- 1 oz. kosher salt (1/4 cup if using Diamond Crystal; 2 Tbs. if using Morton)
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3 T bs. dark brown sugar
- 2 T bs. unsulfured molasses
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 4 bone-in pork rib chops (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches thick; 2 to 3 lb. total)
- 1 Tbs. sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 Tbs. dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. ground dried sage
- 1-1/2 tsp. dry mustard
- 1 tsp. ground cayenne
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
Brine the pork chops
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups warm water with the brine ingredients; stir until dissolved. Add 1 cup ice to the bowl and stir to quickly cool the brine to at least 45°F. Put the chops in a 9x9-inch (or similar size) baking dish and pour the brine over the chops. They should be submerged. Cover with plastic wrap and put on a tray (in case of spills); refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours (3 hours for thinner chops, 4 hours for thicker ones). Remove the chops from the brine (discard the brine), and pat them dry.
*Tip: It's always a good idea to brine pork before grilling it. It's a mild, lean meat that needs the extra flavor and moisture that brining provides.
Make the spice rub
Combine all of the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
Grill the chops
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for indirect cooking over medium-high heat (400°F to 450°F).
Sprinkle 2 to 3 Tbs. total of the spice rub generously over all sides of the chops. Grill the chops over direct heat, flipping once, until dark brown grill marks form on both sides, about 2 minutes per side (move them to indirect heat if any flare-ups occur). Once the chops are well marked, move them to the cooler side of the grill, cover, and cook until their internal temperature registers 140°F to 145°F on an instant-read thermometer, 4 to 6 minutes more per side. Transfer the chops to a serving platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
The spice rub will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.
For a terrific smoky-sweet side, grill a few halved, pitted, ripe peaches and serve them with the chops.
nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 350; Fat (g): 20; Fat Calories (kcal): 180; Saturated Fat (g): 7; Protein (g): 36; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 4; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): 730; Cholesterol (mg): 100; Fiber (g): 1