I had a plan – and, as usual, life got in the way.
My Memorial Day post was planned months ago – double cut pork chops, inspired by dinner at a local Italian restaurant. I have to kick off grilling season the right way, or I’ll get my food blogger license revoked.
Then spring sports season started, and I have been scrambling ever since. Saturday was going to be my big blog dinner until I realized the afternoon was a doubleheader, with me as the substitute coach for my daughter’s softball team. A leisurely dinner became: “quick, throw your cleats in the car, we have to pick up your brother and get to the grocery store for the pork chops!”
That’s OK – a quick brine, a hot fire, and double cut ribeye chops are ready in about a half an hour. You’ll have to special order these monsters – ask your butcher for double cut pork chops, or to cut a rack of pork every two bones, about 2 1/2 to 3 inches thick. These are monster chops – each one is enough to feed two normal people; two of them fed my family of five, with a couple of picky eaters in the kids.
There is no way to cook this thick of a chop over direct heat; it would burn way before the inside finished cooking. Instead, I sear and move – sear the chops over direct heat, move them to indirect heat, and finish them slowly with the lid closed, brushing them with an Italian inspired honey glaze. I cook the chops until my probe thermometer reads 145°F plus a 3 minute rest. This makes them safe to eat, according to the new USDA guidelines. But with chops this thick, they need a longer rest – say 10 minutes – so the juices don’t come rushing out when I cut into the pork.Print
Grilled Double Cut Ribeye Pork Chops With Rosemary, Honey, and Lemon Glaze
- 4 double cut pork ribeye chops (2 1/2 to 3 inches thick, about 1 pound each)
- 2 quarts water
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt (or 1/4 cup table salt)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Brine the chops, prepare the glaze: Stir the water, salt, and brown sugar until the salt dissolves, then pour over the ribeye pork chops. Brine the chops in the refrigerator for at least one hour, and up to eight hours. Right before lighting the grill, stir the glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. (I use a Pyrex 2 cup measuring cup as my bowl – the handle is easier to grab when working over the grill.)
- Set the grill for indirect high heat (450°F+): Prepare the grill for cooking with two zones – half the grill with direct high heat, and the other half with no heat – then brush the grill grate clean. On my Weber Summit, I turn all the burners to high, close the lid, and let the grill preheat for ten to fifteen minutes. Then I brush the grates clean with my grill brush, leave two burners on high, and turn the other burners off. (I want an internal grill temperature of 400°F or higher).
- Sear the chops over direct high heat: Remove the chops from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Put the chops on the grill grate, directly over high heat. Sear the chops, flipping every minute or two, until they are browned and crusty on both sides, about 8 minutes. (If you are cooking on a gas grill, rotate the steaks 90 degrees after the second flip to get a diamond crosshatch pattern on the steaks. This doesn’t matter as much with a charcoal grill – charcoal will brown the steaks regardless of the grate direction.)
- Indirect-roast the chops over indirect heat to 145°F: Move the chops to the indirect heat side of the grill, away from the fire, bone side down, and then brush with a coat of glaze. Close the lid and cook the chops; open the lid every five minutes, quickly brush the chops with another coat of glaze, and close the lid again. The chops are done when they reach an internal temperature of 145°F, about 20 minutes. Let the chops rest for at least 3 minutes, then serve.
- For medium-rare chops, cook to 135°F internal, about 15 minutes. (This is less than the USDA recommended temperature, but my wife likes her chops medium-rare. For medium-well, go to 155°F internal, about 25 minutes…but you’re going to dry out the chops.
- This recipe is inspired by dinner at Vaccaro’s Trattoria, my local high-end Italian restaurant. I set out to duplicate their Daily Special; a two bone pork chop served with sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.
- For regular eaters, one double-thick chop will serve two people. I served five…and wound up with two chops left over as leftovers.
- Category: Sunday Dinner
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: American
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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