Brining pork chops is like upgrading to premium cable; once you do it, you can't go back to basic. Dissolve salt and molasses in water, toss in the chops, and wait. What do you get from such little effort? A pork chop that's seasoned from the inside out, with a firm, but very moist texture.

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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine salt, molasses, cloves, and boiling water in a large container. Stir until molasses and salt are dissolved; let cool to room temperature.

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  • Pour cold water into molasses mixture; stir to combine.

  • Completely submerge pork chops in molasses mixture. Cover container and refrigerate for 6 hours.

  • Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly oil each chop.

  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

  • Place pork chops on the hottest part of the grill; cook each side until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium-high area of the grill and cook pork until it is slightly pink in the center, 6 to 8 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chop should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Editor's Notes:

Chef John glazes these pork chops with his Carolina-Style Barbeque Sauce.

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary.

Always brine foods in a food-grade, non-reactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket. Never use ordinary trash bags, plastic trash cans, or metal buckets or containers not meant for food use.

Nutrition Facts

346.2 calories; protein 24.2g 48% DV; carbohydrates 31.2g 10% DV; fat 13.5g 21% DV; cholesterol 66.2mg 22% DV; sodium 11472.7mg 459% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (66)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
04/23/2012
I did this two ways -- one with a short brine (because I couldn't wait another day) and one with an overnight brine. Definitely worth the wait! The chops were juicy and delicious! Read More
(31)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
07/02/2012
Beautiful color but very little added in the way of flavor or juiciness. There was absolutely NO clove flavor whatsoever. I will try again and maybe brush the chops with a molasses and ground clove mixture. These also cry out for pepper. Read More
(10)
94 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 66
  • 4 star values: 19
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 4 stars
04/23/2012
I did this two ways -- one with a short brine (because I couldn't wait another day) and one with an overnight brine. Definitely worth the wait! The chops were juicy and delicious! Read More
(31)
Rating: 5 stars
06/28/2012
These were amazing! I had center cut, boneless chops from the supermarket (maybe 1" thick) that I brined for 6 hours. I grilled for a few minutes on each side until they reached 145. My kids don't like barbecue sauce, so I did half plain & the other half I basted with Sticky Fingers Carolina Classic barbecue sauce. Both turned out fabulous.! Just watch your temperature it would be a shame to overcook. Read More
(17)
Rating: 2 stars
07/01/2012
Beautiful color but very little added in the way of flavor or juiciness. There was absolutely NO clove flavor whatsoever. I will try again and maybe brush the chops with a molasses and ground clove mixture. These also cry out for pepper. Read More
(10)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/30/2012
Loved these chops! I cut the salt to 1/4c (would use 1/8c next time) but otherwise followed recipe. Deeelicious! So moist juicy & tender. Cut a bnls pork loin into 1" chops & they came out perfect. Try this with his Carolina BBQ sauce - excellent! Thank you Chef John - I love your videos & all the recipes I've made so far! Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
05/22/2012
I LOVED this! i grew up on molasses so was obvious i would like this but being in a brine it does become quite salty so try to pair with a sweet salad or sweet potato if salads scared you! Will make again! Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
06/11/2012
These are great! I only had about 2.5lbs of chops so I cut the salt down to 1/4 cup and only used about 4 cups of cold water. We grilled these and they were pefect! Lots of great flavor! I also made a Carolina style BBQ sauce on the side which added just the right amount of mustard/vinegar base to complement the molasses. Read More
(6)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/08/2012
Chef John Thank you thank you thank you! These are truly the best pork chops I have ever grilled and I have grilled quite a few. They are fantastic! Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
08/15/2012
Best pork chops I've had in ages. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
01/30/2013
Very good! Rainy night so ended up cooking in the oven. They turned out very juicy. By the way, if you omit the salt, you are marinating your pork chops, not brining them. Read More
(3)