The most important thing to remember when making thick pork chips is to wait until the internal temperature reaches 145°F before removing them from the smoker and allow them to rest for 5 minutes. This will guarantee a chop that is juicy, no matter the thickness.
Thick Pork Chops Cooking Time
The cooking time ranges from 50 minutes to 120 minutes depending on how thick the meat is and the temperature at which you are cooking the meat. Be sure to give yourself enough time to properly prepare your chops – you don’t want to rush them.
The most crucial factor is to wait until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, so always keep an eye on your pork chop and make sure to use a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the chop to get an accurate reading.Print
Tips to Keep Pork Chops Moist When Smoking
Wrap the meat. Wrapping with foil can help keep moisture in, ensures juices are not lost while cooking, and locks in the flavors from marinades or rubs!
Marinate the meat. Marinades add flavor and moisture to the meat and keep it from drying out during cooking!
Smoke low and slow. Smoking at lower temperatures allows more time for smoke penetration into the meat than high heat. This helps build up layers of flavor and keeps things nice and tender!
Add water. Place a bowl of water in your smoker to keep the temperature down and prevent burning.
Season the meat. Seasoning makes it more flavorful and gives it a nice crusty exterior that holds in moisture. It is best to let the meat sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before smoking it so that the seasoning can penetrate the meat.
Keep the lid of the smoker down. Keeping that lid closed will help trap moisture and keep things from drying out too much while still allowing smoke from your wood chips to penetrate the meat.
Use indirect heat. Keep heat from drying out your meat, by placing it farther away from the heat source.
Allow your smoked meat to rest before serving. Doing this ensures all those tasty juices have time to soak into the meat instead of being lost on your plate when slicing into it right away.
What is the Best Pork Chop Cut to Use for Smoked Pork Chops?
The four most common pork chops are rib chops, loin chops, boneless chops, and shoulder chops. Rib chops are the best pork chop cut to use for smoked pork chops.
Rib chops come from the pork’s rib section (which is no surprise). They’re the most desirable meat for smoking because they’re incredibly tender and have an intense meaty flavor. The least favored piece of meat for smoking is the shoulder chop – while it can become tender if slow-cooked, it’s harder to get a good result.
A center-cut rib is perfect for smoking because it’s a bone-in pork chop. This means that this piece of meat has bones in it, making it more moist and tender. Another added benefit of bones is that they make the meat more flavorful – bone marrow can also contribute to this enhancement. A disadvantage is that it will take longer to cook than boneless pork chops.
What Type of Wood Chips Should Be Used for Smoking Thick Pork Chops?
Not all woods are created equal. Some woods will give your meat a smoky flavor, while others will bring out sweetness or earthiness. So, what wood chips should you use on your Traeger pellet grill to smoke the perfect thick pork chops?
The best combinations of wood chips that go well with pork meat are:
Hickory: This is one of my favorite woods because its strong, authentic smoky flavor goes well with pork. It has a great way of bringing out the natural flavor of pork.
Applewood: This type of wood is excellent for smoking thick pork chops. It has a mild, sweet, and fruity flavor that pairs well with the meat’s taste and is also known to work great with vegetables—the best of both worlds.
Maple: This type of wood is also suitable for smoking thick pork chops. It has a mild smoke flavor (with a tinge of sweetness) that pairs well with the meat’s taste.
Cherry wood chips are another favorite among experienced smokers because they give meats a sweet flavor profile that pairs well with almost any meat (especially pork).
What is the Best Brine for Thick Pork Chops?
Treating pork chops with brine is the best way to guarantee juicy, moist pork chops bursting with flavor. A good brine for pork chops will leave the meat very tender when cooked and has a slightly salty taste.
Tips for Brining Pork Chops
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavor combinations that pair well with pork chops. Some recommended seasonings include garlic cloves, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
- After your pork chops have been soaked in brine, you can rinse the meat or pat it dry. Patting it dry with a paper towel is the preferred method.
- If your meat is thin, it will require less time to brine. The thicker it is, the more time it has to brine. Pretty straightforward. However, it’s recommended that you only brine your pork chops for up to 4 hours.
- Make sure any added sugar and salt are completely dissolved in your brine.
- You can reduce the amount of water in most brine recipes and add 2 cups of apple juice for extra sweetness.
What Rub Should Be Used for Thick Pork Chops?
While a classic BBQ sauce and a perfect side dish are a must, the addition of a dry rub should not be ignored when preparing pork.
Sea Salt and Garlic Powder
You can’t go wrong with this classic mix – you just have to combine equal parts salt and garlic powder (1 cup to 1 cup)
Sweet and Spicy Pork Rub
Combine 2 tsp of brown sugar with 1 tsp of paprika. Add a 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, chili powder, dry mustard, kosher salt, onion powder, and black pepper. Smother your chops with these spices and prepare for your tastebuds to dance!
Versatile Pork Chop Rub
This rub works for pork chops but is also great on chicken and beef. Simply combine the seasonings and sprinkle liberally over the meat before smoking.
How to Store and Reheat Thick Pork Chops
What’s the best way to reheat your pork chops to taste just as good as when you first cooked them?
Here are some tips for storing, refrigerating, and rewarming your thick pork chops.
1. Wrap the pork chops in foil – this will help keep them juicy while stored in the refrigerator.
2. Refrigerate your wrapped chop for at least three hours before reheating.
3. When you’re ready to re-heat perform the following steps:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and add 2 tbsp water to a pan.
- Remove the meat from its wrapping and place it into the pan.
- Place a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the meat as it sits in the pan – this will ensure both sides of the pork chops are evenly heated.
- Place in the oven at 350° Fahrenheit for 10 or 15 minutes. When reheated, the meat must reach 165 degrees F, so check with a meat thermometer before removing it from the oven.