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Brined Pork Chops plus Cooking tips!

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I find that pork chops are under appreciated. The unfortunate thing is, it's usually due to over cooking, which tends to happen a lot with pork. This is so tragic because our pork chops are so delicious and deserve to be cooked to perfection. This brine recipe really helps ensure great results! I have included all the tips and tricks for cooking that I have learned along the way. Everything takes practice, so give it a shot and keep trying until you love your results!


  • 2 pork chops (1 package)

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup salt

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • Sprinkle of pepper

  • Other favorite spices

  • Olive oil for frying

  • Butter or lard for frying


  1. In the morning, take out pork chops and put them in a dish, preferably one with a lid, that will allow them to sit side by side and not on top of each other (this is best to circulate the brine). Pork chops can be frozen or thawed. 

  2. Mix together ingredients in a small sauce pan. Heat minimally to dissolve the salt and sugar.

  3. Let cool a bit if needed before pouring over the pork chops. Place in the fridge***.

  4. When ready to cook, remove chops from the brine, rinse the chops off, and pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine. You can let the chops warm up a bit to room temperature if you have the time.

  5. Heat up a medium sized cast iron skillet (preferred method) to medium heat. You don't want the chops to be crowded in the pan. The goal is to have the skillet fairly hot but not too hot that it smokes. Add oil.

  6. Add butter or lard, about a tablespoon, don't skimp. Let it melt, then add the chops.

  7. You want to hear sizzling but you don't want them going instantly brown. Flip them over after about two minutes, you should see them starting to brown a little. Add butter or lard as needed.

  8. Flip again back to original side after another two minutes. Keep an eye on them, don't walk away and get distracted, this is a delicate process! Flip regularly to prevent the meat from cupping.

  9. There is only so much instructing I can do at this point, this is where practice comes in. If you are still getting pink juices coming out of the bones, give it another minute, on each side. But if your not, and your unsure, cut a piece open next to the bone. If the meat has a very slight pink tinge to it, that's ok, this won't go away. But if you are getting pink juices, give it a few more minutes in the pan. You can also check the temperature, in the middle of the chop, at 160°F they are done. This whole process shouldn't take more than fifteen minutes, max twenty minutes if you had the heat lower. 

  10. The final step is to take the chops out of the frying pan and to let them rest for a couple of minutes on a plate.

  11. Enjoy your delicious, tender pork chops! If they didn't turn out quite perfect, learn from your mistakes and try again. Cooking pork chops can be a hard thing to master, but once you do, you will be hooked!

***Do not let the chops get forgotten about or think that extra time brining will benefit them. The longer the chops are in the brine the saltier they will be, so longer is not better. If something does come up and you can't cook them for supper, just pour the brine out of the container and cook them when you can.

Key Points for Delicious Chops!

  • Ensure frying pan is hot before putting chops in the pan.

  • Try not to get nervous about raw meat and end up over cooking them. You can always put them back in the pan if they are a little under done, but you can't do anything if they are over cooked.

  • Let the chops rest a minute or two before eating.

  • And don't cut the fat off! This is one of the best parts about it! 

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