We've all been feeling the pinch at the grocery store lately. Prices are going up, quality (in many cases) is going down. We are paying more for less too many times. However, I've found that pork has remained reasonably priced compared to chicken and beef. There are a lot of things you can do with pork and a number of cuts to choose from. For this brined pork chops on the grill with plum compote, I chose thick, bone-in, center-cut pork chops. Two thick chops were about $5 and you probably already have the brine ingredients in your pantry. You can scale this recipe up or down depending on how much you need.
Brining the Pork Gives You Flavor and Tenderness
Have you ever brined anything? With thick-cut pork chops like these, a brine will do wonders for the flavor and tenderness. It's real simple. Bring some water, brown sugar and salt to a simmer (not a boil) and stir it to make sure everything is dissolved. Remove from the heat, add cold water to that, stir it again. The cold water will bring the brine down to about room temperature. This is where you want it to be before you add your pork chops to the liquid. I added a few springs of rosemary to mine, which is optional. Then all you have to do is add your pork and let it soak for a few hours. You will.not.believe the incredible flavor and tenderness this gives the chops. Brined pork chops on the grill are a revelation.
How to Grill Pork with Direct and Indirect Heat
There are two ways to use indirect heat when grilling. The first way you can simply turn on one half of the grill and leave the other off. You can grill the pork chops directly on the heat on both sides. Then move the chops to the unlit side of the grill to let them "bake" inside the grill to finish cooking. The second is heating both sides of the grill and moving the food to the second-tier shelf away from the heat to finish cooking. Either of these options will work. For these pork chops, I chose the second method of moving the chops to the top shelf inside the grill to finish them.
All the Steps to Make this Brined Pork Chops on the Grill w/Plum Compote
Sweet & Tart Plum Compote Makes For a Fantastic Topping
These brined pork chops on the grill taste great on their own for sure, but if you want to go next-level with this, plum compote is the sweet and tart topping you've been dreaming of. I know many of you want a little apple sauce on the side with your pork. That's okay - I understand that. If that's what you want, that's what you should do. You'll be eliminating the cost of the plums too so that will make this more budget friendly. But if you're feeling a little adventurous, heating a bunch of plums with honey, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice will give you a gourmet topping for your chops. The best part is that you will have leftover compote which you can use to blend with your morning yogurt, to spread on your toast or spoon onto a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Yay!
Are You Craving More Recipes from the Grill? That's What I Thought:
- Awesome Grilled Chicken with Marinated Tomatoes
- Grilled Chimichurri Chicken Thighs
- Grilled Zucchini & Summer Squash w/Romesco Sauce
- Backyard BBQ w/Grilled Sriracha-Lime Chicken and Bacon-Stuffed Cheeseburgers
- MEAL PREP: Grilled Rosemary Chicken w/Broccoli & Sweet Potatoes
- MEAL PREP: Grilled BBQ Chicken Thighs w/Baked Potato & Asparagus
Sharing Meals with our Loved Ones is an Important Tradition
I really hope you give this one a try. I love pork chops yet somehow I don't make them too often because I'm usually obsessing over chicken. I'm going to try to make more pork recipes this fall/winter since they tend to be a bit more budget-friendly than chicken and beef. So stay tuned for more pork - IT'S COMING!
If you can make time each day to share homemade food with your friends and family, it gives us the opportunity to slow down for a few minutes. Put those silly screens away, I promise you won't melt. The world will not end in the 20-30 minutes you aren't checking for updates on everything. Get some face time with the people you care about the most. Break bread. Talk about your day and tell your stories. It's never been more important for us to reconnect in real time with our loved ones. Sharing meals is an important part of the human experience. Let's pass it along as much as we can.Print
Brined Pork Chops on the Grill with Plum Compote
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 6 portions 1x
Brined pork chops on the grill w/plum compote are a fantastic, flavorful dish with savory chops and a sweet & tart sauce.
- 5 cups water (divided)
- ¼ cup kosher salt (see note# 1 for regular salt amount)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
- 6 bone-in center cut pork chops (1 ½ to 1 ¾” thick) see note# 2
- 8 plums
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 juice from half a lemon
NOTE: You will need a large bowl or gallon-sized slider bags for this recipe
**PREP AND COOK TIME DOES NOT INCLUDE BRINING TIME**
- For the brine: Add 2 cups of water to a pot along with the salt and brown sugar. Cook on medium heat until it comes to a simmer. We are not boiling it, but bringing the water to that point just before the boil. Stir to make sure the salt and sugar is dissolved. Pull from heat and add 3 cups of cold water to the pot. This will bring the water down to about room temperature. Add rosemary sprigs to water and set aside.
- Unpackage your pork chops and divide them into two, gallon slider bags with three pork chops in each bag.
- Divide the brine between the two bags. Squeeze the air out of the bags and seal them. Lay them flat in your refrigerator for 3 hours. Turn the bags over halfway through – at the 1 ½ hour mark.
- Plan your time and shortly before the chops are ready to grill, make the plum compote.
- Slice the plums in half all the way around, then twist them apart. My video shows the whole process well.
- After you’ve twisted the plums apart, pick out the small pits in the middle.
- Slice the plums into wedges.
- Add plum wedges to a pot and add vanilla extract, honey, star anise (optional), sugar, salt, juice from half a lemon. Give a stir.
- Transfer pot to stovetop and cook on high heat for five minutes while stirring continuously.
- Turn heat to low and let the compote simmer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to bottom of pot or burning. I did this with the lid OFF. Taste it when done. If you think it needs more sugar or honey add it here. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Pre-heat your outside grill for 10 minutes on high. (see note # 3 about grills)
- Drain the brine from your slider bags and remove the pork chops. Blot them dry with paper towels before cooking on the grill.
- Spray your grill with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add the pork chops to the grill, close the lid and let them grill for 4 minutes on high.
- Open the lid and turn the chops, close the lid again and grill 4 minutes on the other side.
- Move chops to second-tier rack inside your grill. (see note #4 for alternate method of indirect heat). The chops are not cooked all the way through yet so we’ll finish cooking them using indirect heat. Move them to the upper rack, close the lid and let them cook another 10 minutes or so. When the internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees they are done. Use a food thermometer to check.
- Pull the chops from the grill and while they are cooling you can chop fresh parsley for a garnish if you choose to do so.
- Arrange the pork chops on a platter and garnish with fresh parsley and rosemary sprigs. I transferred the plum compote to a bowl so guests can serve themselves. Enjoy!
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