Monday, September 8, 2014

Smoked Pork Chops and Honey Orange Applesauce - 52 Small Batch Canning Ideas

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It's best if you try to do an impersonation when you say it... old Souls may remember W.C. Fields bellying up to a bar and ordering.  Anyone under 60 will remember Bobby Brady from the Brady Bunch do an inexplicable Humphrey Bogart or maybe a James Cagney impression when he proudly tried to develop a less boring personality by asking Alice to make...


Well,, here's my take on a cinematic classic combination...

The Chops are low and slow smoked Smoked Pork Loin Chops.  While a big piece of bone in chops would make for a very dramatic presentation, a whole boneless Pork Loin is the most cost effective way to go.  Sam's Club sells these for under $20... A HUGE bargain when you consider that all you have to do is slice it yourself and save those $5 a pound inch thick chops become only a couple of bucks apiece.

This dish was part of my Whoop de Doo meal I served to a couple dozen of my closest friends (See yesterday's post about grilled vegetables to see one of the side dishes I made).  But I digress... I sliced the chops much thinner than the inch thick size they should be.  It also made it very easy to serve these up for that size a crowd and still stay on budget.

Actually cooking the whole loin is more of a technique than an actual recipe.

Pork Loin are very dense, almost zero fat.  That's actually not good.  If you have ever had one of my Mom's over cooked hockey puck pan fried pork chops you know what I mean...  Tough and dry and tasteless.

There are a few tips to cooking pork successfully on the grill.  First is to always always always plan ahead and Brine your pork.  Brining for as little as 30 minutes and up to 4 hours or even overnight will make such a huge difference in how juicy and fork tender your pork turns out once you try brined white meat, you never go back.  Something this large, plan to brine for at least 8 hours.

Now there are plenty of sites that have recipes involving half a dozen spices in their brine, exotic liquids and more. Me, I just usually do a simple brine of...

2 Cups Water
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Salt
2 Cups Ice

Bring the water to a slow simmer.
Remove from the heat, add the salt and sugar and stir until it dissolves.
Add the ice and stir to cool.
Add the meat, cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
Before cooking, rinse the brine water off the pork.

Tip Two is to always cook with a meat thermometer... 140 degrees and your pork is done. It will have a slight pink tinge, but that is fine. Every degree above 140 and your pork begins to dry out. Cook to 160 and you are serving shoe leather tough meat.

Once your pork reaches 140, remove from the heat and let your pork rest... 30 minutes. This allows the meat to cool and relax, allowing the juices to return to the meat and be reabsorbed... juicy, fork tender. If you have ever seen a pool of pink blood under your pork, you cut too soon.

Follow these tips and the rub recipe below and you will always have perfectly cooked, tender juicy and delicious pork!

OK... Here's what I did...

Sweet Cherry
Heat and Sweet Pork Rub


2 Packages of Unsweetened Black Cherry Kool Aid
1/4 Cup Sweet Paprika.
2 TBS Salt
1 TBS Garlic Powder
1 TBS Onion Powder
1 TBS Freshly Ground Black peppercorns
1 tsp Chili Powder

Cooking Directions:
  1. Mix well.
  2. Rub this into the pork loin generously, all sides
  3. Wrap loin with plastic wrap, sealing the edges.
  4. Refrigerate and allow the rub to penetrate the meat for 4 hours.
  5. Smoke over indirect heat on a grill, Low and Slow, about 275 degrees degrees, about 45 minutes per pound, about 10 hours.  BUT check every hour or so and remove from the grill at 140 degrees.  Wrap in aluminum foil and store in an ice chest (no ice) for up to 4 hours.  Allow to rest for 20 minutes once unwrapped before serving.
  6. Serve Warm and ENJOY!
And of course, pair with ths wonderful FRESH MADE Honey orange APPLESAUCE!

OK... Here's what I did...

Have Some
Orange Applesauce, HONEY!!!

  • 3 Pounds (8 Cups when Prepared)Apples (I used a mix of Fuji and Granny Smith), Peeled, Cored and Diced
  • 1-1/2 Cups Orange Juice
  • 3 TBS Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
Cooking Directions
  1. Sterilize the Jars and lids
  2. In a large Heavy Bottomed Pot, combine Apples, Orange Juice and Lemon Juice and Orange Zest.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce to medium low heat and a simmer.
  4. Simmer until Apples have softened, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. For Chunky Sauce, use a potato masher to get mashed consistency you like. Or, move contents to a food processor and pulse only a few times to get a creamier mix (as shown in my pictures).
  6. Return to pot, return to simmer over low heat. Stir in honey and spices and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, Carefully ladle the sauce into the jars leaving a head space of 1/4 inch. Wipe rims, place lid on rim, tighten with band and allow to cool a bit until the lids "POP" (inside cools, causing air pressure to seal the lids).
  8. Process in water bath (large pot of boiling water, enough to cover the jars completely plus an inch) for 20 minutes.
  9. Serve Chilled (With Pork Chops) and ENJOY!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Grilling Time Secret Extras" or "52 Ways to Cook BBQ and Grilling Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop... Over 100 in one grilling season (I love to grill!). But not just leat... Drinks, Condiments (LOTS of different BBQ sauces), Drinks, Desserts... even specialty items like GRILLED Pizza, and fun shaped Watermelons.  Easy and these ideas will make you the MASTER of your Backyard Domain!


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