Consider these brined and grilled chops the food anthem of the summer. Scented with fresh rosemary and garlic, and paired with a juicy grilled peach salsa that’s been spiked with white balsamic vinegar and a chili garlic sauce, this makes for one peachy keen meal.
We recently welcomed a new addition to the family and gave a fond farewell to one of our trusty summertime soldiers. And so we begin today’s post with a wave goodbye and well wishes to our 15 year+ outdoor gas grill who will surely find a great new home as soon as we set him to the curb. He served us well, but after several grill surgeries and a starter that forgot it’s duty and brought too many near misses of singed eyelashes and a voluminous WHOOMP when he finally caught fire, his time had come.
With July deemed as National Grilling Month, our bright and shiny new grilling addition is going to get a workout because I’m taking note and will be sharing a new grilling recipe each week. We’ll be going beyond the standard grilling fare of burgers and dogs to dive into simple, but juicy-packed-with-flavor dishes that will have you racing to break out the barbie.
This week’s grilling subject is meat. My first recipe out of the gate is this Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Balsamic Grilled Peaches. A long title for a relatively no fuss recipe that is totally divine thanks to a soak in a salty brine to assist in making an amazingly juicy chop.
But first, let’s talk about our new Saber infrared grill. As part of the Char-Broil family, Saber grills have plenty of grilling history behind them and with Saber have moved into the future with some cool new technology called infrared cooking.
My husband has been researching infrared grills for a while, ever since he heard about how hot the grills get to create a great sear. So when the opportunity for me to partner with Saber came along, he was more than game.
Our Saber grill doesn’t have charcoal under the grate like our old grill. Instead, Saber has developed a patented cooking grate with that techie infrared cooking so flare-ups and drips into the fire are a thing of the past. Smoke and steam get the cooking going when the juices fall on the infrared grate and instantly incinerate. AKA, no need for a drip pan!
But if there’s no charcoal, how do you get that smoky, grilled flavor? The cooking grate proved my fear to be totally off base when even my tender peaches came off with grill marks we never had before. It’s all in the heat baby.
Our new three burner, stainless steel grill is the same technology you see in many restaurant kitchens and generates temps up to 700 degrees in just 10 minutes, just what my man was hoping for. Our old grill clocked in at a high of just 450 degrees, so it’s a serious step up to the hot zone.
Why is high heat important? Because searing food at high temps seals in the juicy insides.
The grilling temp is controlled by three different temperature modules for hardcore searing or low and slow indirect cooking. With three grill zones, you can do it at the same time like we did with these pork chops and the peaches.
We’re still getting used to figuring out how the new grill’s temps compare to our old grill, but already, we’ve noticed a major change from it’s dearly departed predecessor that consistently ran at it’s own temperature discretion.
About the recipe :
The brine for the pork is key. I’ve talked about this process before as my secret to super juicy pork. The salt in the brine helps trap moisture in the meat and retain it while cooking. With all that flavor built into the meat, a simple seasoning of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper is all that’s needed before hitting the grill grate. I used rosemary as my herb of choice for this brine, but you should experiment with sage, bay leaf or parsley, too. I’ve switched around with both granulated sugar and brown sugar for various brines, but my main theory is use what’s hand or in your pantry.
Bone-in pork chops are my fave for grilling but if you’re a fan of boneless, that variety will of course work well too. I’d recommend thick cut over regular or thin cut for maximum juicy flavor.
Instead of cutting into the pork chop to check if it’s done, use an instant read meat thermometer instead. Each time you cut a strike into that cooking pork chop with a slice of a knife, the chop leaks those lovely juices you worked so hard on brining in. Insert the thermometer into the side of the chop for the most reliable cooking temp reading and avoid touching the bone.
Spoon the balsamic juices onto the pork along with the peaches and onions because the flavor is WHERE IT’S AT! The heat of the chili sauce (I use this one) is one of my favorite ways to balance the sweetness of the peaches and mellows the pungency of the sliced onions.
Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Balsamic Grilled Peaches
- 2 thick cut, bone-in pork chops
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup kosher salt
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic , peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the Grilled Peach Salsa
- 2 peaches , pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 3 teaspoons granulated sugar , divided
- ½ cup slivered red onion
- 3 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Vietnamese chili garlic sauce
- Kosher salt
- fresh basil leaves
- Rinse the pork chops, pat dry and place in a freezer bag.
- Bring the apple cider, water, ½ cup sugar and ⅓ cup kosher salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir until sugar and salt dissolves. Remove from heat and add a few ice cubes to cool the brine. Allow to cool completely then add to the freezer bags with the pork chops along with the rosemary sprigs, garlic cloves and black peppercorns. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours up to overnight.
- Remove the pork chops from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the pork dry with a paper towel and lightly brush with olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Preheat one side of the grill to high and one side to low. Brown the chops for about 5 minutes or until nice grill marks develop and then turn to the other side and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the chops over and move them to the low-heat part of the grill. Cook for another 10-12 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees in the thickest part of the chop. Transfer to a platter and tent with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes and chops reach 160 degrees.
- While pork chops are cooking on the low temperature side of the grill, lightly coat the peach halves on the fleshy side of the fruit with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the sugar.
- Grill the peaches flesh side down on the high temperature side of the grill for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into slices. Mix the red onions with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, chili garlic sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of kosher salt. Add the sliced peaches to the red onions and gently mix.
- Top the pork chops with the peaches and onion mix and garnish with torn basil leaves.
Next week we’ll be talking grilled fish. With a fresh twist. And more tips for easy, summertime grilling.
This post is in partnership with Saber Grills. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.