The interesting about smoked pork chops is that they come partially cooked or fully cooked, so they are much easy to prepare and use as part of any recipe. While there are different ways to cook smoked pork chops, the key to preparing the perfect smoked chops is to cook them lightly such that they retain that rich smoky flavor and don’t dry out. What should guide your cooking process is a safe internal cooking temperature that’s usually indicated on the label of store-bought pork chops.
Pre-cooked smoked pork chops are prepared by hot or cold smoking. Pork chops prepared by hot smoking come fully cooked and are safe to eat straight out of the package. Cold-smoked pork comes partially cooked and is not entirely safe to eat out of the package.
Smoked pork chops are typically sold bone-in. Nonetheless, you can buy boneless chops as well. Bone-in pork chops are recommended because they’re less likely to overcook, compared to boneless chops.
In this article, we’ll take a look at different ways to cook cold-smoked pork chops that have not been fully cooked. Hot-smoked pork chops don’t need much cooking. We’ll also take a look at how you can smoke raw pork chops by yourself at home, if you have the required supplies.
Three Different Methods To Cook Smoked Pork Chops
There are quite a number of ways to cook smoked pork chops, but in this article, we’ll be looking at grilling, frying, and oven baking. While there’s an unending list of foods to serve with pork chops, we recommend that you don’t mas the delicious smoky flavor by over-complicating your recipe.
1. Grilling Smoked Pork Chops
In addition to preserving the rich taste of smoked pork chops, grilling also delivers the visual appeal of adding grill marks to smoked pork chops.
- To get started, prepare your charcoal by building a medium-hot fire. If you have a gas grill, turn it on and set it to medium heat.
- Brush the grill grates lightly with vegetable oil or olive oil to ensure that the meat does not stick to the grates.
- Place the meat on the grates about 5 inches away from the direct heat source. Cook each side of the pork chop for 5 minutes. If meat is thicker than ½”, cook on either side for 7 minutes each.
- The internal temperature of the pork chop should reach a safe internal temperature 140°F.
- Serve immediately
2. Cooking Smoked Pork Chops in Oven
Cooking your smoked pork chop in an oven is arguably the easiest method. Plus, it is largely a hand-free method.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- As the oven preheats, put a cast-iron skillet or any other oven-safe pan over your stovetop and set the stove to medium or medium-high heat
- Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil or olive oil to the skillet/pan
- As soon as the oil heats up, place the pork chop in the skillet/pan
- Fry for 3 – 4 minutes on one side and turn the heat off
- Turn the pork chop over, remove the skillet/pan from the stovetop, and place it in the oven.
- You can transfer the pork chop into a baking pan before moving to the oven if the frying pan is not oven-safe
- Roast pork chop in the oven for 20 minutes
- Check the internal temperature of the pork chops with a meat thermometer. You want to make sure that it’s up to a safe internal temperature of 145°F
- Serve immediately
3. Cooking Pork Chop on Stovetop
This is another common and easy way to cook smoked pork chops. If an oven is not readily available or if you live in city areas with minimal or no exterior space for grilling, you can cook your delectable smoked pork chop on your stovetop.
- Heat some butter or oil in a non-stick skillet over medium or medium high-heat
- Heat the oil until it starts shimmering, but not so much that it starts to smoke
- Place your pork chop in and cook for 3 – 4 minutes
- Turn the pork chop over and cook the other side for 2 – 3 minutes
- You can cover the skillet after turning to fasten the cooking
- Serve immediately
How to Smoke Pork Chops at Home?
It is always more convenient to buy pre-smoked pork chops to cook. However, you can smoke raw pork yourself, if you have the right resources. Smoking your pork chops at home gives you more control over the seasoning and amount of smoke the meat is exposed to. What’s better? You also get to use your preferred wood chips.
Preparing the Pork Chops
You can get your chops prepackaged at the supermarket, or you can get them directly from your butcher. You can choose either bone-in or boneless pork chops, but boneless chops tend to cook faster and they run the risk of overcooking before they can absorb sufficient smoke flavor.
Furthermore, you may soak your raw pork chops in brine before you smoke them. Brining is optional but it helps the meat retain moisture while you smoke, ensuring that you get flavorful and juicy results.
To prepare brine solution for smoking pork chops, mix 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar with 15 ounces of apple juice, and add a couple of pinches of kosher salt. You can also add your preferred seasonings to the mix. We recommend that you add some tablespoons of brown sugar and some fresh herbs.
Pour the brine solution with all the ingredients into a non-metallic container and add the pork chops. Make sure the brine covers the meat entirely. Cover the container and place it at the bottom level of your refrigerator and let it sit for two hours. In place of a non-metallic container, you can use a zip-top bag.
Next, remove the pork chop from the brine solution, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub some store-bought or homemade seasoning all over the pork.
Smoking the Chops
Preheat your smoker to around 225°F. Put the chops on the smoker grate and close the smoker. Cook until the internal temperature gets to 110°F. This could take 30 – 45 minutes for averagely sized pork chops.
Remove the meat and cover with aluminum foil. While you do this, increase the temperature settings of the smoker to 450°F. Return the meat to the smoker and cook till the internal temperature reaches 130°F. Turn the pork chop on the smoker grate and cook until the internal temperature gets to 145 degrees. Your smoked pork chop is now ready.
If you’re a BBQ enthusiast or if you just love unique smoky flavors, you’ll surely love the distinctive taste of smoked pork chops. They are characteristically easy to prepare and versatile enough to be used in a variety of recipes.
Today, you don’t have to necessarily go through the relatively long process of smoking pork chops yourself, as you can easily buy already smoked pork chops. However, you can always smoke your raw chop, if you have the needed ingredients and equipment. Good luck with your practice and remember to follow Hempen Hill BBQ so you don’t miss any of our new articles.