorus, P
14mg
2%
Selenium, Se
2µg
4%
Sodium, Na
11mg
1%
Water
15g
1%

Peppercorn Shopping Tip

Spices and dried herbs have a shelf life too, and lose potency over time. The rule of thumb is, if your spices are over two years old, it's time to buy some new ones.

Peppercorn Cooking Tip

Toasting whole spices before using them intensifies their aroma and flavor.