This smoked pork chops recipe is loaded with garlic, fresh herbs and lemon and is topped with an optional garlic butter sauce! When cooked low and slow, smoked pork steaks are tender, juicy and infused with a subtle smoky flavor.
We utilize the reverse searing method when cooking smoked pork chops on the grill. By reverse searing the pork chops you lock in the moisture and create a perfectly seasoned crust to compliment the juicy interior.
More smoker recipes for your kitchen play book: Smoked Whole Chicken, Smoked London Broil, Coulotte Steak, Smoked Lamb Chops, Smoked Turkey, Smoked Beef Tenderloin and Smoked Prime Rib
This smoked pork chop recipe takes minimal ingredients, which is always a bonus.
- Thick Cut Pork Rib Chops (1.5″-2″)
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Unsalted Butter
Brine For Pork Chops
When smoking pork chops, we don’t use a pork chop brine. The low and slow cooking method leaves the pork steak with a buttery soft inside. If we have time, we do dry rub the pork chops an hour in advance to let the salt do its thing.
If you prefer to brine your chops, you’ll find a great smoked pork chops brine in the recipe card below.
How Long To Smoke Pork Chops
It takes anywhere between 45 – 90 minutes to smoke a pork chop. It depends on the thickness of the chop and the grill in which you’re using.
Anytime it takes over 60 minutes, we do a quick spritz with apple juice (or water, apple cider vinegar) to help maintain moisture.
How To Make Smoked Pork Chops
Smoked pork chops recipes work great on any electric smoker, gas grill, or manual smoker. We provide instructions for all methods.
- Gas Grill – Turn your burners on low. If you find it going over 225° F, turn off a burner or two to get it as close as possible. Create smoke by using a smoker box filled with wood chips/chunks.
- Charcoal – Pre-heat the coals and dump them in the center of the grill. Open the vents as needed to maintain the temperate at 225° F. Create smoke by placing wood chunks directly on the pre-heated coals, right before cooking.
- Pellet/Electric Smoker – To make pork chops on pellet grill, pre-heat your grill to 225° F. Follow the manufacture’s instructions to get an even smoke.
Temperature of Pork Chops
The USDA updated their guidelines in 2011 for pork chops. The new minimum safety temperature is 145° F, with a 3 minute rest time, which is considered medium-rare.
The old temperature was 165° F, which explains all those dry pork chops you grew up eating and why they have a bad rap.
- Energy Source – Charcoal, pellets, propane, gas, etc.
- Smoking Wood – Chunks, chips or pellets.
- Smoker Box – You’ll need one to impart the smoke flavor if using a gas grill.
- Water Bottle – Use it to spritz the pork chops while cooking. We use an inexpensive spray bottles from Amazon.
- Thermometer – Always use a meat thermometer. Always. Our go-to digital thermometer is the Thermaworks Dot. It never fails.
Since pork is a delicate meat, stick with a light smoke from cherry wood, apple wood, or even pecan. Apple is our go-to when smoking pork chops.
Smoked Boneless Pork Chops
Our smoked pork chops recipe is tested and written using bone-in pork rib chops. Boneless pork chops, and other bone in pork chops, will work as well. However, you’ll need to watch the time closely to make sure you don’t overcook. To ensure they stay juicy, we would brine them for an hour prior.
Side Dish Ideas
Anything goes when it comes to pork recipes. We love making potato recipes or smoked vegetable recipes when will grill. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts
Instant Pot Mushrooms in Garlic Butter Sauce
- Smoked pork chop recipes work best with thick cut pork chops, ideally between 1.5 – 2″. Ask your butcher to cut thick slices for you if you don’t see them displayed.
- These directions for smoking pork chops will work with the majority of dry rub recipes, not just our lemon and herb pork chop dry rub. Consider a Creole Seasoning, BBQ rub or Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
- Make sure your grates are greased! The chops will stick if they aren’t rubbed down with oil.
- Anytime it takes over 60 minutes, we do a quick spritz with apple juice (or water, apple cider vinegar) to help maintain moisture.
- Reverse searing the pork chops is optional. Feel free to skip if you’re not one for a crust or pretty exterior.
- Always use a thermometer. You want to cook based on temperature not time. Our go-to digital thermometer is the Thermaworks Dot. It never fails.
- Serve with slices of lemon as an extra hit of lemon juice, at the end, adds brightness.
- Make an extra batch of garlic herb butter and use in on Denver Steak.
Pour yourself a glass of buttery Chardonnay or even Pinot Noir.
OPTIONAL: PORK CHOP BRINE
- 1 cup Apple Juice
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- ½ cup Kosher Salt
- 4 Bone-in Pork Rib Chops (At least 1.5" Thick) (*Note 1)
- 2 small Lemons, Zested
- 1.5 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 2 tbsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- Optional Garnish: Fresh Parsley
GARLIC COMPOUND BUTTER
- ¼ cup Unsalted Butter, Softened (*Note 2)
- 1 Garlic Clove, Grated or Finely Minced
- ½ tbsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- ½ tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- ⅛ tsp Fine Sea Salt
OPTIONAL: PORK CHOP BRINE
- Add the apple juice, brown sugar and salt to a large saucepan along with 1 quart of water. Bring to a low boil, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Add 1 quart of ice water to quickly cool the brine. Transfer to a large container, along with the pork chops, and refrigerate for an hour. (*Note 3)
GARLIC COMPOUND BUTTER
- Add all the ingredients to a small mixing bowl and mash together to combine. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Pre-heat the grill to 225°F, making sure it's well greased. If using a manual smoker, aim to keep it between 200°F - 225°F. Add your wood of choice right before adding the pork chops.
- Add the lemon zest, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper to a small bowl and use your fingers to mix.
- Pat the pork chops with a paper towel to dry. Coat evenly with the rub.
- Transfer the pork to the grill and close the lid. Smoke for 45-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 135. Remove the pork from the grill and set aside.
REVERSE SEARING (2 OPTIONS)
- SMOKER - Turn your grill up to high. Once heated, sear the pork for 45 seconds on both sides to brown. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before topping with the compound butter and serving.STOVETOP - Add enough oil (approx. 1-2 tbsp) to cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet and pre-heat over medium-high heat until it's scorching hot (it will start to smoke a little). This will take approx. 3-5 minutes. (*Note 4). Once heated, sear the pork for 45 seconds on both sides to brown. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before topping with the compound butter and serving.