Sweet Heat BBQ Pork chops

Grilled pork chops with a 🔥 BBQ sauce.

Take your porkchop game to the next level with a tangy tart cherry chipotle BBQ sauce. This sweet heat flavor the sauce provides is the perfect condiment and complement to grilled pork chops.

Made in the style of a Carolina BBQ sauce, it’s primarily vinegar-based and runnier. The tart cherries add a refreshing tangy flavor, while the brown sugar and honey sweeten the sauce and rounds it out. Then throw in some spicy diced chipotle peppers and adobo sauce for a spicy kick.

Notes: The sauce starts runny, but thickens the longer you let it simmer. If it’s still not as thick to your liking, you can always create a slurry of corn starch and water (1 tbsp of each) and stir it in the sauce to thicken it up. And if you’re not up for grilling, you can also try baking the pork chops – it’s the sauce that’s the real star of the show. The pork and the accompanying rub are just the supporting cast.

Time You Need

  • ~2 hours brining
  • ~ 20 minutes prep
  • `~15-20 minutes cooking
  • Yields: 4 pork chops

What You Need

  • 4 boneless pork chops (~1 inch thick)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1cup of water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups of apple cider
  • For the rub:
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • ¼ tsp clove
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • For the Sauce:
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 diced chipotle peppers
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce (more or less depending on heat preference)
  • 3 cups of frozen tart cherries
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ~1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice

What You Do

  • For the sauce:
  • Take the frozen cherries and purée in a food processor until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the cornstarch!) to a saucepan, and stir well. Then combine with cherry puree and bring to a boil over medium-low heat.
  • One boiling, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 30 minutes.  Then keep refrigerated until ready to use.
  • For the pork:
  • In a small bowl, whisk together salt, water, apple cider,  apple cider vinegar, honey, and brown sugar. Pour into a ziplock bag and add pork chops.
  • Brine your pork chops in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 6 if needed.
  • Mix all your seasonings together in a large bowl to make the rub. Once brining time is over, pat pork chops dry with a paper towel and season both sides of each pork chop with the rub.
  • Then preheat the grill to around 350° to 450°F.
  • Cook the pork chops for about 4 minutes, then flip. Lightly brush the top with BBQ sauce and cook for another 4 minutes. Flip again, and lightly brush with BBQ sauce – cooking for about 2 more minutes or until pork chops are done (145 internal temp).
  • Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Serve with extra BBQ sauce and enjoy!