These thick-cut, smoked pork chops deliver an unbelievable smoky flavor and an incredibly juicy, tender texture. With pork chops, it’s what’s on the inside and what’s on the outside that matters most. The dry brine keeps it juicy, the smoke flavors it, and the hard sear gives it a crusty flavor paired with the dry rub.

Pork chops are a favorite around here. They are just so versatile, affordable and a protein I always keep handy in the freezer. And since this cut is so lean, it’s are pretty healthy main dish as well.

There isn’t much that you can’t do with them, from breading and frying, to cooking sous vide, to pan-searand. But firing up the smoker is one of the best ways to cook these thick-cut beauties, using the reverse sear technique.

ingredients for smoked pork chops

What You’ll Need

  • Thick-Cut Pork Chops – Look for chops that are 2-3 inches thick for best results when smoking. Thinner chops will cook too quickly.
  • Kosher Salt and a Dry Rub – Kosher salt or coarse sea salt is ideal for dry brining the pork chops before smoking. I like a sweet dry rub for pork that adds flavor with a blend of brown sugar, spices and aromatics.
  • Mild Smoking Wood – Fruit woods like apple, cherry or maple provide a nice mild, sweet smoke flavor that pairs well with pork. Avoid stronger woods like hickory or mesquite.
  • Smoker – You’ll need a smoker capable of maintaining a low, consistent temperature of around 225°F for this recipe.
  • Remote Thermometer – Using a remote thermometer with a probe helps monitor the internal temperature of the smoked pork chops for perfect doneness.

Jump to the full recipe card for specifics on ingredients and quantities.

Here’s How to Smoke Pork Chops

Step-by-step instructions for brining, smoking and searing pork chops.

dry rub on pork chops for smoking
  1. Dry Brine the Pork Chops. Drizzle with a little oil and evenly season both sides with salt and a sweet dry rub. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours, but ideally, overnight or up to 2 days to give the salt time to go all the way through.
pork chops in the smoker
  1. Smoke the Pork Chops. Preheat your smoker to 225°F. About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the chops from the fridge. Place directly on smoker grates and smoke until internal temp reaches 135°F, about 2-3 hours, flipping halfway through.
smoked pork chops on a sheet pan
  1. Rest. Once at 135°F internal temp, remove chops from smoker and rest for 10-15 minutes tented with foil. This allows carryover cooking to bring them to 140-145°F for perfect medium doneness.
searing smoked pork chops in skillet
  1. Sear (Optional but Recommended). For extra flavor, sear rested chops for 1 minute per side on a blazing hot grill or cast iron skillet with a little neutral oil. Serve immediately after searing.
smoked pork chop on a cutting board horizontal

3 Tips for Better Smoked Pork Chops Every Time

  • Dry Brine for Maximum Flavor and Moisture Dry brining the pork chops by coating them in salt and letting them rest uncovered in the fridge does two key things – it seasons the meat all the way through while also helping the chops retain moisture during the low and slow smoking process.
  • Don’t Overcook Them! For tender, juicy smoked pork chops, be careful not to overcook them past medium doneness. Lean pork chops overcook easily and will become dry and tough. Smoke to 135°F, then let carryover cooking finish the job
  • Use a Leave-In Probe Thermometer. Monitoring internal temperature is crucial for perfect pork chops. Use a quality leave-in remote meat thermometer so you can track doneness without opening the smoker and losing heat and smoke.

How Long to Smoke Pork Chops?

For thick-cut, 2-3 inch pork chops smoked at 225°F, plan for an approximate smoking time of 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on the specific chops and the smoker temp. Read more about the variables of cooking time.

Brining Options – Dry vs Wet Brine

  • Dry Brine – The easier option, dry brining simply coats the pork chops in salt and allows them to rest uncovered in the fridge. This seasons the meat through and through while helping it retain moisture during smoking.
  • Wet Brine – A wet saltwater brine adds even more moisture to the pork, resulting in an ultra-juicy and tender smoked chop. It takes a bit more effort but yields fantastic results.
  • No Brine – You can skip the brining step entirely if in a time crunch, but your smoked chops will usually end up with a drier texture and less flavor. Brining is totally worth the small extra effort.

Tips for Searing

Searing adds an incredible flavor boost to smoked pork chops with a crusty, caramelized exterior. Since this cut of pork is so lean, adding a little fat will help with even browning in a ripping hot skillet or grill.

  • Pat the chops dry and optionally coat with a thin layer of mayo or oil to aid browning.
  • Turn on your range vent as high-heat searing will cause some smoking.
  • Be careful of burning any rub or glaze containing sugar.
  • Sear the sides, too! For even browning, sear the fat cap side first to render some fat, then sear the other sides.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy simply with classic sides like garlic green beans, mashed potatoes and baked beans (try the smoked baked beans version). Or kick things up with a peach BBQ sauce for dipping or drizzling over the top. Leftover smoked pork makes an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches, tacos and burritos. For a showstopping meal, chop up the smoky pork and toss it with cooked pasta, creamy alfredo sauce, sautéed veggies and Parmesan for an incredibly rich and flavorful smoked pork alfredo.

sliced smoked pork chops on cutting board
sliced smoked pork chop close up

Smoked Pork Chops

These tender, juicy and super easy to make pork chops are a hit every time. Dry brined, smoked for about 1 hour and seared to perfection.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Brine Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Calories: 885kcal


  • 4 thick-cut pork chops (2-3 inches thick, around 8 oz each)
  • 4 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt (1 tsp per chop)
  • Vegetable oil or olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Dry Rub (brown sugar, ground black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, dark chili powder)
  • Wood for smoke (apple, cherry, or maple)


Dry Brine the Pork Chops

  • Place the pork chops on a wire rack and pat them dry with paper towels. Drizzle a small amount of oil over the chops and season evenly with the salt and dry rub on all sides. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days for best results.

Smoke the Pork Chops

  • Preheat your smoker for indirect heat cooking at 225°F, using mild wood chunks, chips or pellets.
  • Remove the chops from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking and insert a remote probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chop.
  • Place the chops in the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 135°F, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, flipping halfway through. This will allow for carryover cooking to 140-145°F for medium doneness.
  • Remove from the smoker and rest on a cutting board tented with foil for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Optional Searing (Recommended!)

  • For an extra flavorful exterior, sear the smoked chops for 1 minute per side on a hot grill or cast iron skillet with a little oil after resting. Then serve immediately.


  • For the juiciest results, smoke the chops until they reach an internal temperature of 135°F, then allow carryover cooking to bring them to 140-145°F for medium doneness.
  • The total smoking time will vary depending on the thickness of the pork chops, but plan for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Always cook to temperature rather than by time.
  • Optionally, glaze the chops in the final 30 minutes of smoking if you prefer not to sear them after smoking. Glaze with a maple-bourbon glaze, honey mustard, or your favorite BBQ sauce.


Calories: 885kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 117g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 359mg | Sodium: 9564mg | Potassium: 2121mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 482IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 218mg | Iron: 9mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.