Stuffed Pork Chop plate against yellow leaves of Fall

Listen, there is no better time to grill than in the Fall. I know, I know, it’s blustery and cold and the sun goes down a lot earlier. But do you know what the Fall doesn’t have? Humidity. It also doesn’t have mosquitos. And the temps don’t get into the high 90’s or low 100’s. For most of the Fall months I can throw on a vest and then all I need to do is stand near a hot grill and all is good in the temp department. Also, with having a TV out by the grill, I can enjoy a college football game, or NHL hockey or some playoff baseball (well, in normal years not impacted by Covid). Want to know what else the Fall has that the summer doesn’t. Apples. Loads and loads of apples. I love apples. All kinds of apples. So in this recipe, I used apples twice: as a main ingredient in the stuffing and as a cinnamon glazed topper for these THICK double bone pork chops! Hold on tight. We’re going to get started on this this one and it’s one helluva ride.

Grilled Bone in Pork Chops Stuffed and Topped with Apples Ingredients:

Brine:

4 THICK bone in pork chops with two bones apiece
1 quart apple cider
1/4 cup salt

Thick pork chops ready for the brine
Thick pork chops ready for the brine

Stuffing:

2 sticks salted butter (1/2 pound)
1 tablespoon chopped onion
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 cups chopped apples
¼ cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

All the stuffing ingredients
All the stuffing ingredients, minus the missing butter, but more on that later

Glazed Apple Topping:

2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Glazed apple topping ingredients.
These ingredients are the icing on the cake, or in this case the cinnamon glazed apples on the reverse seared pork chops

First up, brine the chops. This recipe is for four chops, but we made seven of these. We brined four of them. The other three we didn’t. Why? Because so many people doubt the brine process. We wanted to try the brined pork chops versus the other ones. I defy anyone who tries this recipe to brine all but one pork chop and then do a side by side taste test. If you do it just one time, brining will be a must from that point forward. But you have to have the control group. It can’t just be tasting brined pork chops and assume that unbrined are just as good. The comparison is necessary to keep our minds from saying, “This is what my pork chops normally taste like.” Trust me here because this is exactly what happened to me. I brined once, didn’t compare to unbrined and just assumed my pork tasted like that. It took me two years to give it a try again with a control group.

So how does one brine? Liquid and salt. The ratio is one gallon of liquid to one cup of salt. So in this case, one quart of apple cider to 1/4 cup of salt. Put the chops in a resealable plastic bag and then fill with the salt and cider. Close the bag and slosh the cider around until the salt dissolves. Pouring the cider and salt in a pitcher and whisking or stirring till dissolved, also works. Place the bag into the fridge for four to twelve hours:

Four pork chops brining in apple cider
Don’t brine more than 12 hours. That becomes curing and risks turning the pork into ham.

Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Now let’s get to the stuffing.

I cranked up my American Made Grill (that’s the brand name, not just the location of where it was constructed. It used to be American Muscle Grill) to medium heat and set a cast iron pan on the grill. Once the pan comes up to temp, drop in the butter:

Butter melting
I LOVE butter

That doesn’t look like two sticks of butter. That’s because it isn’t. As we were creating this recipe, we were using a modified version of someone else’s recipe. Well, that idiot put a half a stick of butter with 3 cups of bread crumbs which made a pan full of dust. It was waaaay too much in terms of bread crumbs and not nearly enough butter. How do we know? Well, first we added the onions, apples, celery and then the parsley:

Adding parsley to the sizzling apples
Soften up the apples and then add the parsley

Then we added all those breadcrumbs to that little bit of butter:

Breadcrumbs being added to the sizzling apples
Looks like dry sand

Then we added another half stick of butter:

Adding more butter to the stuffing
Still not enough butter

And it still wasn’t enough. So we melted another whole stick of butter, poured it over the top and adjusted the totals for the ingredients list:

Melted butter being added to the stuffing
NOW we have enough butter!

Now, make a pouch in those uber thick pork chops. First, salt and pepper them all the way around:

Salt and pepper the pork chops all the way around
Salt and pepper the pork chops all the way around

Now get out a long, slender knife and hold a pork chop in the palm of your hand, bones side down and slice into the chop but don’t go all the way through, opening up about an inch and a half slit in the side:

Angrily carving out the pouch of the pork chops
Maybe this is a little much!
Really angrily carving out those pockets
OK, yeah, way over the top

So maybe I was over emoting a bit here. I mean, what did that chop ever do to me?

Work the tip of the blade back and forth widening the space in the cavity without enlarging the inch and a half slit in the chop:

Create a slit in the side of the pork chop
Create a slit in the side of the pork chop

Using a couple fingers, make sure there is a good space inside the pork chop and try doing so without giggling like a 14 year old as I did here:

Make sure pocket is big enough
Make sure pocket is big enough
Only one way to check that
Only one way to check that
The finger test
The finger test
The pocket is big enough
The pocket is big enough
Me trying to be mature and failing badly
Me trying to be mature and failing badly
Still not able to grow up
Still not able to grow up

If you’re waiting for me to mature, it’s going to be a loooonngggg time so don’t hold your breath here.

So let’s get to stuffing those chops:

Stuff those chops!
Stuff those chops!
It's OK for the stuffing to bulge out
It’s OK for the stuffing to bulge out

Keep going until all the chops are stuffed:

Bring on the smoker!
Bring on the smoker!

Next up, time to smoke the chops. I cranked up my Green Mountain Grills pellet cooker to 250F:

Can you tell which ones were brined?
Can you tell which ones were brined?
The Green Mountain Grill can handle 7 giant chops easily
The Green Mountain Grill can handle seven giant chops easily
I could've added five more if I had to
I could’ve added five more if I had to

I smoked them at 250F until the chops hit 125-130F internal. This only took about 45 minutes. These chops are thick, but when the pouch is cut into them and stuffed, it’s like smoking two thinner chops so the process is shorter than if there was no pouch cut in them.

While the pork chops are smoking, time to make the apple topping. Back over to the American Made Grill still at medium heat. I added the topping ingredients to another cast iron pan:

The ingredients of the glazed apple topper
This is the icing on the cake

One note. I used two different kinds of apples to have some added color for the pics. This was a mistake. The green apples were much more dense than the red and thus the red apples were soft while the green apples were still crisp. I would have preferred one consistency:

Cinnamon glazed apples
And our apples are glazed
The cinnamon glazed apples
I could’ve put these straight into a pie

Then I cranked up the American Muscle Grill to high heat by adding some extra charcoal (yes the AMG is a charcoal grill or gas grill. I can use wood chunks or logs as well if I wanted to). Once my chops reached 125-130 they were ready to sear:

Mmmmmmm smoked pork chops!
Mmmmmmm smoked pork chops!

I took them out of the GMG pellet cooker and seared them off on the AMG:

Grilling the chops on the American Made Grills
Flame on!!!

I could’ve seared the on the Green Mountain as that grill gets to 550F, but the AMG was ready to go so I flipped them over to that grill.

Pork chops with grill marks
Just color up the chops with some grill marks and bring them up to 145 degrees, internal. Yes, pork only needs to be cooked to medium rare.

With chops this thick, and with a layer of fat around the outside, make sure to crisp up that fat:

Searing the ides
Don’t forget the sides

I placed the apple stuffed and smoked pork chops on the upper racks to stay warm while plating for dinner:

Staying warm under the headlights on the American Made Grill
Staying warm under the headlights on the American Made Grill

And here we are plated:

I love that big yellow false chestnut tree in the background
I love that big yellow false chestnut tree in the background
The pork chop topped with apples with the sides plated and ready to serve
That’s a feast fit for a king

Or stand them up because they are that thick:

Another shot of that false chestnut tree
Another shot of that false chestnut

But how did it look on the inside?

A bite of the pork chops with a pronounced smoke ring
Smoke ring? Check. Glistening? Check? Wicked Awesome? That’s a big checkaroo!

The pork is a combo of sweet and savory with the cider brine penetrated into the meat. The stuffing is also a combo of sweet and savory. The topping is all sweet with a wonderful crunch of the nuts. It truly is a wonderful combo and perfect for the Fall season.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.

Grilled Bone in Pork Chops Stuffed and Topped with Apples
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American Fare
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Cider brined pork chops, stuffed with apple stuffing, reverse seared and then topped with cinnamon glazed apples.
Ingredients
Brine
  • 4 THICK bone in pork chops with two bones apiece
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • ¼ cup salt
Stuffing:
  • 2 sticks salted butter (1/2 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 cups chopped apples
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Glazed Apple Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Add the chops, cider and salt into a resealable plastic bag and close the bag
  2. Shake up until the salt dissolves
  3. Place the bag into the fridge for 4-12 hours
  4. Remove the chops from the bag, pat dry with paper towels and set aside
  5. Place the 2 sticks of butter in a cast iron pan over medium heat
  6. Once the butter melts, add the onions
  7. Once the onions soften, add the celery and apples
  8. Soften the apples and celery and then add the bread crumbs
  9. Stir the bread crumbs until all the butter is absorbed
  10. You may have to add more butter to get it to a consistency of wet sand
  11. Add the parsley and stir it through
  12. Remove the stuffing pan from the heat
  13. Salt and pepper the pork chops
  14. Carve slits in the side of the pork chops and create a good size pocket
  15. Spoon the stuffing into each chop
  16. Set the smoker to 250F and place the apple stuffed pork chops into the grill
  17. Smoke until the chops hit 125-130
  18. While the chops are smoking, place a clean cast iron pan back on the grill and add the topping ingredients
  19. Stir the topping ingredients until the apples are soft then set to low heat to stay warm
  20. Sear the chops until they hit 145F internal in the meat then remove from the heat and top with the warm apple topping and serve
 

 

 

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

@GrillinFool

https://t.co/lVWgniik3V - #GrillPorn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
Oh my wow! There is so much perfection right there! 😲✔️👍😎 . Video shot by the insanely talented @carlaocarvalho77 …… https://t.co/uKHWyunSxp - 3 years ago
Scott Thomas

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