These brown sugar-balsamic pork chops spend some time in a brine, grilled hot and fast, then basted with a rich, flavorful glaze. This is the perfect pork chop recipe for any occasion!
If you’re looking for the perfect Sunday dinner, then these brown sugar-balsamic pork chops will deliver every time. These juicy chops are coated in a mouthwatering sweet and tangy sauce. We recommend using good-quality balsamic vinegar and dark brown sugar for a deep, rich molasses flavor. Pork chops have never tasted so good!
What is a pork rib chop?
Pork rib chops, also known as rib end cuts, pork ribeyes, or pork chop end cuts, come from the lower loin section of the animal. They are considered to be among the best pork chops money can buy, especially the thick ones.
This chop contains a bone that runs alongside the meat and includes a layer of fat that extends up and sometimes around the outer portion of the chop. Depending on processing techniques, the bone piece will either extend out from the chop, resembling a bone-in ribeye steak, or they are trimmed into a shorter compact shape.
These chops are excellent for hot and fast cooking like grilling or sear roasting in the oven. Due to their mild flavor, rib chops pair well with simple seasonings or more complex flavors, like the glaze used in this brown sugar-balsamic pork chop recipe.
- 4 pork rib chops, 3/4-1″ thick
- Black pepper
- Granulated onion
- Pork Chop Brine
- Good quality balsamic vinegar
- Dark brown sugar
- Minced garlic
- Powdered cloves
Making Brown Sugar-Balsamic Pork Chops
- Please see the recipe card below for in-depth recipe instructions.
- Start with a quick brine. We recommend brining pork chops of any kind as they tend to dry out, particularly loin chops. A quick brine can be done in as little as 2 hours, but you can brine your chops for up to 4 hours.
- Prepare the glaze towards the end of the brining time. Doing this will give you time to grill the chops without multitasking. Timing is key for making delicious pork chops.
- Set up your grill for indirect cooking. You might need the extra cooking time over lower heat if your chops are more than an inch thick.
- Brush the glaze over the chops multiple times during the second half of the cooking time. This will help caramelize the glaze.
- Keep a good instant-read thermometer on hand to check the internal temperature. Pork chops are safe to eat at an internal temperature of 150 degrees F. We recommend removing them from the grill at this temperature and tenting them with foil for 5-7 minutes. This will allow any carryover heat to do its job. Your finished chops should be around 155 degrees Fahrenheit after tenting.
- Store leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
Salt – If you don’t have time to brine the pork chops, you’ll need to add a little salt (less than 1/4 teaspoon per chop), along with black pepper and granulated onion, to season the meat prior to grilling.
Buy in bulk – If you grill pork chops often, we recommend buying them in bulk. They are cheaper per pound when purchased from a wholesale bulk goods store like Costco or Sam’s Club. Portion them out, place them into vacuum-sealed bags, and store them in your freezer for 6-8 months.
Recommended side dishes
Brown Sugar-Balsamic Pork Chops
- 4 pork rib chops, 3/4-1″ thick
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- Simple Pork Chop Brine
- For glaze:
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves
- Mix brine ingredients until sugar and salt have dissolved. Submerge pork chops in brine solution, cover and place into refrigerator for 2 hours.
- About 15 minutes before chops are done brining, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and cloves to a quick boil. Reduce heat to medium and let sauce simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow sauce to reduce by half, or thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Reduce heat further if needed. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm. If glaze gets too cold, re-warm before using.
- Preheat grill for for 400 degrees F. If you are cooking chops thicker than 1," set up your grill for indirect cooking.
- Remove chops from brine and rinse off with cold water. Do not over rinse. Blot them dry with paper towels and season with black pepper and granulated onion.
- Place pork chops on grill and cook for 5 minutes, turn and cook for 5 more.
- Apply glaze to chops, turn and apply again. Repeat process 4 times for the duration of cook time. Watch for burning and move chops to cooler part of grill if necessary.
- Once pork chops have reached an internal temperature between 150 degrees F., remove from grill and place onto a large serving platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let meat rest for at least 5-7 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides.