I realize the title is quite a mouthful, but then so is this recipe. Har, har, har. I know it’s a cliche… Before we dive into this, let’s talk about reverse searing. We all know that searing is good for meat as it caramelizes the proteins (browns the meat) and makes it taste better. But if we sear first, we keep any smoke flavor from getting into the meat. By smoking first, THEN searing, we infuse the meat with smoke AND get us those delicious and beautiful grill marks which equate to more flavor. It also cooks the meat more slowly and evenly which can be likened to a poor man’s sous vide. Smoke vide? Sear vide? Just spit balling ideas here.

OK, let’s dive into reverse seared pork chops with watermelon mango salsa.

Reverse Seared Pork Chops with Watermelon Mango Salsa Ingredients:

  • Three thick, bone in pork chops
  • Salt
  • Your favorite BBQ Rub
  • 1/2 cup rough chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup rough chopped mango
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced purple onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro (substitute flat leaf parsley)
  • 1 tbsp minced serrano pepper
  • Squeeze of half lime
  • Pinch of salt

Let’s start with those big beautiful bone in pork chops provided to me by the Kansas Pork Association with the support of the National Pork Board who sponsored this blog post:

When deciding between bone in and not, always choose bone in #WordsToLiveBy

Seasoning is as simple as hitting them with some salt and then your favorite BBQ rub on both sides and around the outer edges:

Action shot!

To smoke them, I set up my kamado grill with a plate setter (or smokin’ stone) between the fire and the pork chops, toss in a couple chunks of pecan and close the lid, target temp of 250F:

Time for some smoke and heat

For other grills, set up coals to one side and put the meat to the other end of the grill

While the chops are smoking, time to make the salsa:

It’s OK, if you have to don some shades. I picked these ingredients as much for their color as for their flavor

Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl and squeeze some lime over the top.

Now check on the pork chops that are smoking on the grill before being seared (hence the reverse sear method):

Ready to sear!

Once the chops reach an internal temp of 135 degrees, it’s time to crank up the fire.

Remove the plate setter (or smokin’ stone), open up the vents at the top and bottom and wait a few minutes for the fire to pull in all the air it wants. Once we get above 500 degrees, it’s time to sear.

Chops back on the grill putting the sear in reverse sear:

Notice there is no plate setter or smokin’ stone between the fire and the pork

All we need to do is to put some grill marks on these chops and take them up to 145 or medium rare which is now what the USDA has approved as the proper temp for pork. No more well done, dry pork!

Once we get some nice char on all sides, we can plate the reverse seared pork chops and let them rest as we go retrieve the watermelon mango salsa from the fridge:

Bring on the salsa!

Then all we need is one of these:

Time to get my spoon on!

And just spoon it over the top and serve:

Such a cacophony of color and flavor. There’s the smoky, caramelized pork and then we have the light and fresh salsa that is both sweet and savory with a bit of a kick. Just the perfect summer meal. Did you know you can grill the melon, too? 

This post is sponsored by the Kansas Pork Association with the support of the National Pork Board. Remember to support your local farmers and ranchers like the good folks who raise our pork. Where would BBQ be without them? Seriously, think about that for a moment. That’s not a world I want to live in!

Also, you can follow us on our GrillinFools Facebook page and Instagram.

Reverse Seared Pork Chops with Watermelon Mango Salsa

Simply seasoned pork chops, reverse seared on my kamado grill and topped with a watermelon mango salsa
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Barbecue


  • 3 bone-in pork chop
  • salt
  • your favorite BBQ rub

Watermelon Mango Salso

  • ½ cup watermelon rough chopped
  • ½ cup mango rough chopped
  • cup yellow pepper chopped
  • cup red pepper chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion diced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped, (substitute flat leaf parsley)
  • 1 tbsp serrano pepper minced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (from ½ lime)
  • pinch salt


  • Season the pork chops with salt and the BBQ rub then prepare the grill for indirect grilling
  • Smoke the chops at 250F until they reach 135F degrees
  • While the chops are smoking, combine the rest of the ingredients into a salsa and set aside
  • Once the chops reach 135F remove them from the grill and in this case take out the plate setter (or Smokin' Stone) and stoke up the fire by adding fuel (if needed) and open up the vents
  • Once the temp at the grill grates reaches 500+F degrees, sear the pork chops on each side
  • Once there are good grill marks on each side and the internal temp has crested 145, remove the chops from the grill to rest for 2-3 minutes
  • Plate and spoon over the watermelon/mango salsa 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

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one comment

Those are some amazing looking chops! The salsa is definitely on the bright side 🙂 Interesting to see you are cooking on the Akorn. I have been hearing some nice things about that cooker and it looks like it is treating you well.


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