Easy Smoked Pork Chops

You want succulent smoked pork chops with no hassle on the grill? Use double thick chops for the best results on your backyard cooker. Those thin cut chops, prepackaged for quick sale, just will not work for a perfectly cooked, juicy experience.

"Barbecue is the Mystical Communion of Fire, Smoke and Meat"

Please visit "The 6 Secrets" page, for competitor level barbecue tips!

We Use a Rub!

Our smoked pork chop recipe calls for a great seasoned sugar/salt based rub to ensure maximum flavor and moisture. You can use your own, or try our favorite.

Lets start with the stuff you'll need:

The Meat  To allow the smoke to penetrate properly, you want double thick (approx. 2" or 5cm) pork chops for this smoked pork chop recipe. The "low and slow" method of barbecue ensures juicy, tender, smoked meat.

If there are no packages of these wonderful chops at your market, ask the butcher to cut some for you. If you can get the blade chops, all the better, but loin chops are great also. We do both!

Patience  The real secret to succulent smoked pork chops is the Low and slow method of barbecue. About an hour for this recipe.

Gas/charcoal grill  For this smoked pork chops recipe, a gas grill, with at least two burners, is preferable for indirect cooking. For the charcoal grill, any well made kettle type grill (our very favorite is the Weber), or a sturdy classic horizontal charcoal grill, will work great. Any charcoal grill will require that you place the coals off to one side.

Hardwood chunks/chips  Use only hardwood for any smoking. For this smoked pork chop recipe we like Hickory, Oak, Mesquite, Cherry, Apple, etc.(or a combination), to your taste. A fruit woods are a lighter smoke, or 1/3 hickory and 2/3 apple, or pear wood, is also great.

Smoker box, or pouch  Some grills come with a Barbeque Smoker Box for the wood chips, but if your cooker does not have one, just make an envelope/pouch from heavy-duty aluminum foil, and put a couple of handfuls of pre-soaked (in hot water for about 10-15 minutes) chips on the foil. Fold into an envelope/pouch shape, and poke several holes in the top to release the smoke.

Tongs  To handle those chops (or any BBQ meat), long and strong is the secret, so we diched the ones that came with our numerous BBQ tool sets. We prefer, and suggest, no-nonsense professional types like the Weber Professional-Grade Chef's Tongs, or the Oxo Good Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs.

Oven/Grill thermometer  This tool is the only way you will really know what's going on inside the grill! We've learned not to rely on the "built in" ones. Our favorites are the Admetior Kitchen Oven Thermometer or the CDN High Heat Oven Thermometer.

Instant-Read probe type thermometer  To ensure the meat has reached the ideal temperature of 145°F/63°C, the two we use at the BBQ are the fast reading  CDN Proaccurate Quick Read Digital Thermometer, and the faster Thermoworks Super Fast Water-Resistant Digital Pocket Thermometer. The only instant-read thermometer that that we know to be faster, and another choice of professionals (albeit rather expensive), is the Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen - Instant Read Thermometer.

Chimney Starter  For the charcoal grill folks, this is by far best way to start, and maintain, the coals. If you are not using one of these, you're working too hard! Our favorite top performer is the Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter. Lot of chimney starters out there, but this is the champ.

Our Smoked Pork Chops start with a rub!

Please look at our Dry Rub Secrets for more on rub preparation.

You can adjust the recipe (as the "pros" do) to make it "yours".

Smoked Pork Rub Recipe

Mix together thoroughly the following:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Paprika
  • 2 tblsp coarse Salt (sea or kosher)
  • 2 tblsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tblsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Thyme Powder
  • 2 tsp Sage
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder

Prepare the meat...

NOTE: Pork should be always kept in the refrigerator (below 40°F/4.4°C) prior to preparation.

  • Rub the mixture on the pork chops liberally.
  • Wrap meat in plastic wrap, or a covered glass/plastic container, and place in the refrigerator for 2-48 hours. The longer the better!

Get the Grill Ready

  • For the gas grill folks, fire-up all burners, and get the temperature to hold around 275°F/135°C. We found it to be imperative that a good oven thermometer, placed on the meat side of the cooking grill, is used to ensure that the cooking temperature is true. Note that the lid thermometer will indicate a higher temperature, and that number should be used only as a reference.
  • Place the chip pouch over one burner (far left or right) and shut down the other burner(s). Close the grill and let the smoke get started. This will be the last time, during the cooking cycle, you will have anything to do with the smoke.

NOTE: Charcoal grill folks, if you use a charcoal lighter fluid, allow the coals to burn to a grey ash coating. There are several good "fire-starters" on the market that will not taint the meat, or impart potentially dangerous chemicals to the food.

  • For the charcoal grill, Use about 100 briquettes (6 lbs./2.7kg.) and fire-up the charcoal...we like the chimney charcoal starter because it's the quickest and easiest way to start the coals. If you use the pyramid method of starting the coals, bank them on one side of the grill.
  • Smoked pork chops on a charcoal grill require you control the temperature with the bottom/side vents on your grill. Open the vent for more oxygen (heat). Adjust the top vent half open.
  • Place the chip pouch over the coals, close the lid and allow the smoke to start.

Cook 'Em

NOTE: Always use tongs! Never use that forked, sharp, pokey-thing that seems to come with all backyard barbecue tool sets. It will pierce the meat, and allow the juices to run out.

  • Place the meat on the grill, bone side toward the fire, opposite side of the fire. When cooking pork chops, never let the meat overlap the fire. You cannot undo crispy or burnt chops! Close the lid and...
  • Resist peeking! You're loosing precious heat and smoke. Open the lid only far enough to do the job.
  • Gas grill: Use your oven thermometer to maintain the temperature at 275°F/135°C.
  • Check the pork with your instant read thermometer at the thickest part, looking for 145°F/63°C.
  • When temperature is "right there", move the chops over the fire, lid open, and let them brown-up (about 2 minutes each side).

Lets eat! 

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