Brined Grilled Pork Chops with Herb Butter
What a gorgeous weekend! The kids and I took advantage of the warm weather by raking leaves and trimming back our perennial plants. That left me with limited time in the kitchen but I always have a craving for a delicious meal. Luckily, Chris is usually up for grilling so I chose to go with brined pork chops for dinner. Pork can easily dry out on the grill so we are big believers in brining before grilling.
Why brine you ask? This simple step will more than make up for the investment at first bite. The salt in a brining solution does a little magic on the proteins in the meat causing them to unwind and bind with the water. The result is a juicier, more tender chop. If you don’t love pork, I challenge you to give this technique a try! It is a game-changer.
Making a brine is simple. Start by bringing water to a boil, then stir in salt and garlic until the salt is dissolved. Cool down the mixture with more water before pouring it over the raw meat. Place the meat and brine in the frig. (This is when I headed back outside to rake a few more leaves with the kids.) After a few hours in the refrigerator, I took the pork out, drained off the brine and gave it to Chris to grill.
Gardening season is right around the corner and I will soon be planting my favorite culinary herbs. With this in mind, I decided to use the last of my herb butter from my fall garden harvest. Fresh herb flavors locked inside the butter made for perfect pork chops (even the kids were impressed)!
I hope you will give my brined pork chops a try at your next grilling opportunity. You won’t believe how tender they are!
Eat well this almost-spring,
- 4 cups water, divided
- 4 Tbs. Kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 4 boneless pork chops, 1” thick
- 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1-2 Tbs. herb or plain unsalted butter
- In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add garlic and salt and stir until salt dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove liquid (brine) from heat and stir in remaining 3 cups of water. Place pork chops in a shallow dish approximately 9” x 13”. Pour liquid (brine) over pork chops (the liquid should cover the chops).
- Place pork in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours. Remove pork from refrigerator, drain off and discard brine and garlic cloves; set chops on a platter. Preheat grill to high heat. Oil grates before placing chops on the grill. Grill each side for 4-5 minutes over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and finish chops to 145 degrees internal temperature (about 2-3 more minutes per side).
- Place chops on a platter and top with ½ to 1 teaspoon butter. Rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.