Good Morning to you all.
This past week Michelle and I were talking about cooking pineapple and pork together, and I wanted to see if my idea for Hickory Smoked Pineapple Pork Chops would work as I envisioned it. I have seen a number of different ways to combine the flavors: kabobs, pizza, or sweet and sour pork, but I have never seen it cooked the way I wanted to do it. I thought I would give it a try.
I was in the local big box store that sells everything from A to Z where I buy house hold stuff in bulk and went to check out the meat department. They had a reasonable price for the pork loin chops that I like and also had fresh pineapple, which seemed to me a sign that it was time to get the smoker out and see what I could do. If you have been following me you ‘ll note that I have not done much with the smoker this year. I have missed using it but our schedule seems to have not allowed me the time I need to setup and run a serious smoke. Michelle’s school, work, and the grand kids schedule just got in the way. Last week I started my holiday business decline, so I decided that I would do it then. I will say at the onset, this is a long setup process, so if you decide to do it, allow some time.
I started by making a simple salt brine with a little fresh garlic and putting the chops in it for 24 hours. I have never brined pork chops before, and I thought I would try it. It made the chops very moist and tender, so I will be doing this again. After they were done, I pulled them from the brine patted them dry and covered them on both sides with dried thyme, paprika, fresh black pepper, and garlic. Then, I covered them and returned them to the refrigerator for about 6 hours. I set up the smoker, and when it was getting close to time to cook, I removed the pork from the refrigerator and allowed it to warm up a bit while the smoker was getting to temp. My goal was to place a slice of pineapple, then a pork chop, then a pineapple, then a pork chop until I had the entire group situated. I used 3 kabob skewers to hold it together on the smoker and smoke it till it reached and internal temp of 165°. I used a pineapple cutter and divided the “slices” throughout the pork. I ate the leftovers….perks of being the cook!
You will need kabob skewers (metal or bamboo) to hold the pork chops in a loaf. I suggest a digital thermometer (I use a Maverick ET732) to keep an eye on the smoker temp and the meat temp. Hickory wood chips and charcoal for your smoker
So lets get started.
Hickory Smoked Pineapple Pork Chops for Man Food Monday
- 2 to 3 lbs pork loin chops
- 1 fresh pineapple cored and sliced
- 2 cups Kosher salt to 1 gallon of water
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 Tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 Tablespoons paprika +
- garlic powder for dusting
- fresh ground black pepper
- spray canola oil
- Mix the salt and 1 quart of water and bring to a boil. Set aside and allow to fully cool.
- Add the cooled salt water to the remaining water, use a non reactive container and place the pork chops in the container. Place this container in the refrigerator 12 to 24 hours.
- Once done remove the pork chops from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel.
- Spray the pork chops on both sides with the canola oil and cover the pork chops liberally with the rub and dust with the garlic powder. Place on a platter and cover with plastic wrap then return them to the refrigerator for about 6 hours .
- Setup the smoker when the time to cook gets near and start your fire so that the smoker can settle to cooking temp 255°.
- Take the pork chops and place one pineapple ring on the front pork chop then one pineapple ring behind the pork chop and alternate until you have all the pork chops together with the pineapple slices.
- Take one kabob skewer and run it through the pork chops from left to right. Next do the same with the second skewer from right to left and once more from left to right. This should give you a way to compress the pork and pineapple slices together and hold them in place while they are cooking on the smoker.
- Once the smoker is at temp., add the hickory wood chips and place your thermometer in the center most pork chop.
- Place on the smoker and monitor till the internal temp is 165°
- Once done, place on a platter then remove the skewers. Each pork chop is one serving.
These were the BEST pork chops I have cooked in almost forever! The fresh pineapple added a very mellow flavor to the meat, if you do not have access to fresh pineapple canned will do. You can mix up the rubs and add heat to them.
The points I would like to make here are that you always brine your meats in the refrigerator for safety reasons. The temp needs to be under 40° to keep bacteria from growing. When you make up your brine mixture it needs to be cool before you add the meat, again this is to keep bacteria from growing. When you are cooking on a Charcoal smoker or grill add more charcoal every 35 to 45 minutes to keep your temperature up. Add your smoker wood when the smoke starts to get thin. The purpose of having a digital thermometer to monitor the smoker temp as well as the meat temp is so you do not have to lift the lid to check it. “If your looking you aren’t cooking”.
Try this when you have time, it will make a delightful holiday meal.
Till next week Take care and have a safe time.