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Brined, Smoked and Grilled Pork Chops with Peach-Bourbon Barbeque Sauce

Serves: Makes 4 servings


  • ib>Brine:
  • 4 cups cold water, divided
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice

  • Pork:
  • 4 bone-in (1- to 1½-inch thick) pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons wood chips
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing grill

  • Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce: ∗sauce may be made ahead of time
  • 2 pounds peaches
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup seeded and finely chopped jalapeno
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste


Pork chops take to brine and smoke so well you will never want to eat grilled pork chops any other way. The extra steps require more time but they are so easy, you’ll agree they make all the difference.

To brine pork: In a small saucepan over medium heat, add 1 cup of water and remaining brine ingredients, heat until salt and sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a container that can accommodate pork chops and brine, add remaining 3 cups water and ice. Stir to cool completely. Add pork chops, cover and chill for 4 to 6 hours. (Alternatively, use a vacuum sealer or instant marinator to reduce the brining time to 2 hours.)

To smoke pork: Set up stovetop or outdoor smoker according to manufacturers’ recommendations. Remove chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels and smoke on medium-low heat for 8 minutes. Remove smoker from heat, or turn off, and let pork chops stand with the lid closed for an additional 2 minutes.

Preheat a grill or gill pan to medium-high heat. Season pork chops with pepper. Using a silicone brush, coat the grates with oil. Grill chops, rotating clockwise 30° after 2 minutes. Once evenly grilled marked, turn over, and continue to grill, about 6 to 8 minutes total depending on thickness, or until a digital thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145°F. Transfer to a cutting board and loosely tent with foil. Rest pork chops for 5 minutes before slicing or serving whole with Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce.

To make peach-bourbon barbeque sauce: Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cut an "X" in the bottom of each peach, and blanch for about 10 seconds. With a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the peaches to ice bath. When cooled, peel and coarsely chop.

In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add oil. When oil is shimmering, add onion and jalapeno. Cook until tender, using a wooden spoon to stir occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the peaches and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Using a hand blender, puree sauce smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Cool barbeque sauce and transfer to an airtight container. Sauce will last about two weeks refrigerated or can be frozen for longer storage.

Recipe developed for Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes

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