Smoked Brown Sugar-Brined Pork Chops

Smoked Brown Sugar-Brined Pork Chops

Looking for a sweet and spicy dinner? Then check out this smoked pork chops recipe.

Prep Time



Total Time






cup packed brown sugar
cup salt
dried bay leaves
clove garlic, crushed
teaspoon whole black peppercorns
cups water
bone-in center-cut pork loin chops, about 1 inch thick (4 to 5 lb)
to 6 chunks wood for smoking (hickory, mesquite or apple)*
tablespoons packed brown sugar
teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon black pepper
teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  1. In 2-gallon-size heavy-duty resealable plastic food-storage bag, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, the salt, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns and 4 cups water. Seal bag and squeeze to mix until sugar and salt have dissolved. Place pork chops in bag of brine; seal bag. Refrigerate at least 3 hours but no longer than 8 hours.
  2. Cover wood chunks with water; soak at least 30 minutes.
  3. Drain wood chunks. Prepare and heat smoker using wood chunks and adding water to water pan following manufacturer’s directions.
  4. Meanwhile, remove pork chops from brine; discard brine. Blot pork chops dry with paper towels. In small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons brown sugar, the garlic powder, black pepper and red pepper. Rub each side of pork chops with slightly less than 1 teaspoon brown sugar mixture.
  5. Arrange pork chops 1 inch apart on top and bottom smoker racks. Cover and smoke about 1 hour 30 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in center of pork reads 160°F (pork will remain pink when done). If smoking stops, add additional wood chunks through side door of smoker.
Makes 6 servings
Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens
*2 cups hickory, mesquite or apple wood chips can be substituted.
About Brining
Brining foods is now very trendy, but it's actually a centuries-old process. A brine is a marinade consisting of water and salt, with sugar, herbs or spices added for flavor. The concentration of salt in the water causes the food being brined (usually meat, poultry and fish) to absorb more of the water than if it were soaked in a traditional marinade containing a lot of acid ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar. The added moisture stays in the food during smoking or grilling, making it very moist but not too salty.

Nutrition Information:

1 Serving (1 Serving)
  • Calories 180
    • (Calories from Fat 70),
  • Total Fat 8g
    • (Saturated Fat 2 1/2g,
    • Trans Fat 0g),
  • Cholesterol 60mg;
  • Sodium 430mg;
  • Total Carbohydrate 6g
    • (Dietary Fiber 0g,
    • Sugars 6g),
  • Protein 21g;
Percent Daily Value*:
    • 0 Starch;
    • 0 Fruit;
    • 1/2 Other Carbohydrate;
    • 0 Skim Milk;
    • 0 Low-Fat Milk;
    • 0 Milk;
    • 0 Vegetable;
    • 0 Very Lean Meat;
    • 3 Lean Meat;
    • 0 High-Fat Meat;
    • 0 Fat;
    Carbohydrate Choices:
    • 1/2;
    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.