Archive for October 21st, 2011

Brining pork chops helps to keep them from drying out on the grill. But if you need to grill your chops without brining them, you can help keep them moist by searing them over high heat and then moving them over low heat to finish cooking. A spice rub adds flavor and a sauce adds moisture, all of which results in tender, juicy-tasting chops that require very little advance preparation before they go on the grill. Here’s a basic example, using barbecue sauce and bell peppers.

Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals) with high- and low-heat areas
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch bed with a 4-inch-deep area for high heat and a 2-inch-deep area for low heat
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

Prep: 5 minutes (plus 25 minutes for peppers, rub, and sauce)
Rest before grilling: 1 to 6 hours
Grill: 14 to 20 minutes.

– Long-handled tongs
– Long-handled basting brush.

– To save time, use jarred roasted peppers in place of the Marinated Fire-Roasted Peppers.
– If you make the barbecue sauce ahead of time, reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop. Cold sauce would delay the cooking of the chops. Plus, the fire-roasted peppers should be mixed with warm rather than cold barbecue sauce.

– If you prefer boneless meat, replace the rib chops with boneless rib chops or center-cut loin chops and reduce the cooking time slightly. See sidebar on page 133 for a description of the various types of pork chops sold in most markets.
– For smoky-tasting chops, soak 1 cup of hickory or oak wood chips in water for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the soaked chips to the high-heat area of the grill until they begin to smolder. Grill the chops as directed, covering the grill to trap the smoke.

2 cups Marinated Fire-Roasted Peppers
4 bone-in pork rib chops, each 1 to 1½ inches thick (about 3 pounds total)
½ cup Sage and Savory Rub
Oil for coating grill grate
¾ cup Sweet, Hot, and Sour BBQ Sauce, heated.

1. Prepare the fire-roasted peppers up to 1 week ahead, cutting the peppers into narrow strips.
2. Trim any excess fat from the chops. Scatter the rub over the chops, patting it in with your fingers. Let the chops rest at room temperature for 1 hour, or refrigerate in a zipper-lock bag for up to 6 hours.
3. Heat the grill as directed. If you refrigerated the rubbed chops, let them come to room temperature before grilling, about 30 minutes.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the chops on the grill, cover, and cook over high heat until nicely grill-marked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat under the chops to medium-low (on a gas grill) or move the chops to the low-heat area (on a charcoal or wood grill), cover, and grill for another 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium (about 145°F). Brush with about ½ cup of the barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Just before serving, mix the peppers with the remaining ¼ cup barbecue sauce. Serve with the chops.

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