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Peppercorn-Brined Pork Chops


Peppercorn-Brined Pork Chops


Elizabeth Cecil



Bring 4 cups water, the sugar, and salt to a simmer in a large pot, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat.


Add ice, bay leaf, thyme, lemon zest, and peppercorns; let cool completely. Place pork in a large shallow baking dish or resealable plastic bag and cover with the brine.


Refrigerate, covered, at least 6 hours or up to overnight. Remove pork from brine, letting excess drip off (discard brine); pat dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.


Heat grill to medium-high. Lightly oil grates. Lightly brush pork with oil and grill, turning as needed, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thicket parts (avoiding bone) registers 138°F to 145°F for medium, 5 to 7 minutes per side.


Transfer pork to a cutting board and let stand 15 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and thyme.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme, plus sprigs for serving
  • 2 lemons, zest of one removed in strips with a peeler, second one cut into wedges for serving
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 4 bone-in pork chops, each about 10 ounces and 1 inch thick
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for grilling and brushing