Smoked Pork Chops, Cherry-Chipotle Sauce, Coconut Rice with Lime and Cilantro

Chipotle-Cherry-Pork-Chop-and-Rice

This was a fun one to make. In cooking the pork, I actually used both my smoker and my gas grill, but if you have either a nice Weber or a gas grill that has the ability to smoke as well, you can stick with one kind of fuel.

Cherry Chipotle Sauce

I borrowed this one from barbecue master Steven Raichlen, so rather than reprint the entire recipe here, I’ll just give you the link. I found that using just the one chipotle pepper was enough, as two would likely overpower the cherry flavor. I also omitted the liquid smoke, as between the chipotle and smoking the chops there was enough smoke in the dish already.

Smoked Pork Chops

I used two thick, bone-in chops for this. I could have simply smoked them both for a couple of hours, but I didn’t want to wait that long (and the night I was cooking had a thunderstorm predicted, and I didn’t want to be caught in the rain).

Start by applying Saint Brian’s BBQ Dash Cunning Spice Rub to the pork chops, taking care to ensure total coverage of the meat. Wrap the chops in plastic, and allow to dry marinate for at least an hour, or as long as overnight.

I fired up my offset smoker to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and started the chops on there. After 20 minutes, I transferred them to a screaming hot grill and cooked them for about 4 minutes per side, until the internal temperature was 145 degrees* (I like my pork chops medium rare).

If you are using something like a Weber kettle, set up for indirect grilling and put the soaked wood chips onto the coals. Smoke the chops for 20 minutes, then transfer them to be directly over the coals, and cook for 4-7 minutes per side until they have reached the desired internal temperature.

If you are using a gas grill, set it up for smoking and indirect cooking (some advice on that here) and follow the same instructions for cooking over charcoal.

Coconut Rice with Lime and Cilantro

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 coconut milk
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 4 tsp finely chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

Combine the rice, water, coconut milk, and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Using a fork, fluff the rice while adding the remaining ingredients, adjusting the seasoning as needed. Serve hot.

* Recommended internal temperature for medium rare pork is 145 degrees Fahrenheit, 160 for medium. If you pierce the pork to tenderize, minimum safe internal temperature is 160 degrees.