If you are looking for a great recipe for smoked pork chops to cook on your pellet grill then I have you covered! Pork chops are fast and easy to smoke and adapt well to a variety of flavor combinations.
Let me walk you through how I smoke pork chops so you can make them yourself!
Start with the Right Pork Chops
The key to this recipe is to start with a great pork chop. You might think that is obvious but a LOT of folks screw up at this stage.
There are two things you want to look for when selecting pork chops to go on your smoker:
- At LEAST One Inch Thick
- A Real Pork Chop
Thin cut pork chops are great for grilling but tend to dry out easily in a smoker. You want a chop that is at least an inch thick so it will cook slow enough to take on some smoke flavor but not so fast that it overcooks and dries out.
You will also want to make sure that you are cooking a REAL pork chop and not a slices of pork loin. Real pork chops have a bone and will be the equivalent cuts as either a Porterhouse or Ribeye steak.
A lot of supermarkets will slice up a pork loin and sell the slices as “Boneless Pork Chops” and, while they have their uses, they simply are not as tasty as a real pork chop.
Get the Pork Chops Ready for the Smoker
Once you have you pork chops picked out it is time to get them ready for the smoker.
A lot of recipes will instruct you to brine or marinade the pork chops but, while that does add some flavor, this is not an essential step.
If you want to take the time to brine your chops then make up the following brine solution and soak the chops in the refrigerator for about four hours.
Pork Chop Brine
- 2 quarts water
- 1/4 cup table salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
I like the chops better when I brine them but I rarely plan things far enough in advance to take advantage of this step!
Season with a Dry Rub
Season each pork chop liberally on all sides with a dry rub. I used a commercial blend, Meat Mitch Rub, and can also recommend Bone Sucking Sauce Dry Rub.
If you want to make your own rub then here is one that I used for Smoked Pork Steaks that is pretty dang tasty.
Dry Rub for Smoked Pork Chops
- 1/4 cup smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup seasoned salt (Mortons)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Let the rub soak into the meat for about 20-30 minutes so it can pull some water out of the chops and start to dissolve.
Smoke the Pork Chops at 225F
Turn on your pellet grill and set the temperature to 225F.
I was cooking on a Z Grills pellet grill but this recipe works just fine on a Pit Boss or Traeger.
Hickory pellets are an excellent choice for pork chops though some folks prefer the milder smoke from apple pellets. Honestly, the choice of pellets is not that important as long as you are not using nasty mesquite.
Get the pork chops on the smoker and let them cook for about 45 minutes. We are aiming for a finished internal temperature of 140-145F and after 45 minutes the chops are NOT done and should be at around 125F.
At the 45 minute mark flip the chops over and apply the glaze or sauce of your choice. For this cook I pulled out one of my all time favorite sauces for pork, Thai Sweet Chili.
After the chops have been sauced, close the lid and let them cook for about another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140F as measured by a digital thermometer.
How Did the Smoked Pork Chops Taste?
Not to brag but these chops were freaking fantastic.
The sweet and slightly spicy Thai glaze works miracles with the saltiness of smoked pork.
The chops were extremely juicy even without the brining step. Because I used a real pork chop that actually had some fat in it the meat had a succulence that you just can’t get from a sliced up pork loin.
What Would I Change?
The only two things that I would consider changing are the dry rub and the smoke.
The one flavor note that really works well with pork but was missing in this recipe is citrus. If I had a readily available supply of dried orange peel powder then I would include some with the dry rub.
It is hard to get a lot of smoke into a cut of meat that is only on a pellet grill for an hour. I was satisfied with the smokiness of these chops but the meat could have used just a touch more. The next time I cook these I might place a small smoker tube filled with smoldering hickory pellets on the cooking grate.
Smoked Pork Chops
- 2 Pork Chops At least one inch thick.
- 3 tbsp Dry Rub for Pork Meat Mitch Rub
- 3 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- Make Your Own Pork Chop Dry Rub Optional
- 1/4 cup smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup seasoned salt Morton's or Lawry's
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Season the pork chops on all sides with plenty of dry rub.
- Let the rub melt into the pork chops for about 20 minutes.
- Turn on your pellet grill and set the temperature to 225F.
- Put the chops on the grill and smoke for about 45 minutes.
- Flip the chops over and baste with the Thai Sweet Chili sauce or your sauce of choice.
- Continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until an internal temperature of 140-145F is reached.