How to make it

  • 1. FOR THE PORK CHOPS: Dissolve salt in 2 quarts water in large bowl or container. Submerge chops in brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 2. FOR THE SPICE RUB: Combine ingredients in small bowl. Measure 2 teaspoons mixture into medium bowl and set aside for sauce. Transfer remaining spice rub to pie plate or large plate.
  • 3. FOR THE SAUCE: Whisk ingredients in bowl with reserved spice mixture; set aside.
  • 4. TO COOK CHOPS: Remove chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Coat both sides of chops with spice rub, pressing gently so rub adheres. Pat chops to remove excess rub; discard excess rub.
  • 5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Following illustration below, place chops in skillet in pinwheel formation; cook until charred in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. Flip chops and continue to cook until second side is browned and charred and center of chop registers 130 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 4 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer chops to clean plate or baking sheet. Lightly brush top side of each chop with 2 teaspoons sauce.
  • 6. Wipe out pan with paper towels and return to medium heat. Add remaining teaspoon oil and heat until just smoking. Add chops to pan, sauce-side down, and cook without moving until sauce has caramelized and charred in spots, about 1 minute. While cooking, lightly brush top side of each chop with 2 teaspoons sauce. Turn chops and cook until second side is charred and caramelized and center of chops registers 140 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
  • 7. Transfer chops back to plate or baking sheet, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Internal temperature should rise to about 145 degrees. Meanwhile, add remaining sauce to pan and cook, scraping pan bottom, until thickened to ketchup-like consistency and reduced to 2/3 cup, about 3 minutes. Brush each chop with 1 tablespoon reduced sauce and serve immediately, passing remaining sauce at table.
  • Note: Searing Chops Getting pork chops to lie flat and cook evenly requires two simple techniques. Problem: Pork chops buckle during cooking. Solution: Cut two slits about 2 inches apart through fat and connective tissue. Problem: Pork chops don't fit in the pan. Solution: Arrange pork chops in pinwheel fashion with tips of ribs pointing toward edge of pan.
  • Building Outdoor Flavor on the Stovetop:
  • 1. Apply Rub: After brining chops, coat both sides with dry spice rub, pressing gently to adhere. 2. Add Smoke: Combine sauce ingredients, including 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke. 3. Sear Chops: Place chops in skillet and don't move them until charred black spots develop. 4. Brush and Sear: Remove chops from pan, brush with sauce, and sear again to lacquer sauce onto the chops.

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