A simple basic brine combined with tangy apricot and smokey grill flavors makes for some seriously tender and juicy glazed grilled pork chops.
Fruit flavors and pork go together like beer and football. I was going to say “peas and carrots”, but I don’t like the gratuitous use of vegetables when it should be all about the meat. Perhaps I should go with: “goes together like burger and fries”. Yeah, let’s go with that.
Fruit woods, fruit juices and fruit sauces are all perfect pork partners. Cherry and apple are perhaps the most common combos, but I urge you to reconsider the humble apricot. Not only is the sweet-tart taste great, but the vivid orange color gives an incredible lacquered finish. And, as I’ve said time and time again, we eat with our eyes, so it’s important to have great looking food, too.
A couple of tips for nailing this recipe:
- Because of the high sugar content of the preserve, you’re going to need to set your grill up with a hot and cool zone for cooking. This will help you keep the pork chops juicy and avoid burning the glaze. To learn more about setting up a grill for two zone cooking, check out this guide.
- You are going to need to use a meat thermometer for this recipe, and it’s important for two reasons. Firstly, pork needs to be cooked to a certain temperature for safe consumption (which is 145f, btw). So you can make sure the food you’re cooking, serving and eating is safe. Secondly, if you are more aware of the internal temperature and remove the pork right as it is safe to eat, you’ll also avoid drying it out. I use and recommend professional-grade thermapen thermometers, but you can use any type of meat thermometer. The advantage of the professional style one is that it reads very fast (especially important when smoking meats), and is calibrated for accuracy.
- Finally, if you are using a jam, jelly or preserve that has large pieces of fruit, I thoroughly recommend you strain it after warming with the other ingredients. The fruit chunks get in the way of your brush, and also can mess up your perfect mirror-finish glaze.