Grilled Curry Rubbed Pork Chops

Summer BBQ’s are literally the only way to survive the Texas heat.  Without BBQ’s by the pool, you’ll likely melt into a puddle of misery.  The problem with cook-outs is that the food is incredibly boring and the quality of the food is usually questionable.  But here’s a solid recipe to prevent that from happening ever again; pork chops rubbed in curry and chili powder.  Curry Powder?  Yes, curry powder is good for more than just curry and these grilled curry rubbed pork chops will change your life.

The biggest problem most people face with grilled pork chops is dryness.  Shriveled, tough pork chops are seemingly ubiquitous, but there are a couple of steps you can take to prevent this:

  1. Thick-cut, bone-in loin chop – Keeping the bone helps moderate the temperature and protect from moisture loss and having a thick cut means that you more time to adjust the temperature before your chop is overcooked.
  2. Keep the fat – I’m not sure if people immediately trim fat from meat because they’re trying to save a few calories or for some other reason, but quit it!  When you leave the fat on the meat, it begins to render and drop down on the coals.  The smoke from the fat drippings adds another dimension of flavor that makes your pork chops not just tender, but amazingly full-flavored.
  3. Brine – Throw out your marinade because it’s not going to do much good here.  A brine, however, can penetrate the grilled pork chops making them tender and perfectly seasoned.  Don’t skip this part!
  4. Zones on your grill – it’s very important to have your super heated coals on one side of your grill, and the other side of your grill free of coals.  This allows you to sear your pork chops over super high heat, but then cook them more slowly to maintain optimum tenderness.
  5. Dry your meat – I know it’s counter intuitive to think that drying your meat will create a moist (I know some of you hate that word, but I don’t know how else to describe it.) and unctuous pork chop, but trust me on this one. If you dry your meat well, it takes away all the surface moisture.  This means that with no liquid buffer between the meat and the heat, your meat will caramelize to a beautiful crust sealing in the moisture (also called the Maillard Reaction for you food nerds).

Following these instructions will create the best grilled curry rubbed pork chops ever!  Also, this procedure can be used with all kinds of meat with much success.  For truly great grilled pork chops, you don’t need sticky sweet sauces or acidy marinades, just a simple rub and a hot grill! Happy grilling, folks!

Grilled Curry Rubbed Pork Chops
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author: Alais Petersen
Serves: 8
Inspired by America’s Test Kitchen’s Grilled Pork Chops
Ingredients
  • 1/3 Cup of table salt
  • 1/3 Cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 8 natural, bone-in pork chops, 1.5 inches thick
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 4 tsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Add the granulated sugar and table salt to the cold water in a very large bowl. Submerge the pork chops in the cold water, cover and let sit in the fridge for about 45 minutes.
  2. Mix the spices and brown sugar together in a small bowl.
  3. While the pork chops are in the brine, light your charcoal. Make sure that the charcoal you use is only on one side of the grill to heat. Cover the grill and let it heat up for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Cover the pork chops with the rub on both sides and gently push the rub into the pork.
  6. Once the grill is hot, scrape the grill clean with a grill brush. Take 3 paper towels, folded together, and dip them in vegetable oil. Working quickly and using a pair of tongs, brush the oiled paper towels quickly on the grill.
  7. Add the pork chops to the hot side of the grill. Quickly brown the outside and flip to the other side until both sides are well browned. About 2 minutes on each side.
  8. Transfer the pork chops to the cooler side of the grill, cover the grill and wait until the pork chop’s temperature is 145°, about 7 minutes.
  9. Pull the pork chops off the grill and tent with foil and let sit for 10 minutes, then enjoy!
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