One of the major challenges of smoking pork is that the well-known applications tend to take time. In the case of ribs or shoulder, it’s time on the grill; bacon, it’s a week in a brine.
So I share an approach which I successfully created yesterday. Because of the title, you’ve probably already guessed that I smoked pork chops. They don’t take nearly as long. (About an hour and a half for half-pound chops.)
So here’s the run-down:
- Meat: six half-pound pork chops (about an inch thick). Organic, from Jimbo’s, you know the drill.
- Rub: The Original Texas BBQ Rub (from TexasBBQRub.com). They don’t tell you exactly what’s in it, but will admit to sugar, cane syrup, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and garlic. Replace the sugar and cane syrup with brown sugar, and that’s a pretty good rub on its own.
- Wood: Peach. (Like the rub, this is from the in-laws’ Christmas gift.)
- Mist: Peach Lemonade. (I used Santa Cruz Organic’s.)
- Cooking Temperature: 250 degrees (Fahrenheit).
- Temperature Target: 140 degrees, then let rest for about five minutes. (As per the most recent USDA guidelines.) As mentioned before, the smoking should take around an hour and a half.
Prep is pretty simple: before you start smoking your peach chips, dust the pork with some of the rub to let it marinate a bit before you put it on the grill. Every time I turned the pork, I misted the top side of the chops with the lemonade, flipped the chops (remembering to rotate the closer chops away from the heat), and then dusted the other side with the rub.
Those of you who’ve read Mike Mills’ book will recognize the technique (only Mills builds around apple). The results are very similar; peach wood seems to add a very similar flavor to the smoke, and the peach lemonade sprayed well. (I avoided peach nectar because it’s thicker, and I wasn’t willing to risk my spray bottle to it.)
(Props to Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Barbecue Recipes, 1977 edition, for suggesting smoking pork chops; and Peace, Love, and Barbecue for the technique.)