How to Make Pork Chops Juicy & Flavorful

I’ve talked about this before and it’s my sure-fire method of how to make pork chops juicy & flavorful.

The secret weapon is brining the meat. It’s the best way to insure that you have juicy pork chops.

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Once I’ve brined them, I add a spicy rub to the chops and let that sit for a while at room temperature before baking.

How to Make a Brine

Making a wet brine is a very easy recipe. It just takes a little forethought as you need to let your pork chops sit in the brine for a bit.

pork chops in brine mixture

My recipe for basic brine is made up of very simple ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of kosher salt and 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 quart (4 cups) of water.

You can leave it at that but if I have fresh herbs and lemons around, they go into the brine.

How Long Should you Brine Pork

Pork doesn’t need to brine for as long as something like a turkey or whole chicken as it can start to break down the meat.

I brine my chops for as little as 30 minutes and up to two hours.

What do You Do After You Brine?

When I take pork chops out of the brine, I rinse them and then pat them dry with paper towels.

I then place them in a baking pan and coat them with my spicy rub.

I let them sit for another 30 minutes or so at room temperature so that the rub soaks into the chop and then bake.

Cooking Pork Chops

Place the pork chops in a baking dish that is just large enough to hold them all closer together. When all the chops are nestled together in the pan they bake more evenly and they stay moist.

Juicy Pork Chops with Brine and Rub

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Brine Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brine meat, brine pork, juicy pork chops, pork chops, spicy pork chops
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Brine

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • fresh herbs (optional) I used thyme, rosemary, parsley, and oregano
  • sliced lemon (optional)
  • garlic cloves (optional)

Rub

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper I use 1/4 tsp as I like mine pretty spicy

Pork

  • 4 pork chops I typically use thick-cut pork chops

Instructions

Brine

  • Combine water with salt and sugar, and stir until dissolved. Add the pork chops and any optional items.
  • Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • 1/2 hour before you are ready to cook, take the pork chops out of the brine, rinse under water and pat dry with paper towels.

Rub

  • While chops are brining, combine all the rub ingredients together
  • When chops are done brining, coat both sides of each pork chop with about 1 tsp of the rub mixture. Let sit either on a plate or in the prepared 9 x 9 baking dish.
  • Store remaining rub in an air-tight container

Baking

  • Preheat the oven to 375° – cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes or until you have an internal temperature of 145° using a digital instant-read thermometer.
  • Let the pork chops rest for 4-5 minutes

Notes

For best results, I typically use thick-cut pork chops for this recipe. You can use either thick boneless pork chops or bone-in pork chops. Bone-in pork chops tend to give the meat even more flavor and will require a longer cooking time. 
You could also cook these on the stovetop over medium-high heat, in a cast iron pan using a few tbsp of olive oil. 

Is this a Healthy Pork Chop Recipe?

Not only is this a healthy recipe, but it’s also an easy pork chop recipe for busy weeknights.

The meat doesn’t absorb the sugar and the salt, it changes the structure of the proteins, allowing them to absorb more moisture.

If you are watching your sodium intake, you should probably do more research as I’m not a doctor. You can also eliminate the salt in the rub.

Tools you’ll need

What to Serve with Pork

corn medley as a side for pork chops
  • Green Onion – Lime Rice
    • I made this recipe this week with our pork chops and it was amazing!
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Corn on the cob
  • Side Salad
  • Potato Pancakes

Some other Brined Recipes

I love whole roasted chicken and I make it at least once a month. That is another recipe that I use brine to enhance the moisture and flavor of the chicken meat. You can find that recipe HERE

How to Make Pork Chops Juicy & Flavorful

I have never been a fan of pork.

But “Handy” loves it!

With this brine and rub recipe, I’m able to enjoy these pork chops that are juicy and flavorful!

Enjoy –

Peace,

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    4 Comments

    1. Do you think you could use this brine recipe for a pork loin that seems to cook very dry?

      1. You absolutely can. I brine just about every cut of pork – it makes such a big difference.

    2. oooh! This sounds delicious. I’m definitely trying this.

      1. Brining makes all the difference!

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