Servings: 4 Prep: 20 min Cook: 20 min Total: 6 hour 40 min
I love maple syrup. It’s like liquid sugar, but … better! (Un)fortunately, a low carb way of eating doesn’t really support the idea of liquid sugar. However, (un)fortunately, there are alternatives with varying degrees of synthesis. I keep adding the “(un)”, because I can see both sides of these particular coins. Pure natural maple syrup is natural, but … floods the blood with sugars. The good with the bad. Then, synthetic maple flavors with often synthetic sweeteners replicate the taste and texture of a maple syrup, but … who really knows what’s in that stuff.
I often eat these things and tend to believe they’re ok, as long as most of your foods are whole, largely unprocessed and natural. The occasional dip on the synthetic side may not be optimal, but it keeps me sane. The jury is still out on that last statement. 😉
Pork loins have virtually no fat in them. They DO have a nice layer of fat on the outside, but pork loins still tend to be a bit on the dry side. Brining them in advance REALLY makes for a beautiful, delicious and extremely moist and clean cut of meat. The maple flavor really just brings these flavors home.
Note: Pork chops vary in size and the brine is mostly thrown away. I’m not really sure how to handle the nutrition on this one, so I’m just going to set the amounts to zero for everything.
Maple Brined Pork ChopPrint Rate
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup
- 1/4 cup kosher salt (or 2 tbsp table salt)
- 4 each garlic cloves crushed
- 1/2 each small onion chopped
- 1 each bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups ice water
- 4 each thick cut pork chops (double cut with bone-in preferably)
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- In a large pot (large enough for a gallon of liquid), bring your 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
- Add the salt and whisk the water, until the salt dissolves.
- Remove the water from the heat and add the remaining ingredients, except the ice water and pork.
- Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, to cool.
- Add the ice water and stir. Make sure the brine is cold.
- Add the pork. Make sure the pork is completely submerged. If it's not, you can weigh the pork down, or add a little more ice water.
- Brine the pork for between 2 and 10 hours. Any brining is good, even an hour. Longer is better, up to 12 hours. After 12 hours, the pork starts to deteriorate.
- When the pork has been brined, remove it from the brine and wash thoroughly under cold water.
- Discard the brine. It cannot be re-used.
- Dry the pork well.
- Here's where this recipe breaks down a little bit. Season the pork with a touch of salt and pepper. Then use your favorite cooking method for the pork chops. A grill is a great way to go. You can also bake them, or sear them in a hot sauté pan, then bake in the oven. In most cases, because of the thickness of the pork, I'd recommend having a pre-heated oven (to 425° F). Whether you grill, bake or sauté, you should probably finish the cooking process inside a hot oven.
- Once the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140° F, remove from the oven. Cover the pork with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes, before serving.
- Serve with a healthy drizzle of fake maple syrup!
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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …
14 thoughts on “Maple Brined Pork Chop”
Thanks for the Brining idea! I brine Chicken and Turkey.. I’ve missed pork chops over the years.
How did you do your Nutrition breakdown? Is it a program?
Hi Liese! Sure thing! The nutrition breakdown on the brined foods is tricky and probably a little off (it’s hard to know how much of the brine is IN the food and how much is tossed out). In any event, I wrote a simple program that does most of the math for me, but I still need to research every ingredient and add it to my system. You can read a little more about it, here: <a href="https://www.djfoodie.com/aspx/m/Blog/beid/576685">https://www.djfoodie.com/aspx/m/Blog/beid/576685</a> It’s not easy, but I think it’s one of the most important things I offer. I hope it helps! 🙂
Hi, DJ! I used this brine on our pork chops Monday night (minus the maple syrup) and finished with your Jerk Inspired Pork Chop recipe and grilled the chops – I commented earlier for the Jerk recipe – now I’m sharing with all who will read… This brine recipe is my "go to" for chicken, pork and maybe even half a turkey breast. Last night I used it on chicken breast (I cut the recipe in half for two breast halves). I pan seared the chicken in a little butter and finished it in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. It is amazing how juicy and tender the chicken breast turn out. My husband really appreciates your influence on my cooking (I do give you the credit :-)!)
FANTASTIC, VIKI!!! I love brining, ESPECIALLY for chicken breast, turkey breasts and pork loins. These tends to be on the dryer side. The brine gives moisture and enhances the flavor, but … without MASKING the flavor. It still tastes like pork, chicken and turkey, but … some of the best pork, chicken and turkey around! 🙂 I’m so glad you’re digging into these kinds of things. It makes a big difference. I hope more follow your lead! As a sidenote: a relative of mine tried it and said it was awesome, but complained about all the ingredients. I told him that those are there to add character, but that really … just a salt water solution will do the trick. The rest is bonus. Thanks for sharing, Viki!!
There is a really good maple syrup made with xylitol by Nature’s Hollow (I think). (If they used the kind of xylitol from birch, it would be made from two kinds of trees!)
There is, Judy. I like it and use it regularly. Thanks for the tip! 🙂
My 11 year old grandson is a very picky eater and he says "most delicious pork chops ever!!!" I have to agree. Can’t wait to try this brine on chicken.
Fantastic, Unknown! Try it on a Thanksgiving Turkey for a TRULY special treat! 😀
Use this brining recipe yesterday to brine bone n skin on chicken breast… Brian them for 3 hours then cooked them on the Grill grill all I can say is OMG… best chicken breasts ever!
Sharon, that’s a perfect way to do it! I’m glad you discovered it! 🙂
I am so new to trying low carb. Still just barely holding my head above the water. Love to see so many of these recipes but there are items I have never heard of, much less know where to buy them. One thing I love is thick cut chops cooked on the grill. I make my own mixture of black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. This is the only thing I ever use on chops prior to cooking. Slow low heat and they are just so juicy it is absolutely delicious. I do so miss my potatoes and pastas, but I am learning. I have done some amazing things with cauliflower and am so surprised that it can taste just like potatoes. Mashed with a small amount of butter and chives……….yummy
—Reply posted by DJ on 5/30/2015
Hi Cherri … stick with it. Keep reading and learning. You can buy anything online, these days … just search for “Buy *whatever* online” and you’ll be offered hundreds of ways to purchase it. Feel free to chime in and ask me my thoughts and I’ll do what I can to make a suggestion. In any event … keep going. It’s a great way to eat! 🙂
I made this tonight and it was amazing! I am asking for your Cook Books for Christmas. There is not one of your recipes that I have made and not like, ALOT!
—Reply posted by DJ on 7/10/2015
WHOO HOO!! Awesome! I’m thrilled you’re finding so much goodness around here! I think you’ll LOVE the cookbook! Thanks! 🙂
Where can I buy these books- all of them I’m serious- thank you??
I have 2 11/2″ boneless chop.Shoud i still make full recipe for brine?
—Reply posted by DJ on 8/1/2017
Hi Shelley, no. It’s not necessary. I would just quarter the recipe. That should do it. I hope this helps! 🙂