Few things are better than a succulent and incredibly tender smoked bone-in pork chop.
Smoked with apple wood, these chops get a nice fruity flavor that compliments the pork well. Add to that your favorite sides, and you have a great meal in front of you.
Smoked Pork Chops
Ingredients you’ll need
- Pork chops – we are using double-bone in pork chops from Snake River Farms. These chops are thick-cut and perfect for smoking.
- Kosher salt
- BBQ seasoning
Equipment you’ll need
- Pellet smoker – I’m using the Camp Chef Woodwind Pro
- Wood chunks and wood pellets
- Baking sheet
- Instant read thermometer
- Cutting board
- Boning or trimming knife
Why dry brine pork chops?
Pork is such lean meat, the salt brine helps retain moisture during the cooking process.
It also acts as a tenderizer. As the salt dissolves and is drawn into the pork flesh, it breaks down the muscle proteins.
How long does it take to smoke pork chops?
Depending on how hot your smoker is, it will take around an hour to an hour and a half to get your pork chops up to 145°F.
I always say never to rely on time alone. Get a good instant read thermometer to get the most accurate doneness of whatever it is you’re cooking.
Contrary to popular belief, pink pork is safe to eat so long as it is cooked to 145°F.
What is the best wood for smoking pork?
For this cook, I’ll be using a chunk of apple smoking wood to give a nice smoky flavor to the pork chops. Depending on the type of smoker you are using, you can use pellets or wood chips as well.
Pork works well with just about any smoke wood, especially any fruit wood, so don’t worry if you don’t have apple wood lying around. Other great options for a delicate smoke flavor include cherry, maple, or pecan wood. If you want to try something a little stronger, mesquite works surprisingly well in small amounts.
General tips for smoked pork chops
- I like to smoke pork chops first, and then sometimes I finish with a sear depending on how well the exterior has developed (AKA reverse sear). This gives you more control over the temperature, locks in the smoke flavor, and helps guarantee perfectly cooked pork chops.
- Try and avoid using thin or boneless chops, as they can dry out using this cooking method.
- Keep the flavor simple for this smoked pork chops recipe with a salt dry brine and then BBQ rub to amp up the flavor and color.
How to smoke pork chops
1. Tidy up
With the pork chops laid out on a cutting board, trim off any excess outer fat. It won’t all render down and it is the meat that we want to taste.
2. Dry Brine
After trimming, place the pork chops on a baking sheet. Give them a sprinkle of Kosher salt and place them in the fridge. You can dry brine pork chops for an hour or even up to 2 days.
If there is any visible salt left on the flesh when you are going to cook pork chops, use the back of a butter knife to scrape off any excess.
Then season the pork chops with your favorite bbq rub. This will round out the flavor of the pork chops and give them a nice color.
4. Fire up the smoker
Fire your smoker up to 250°F.
I smoke at 250°F because I like the grill to be a little hotter. This will give the pork a chance to build a better bark while smoking.
I used my Camp Chef Woodwind Pro for this cook, any smoker, or pellet grill will work.
The Camp Chef has the ability to add wood chunks or chips alongside pellets to get more smoke. I used two small apple wood chunks along with apple wood pellets to get an incredible flavor on these chops.
Place the seasoned pork chops on the smoker.
I don’t spritz or do anything with the pork except flip it once or twice to make sure the pork cooks evenly.
Keep an eye on the chops and once they reach an internal temperature of 120°F you can sear them over high heat if you need to. For me I just let them continue to smoke and as they do I usually get a nice exterior crust.
6. Rest and then sear
When the pork chops have reached an internal temp of 145°F, it’s time to remove and let them rest under some loose foil.
Great sides to go with Smoked Pork Chops
- Apple and Beets Slaw
- Celery and Parmesan Salad
- Herby Roasted Potato Salad
- The Best Macaroni Salad
- Cranberry Walnut Pasta Salad
Smoked Pork Chops
- 2 pork chops bone in
- 1½ tbsp Kosher salt
- 1½ tbsp BBQ seasoning
- Trim away any excess fat or loose bits of pork from each pork chop.
- Dry brine the pork chops by covering each side with Kosher salt, place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- After brining, remove any excess salt that was not absorbed by the pork chop, then season each one with BBQ seasoning.
- Fire up the smoker to 250°F.
- Smoke the chops until the internal temperature is 145°F. If smoking on a grill that has heat coming from the bottom, flip the pork chop once or twice during smoking so that each side cooks evenly.
- Once the pork chops are cooked through, rest for 10 minutes before slicing against grain.