Smoked Pork Chops are seasoned with a blend of salt, pepper, and our homemade pork rub, then smoked in the pellet grill to give it a delicious smoky flavor.
Pork chops are an underrated cut of meat that are often overlooked in favor of more popular cuts like pork tenderloin or pork shoulder, but they offer a lot of flavor and versatility at an affordable price. Smoking adds a rich, smoky flavor to the pork, which complements its natural sweetness. When done right, they’re incredibly good.
I love how easy these are to prepare. All you have to do is fire up the pellet grill and season the pork. The smoking process is relatively quick – especially compared with pork shoulder which takes hours to smoke. This makes pork chops a great option for quick weeknight dinners or family gatherings.
Why Are Smoked Pork Chops Great for the Smoker
One of the most significant advantages of smoking pork chops is that they absorb a lot of smoky flavor during the cooking process. The wood smoke infuses the meat with a rich, smoky flavor that complements the natural sweetness of the pork.
They, can be seasoned with a variety of different spices and rubs to create different flavor profiles. For example, you could use a sweet and spicy rub for a bit of heat or a savory herb blend for a more classic flavor.
You can also experiment with different types of wood for smoking to create different flavors and aromas. Hickory and mesquite are popular choices for smoking pork chops, but you could also try applewood or cherrywood for a unique twist.
- Center Cut Pork Chops – Try to get pork chops that are around 1 1/2” thick. The thicker cut will be able to soak up more smoke flavor because they don’t cook as quickly as thinner chops. They also are not as prone to drying out.
- Salt and ground black pepper – season your pork to your liking.
- Pork Rub – Use our pork rub recipe to make your own, or use a store-bought rub that you like.
- Smoker – I use a Z Grills 700 series smoker for most of my smoking, though I also have a Traeger grill. You can use whatever smoker you have – they all work the same.
- Wood pellets – There are many types of pellets available. If you’ve already got pellets in your smoker, use whatever you have.
- Meat thermometer – Many smokers have a thermometer built in, but if yours doesn’t, get an instant-read thermometer. I love this Thermapen.
What Temperature Should Smoked Pork Chops Be Smoked At?
Smoked pork chops should be smoked at a temperature of 225°F until they reach an internal temperature of 140°F.
Cooking at a low temperature helps to prevent the pork chops from drying out, which can happen if they are cooked at high temperatures.
When pork chops are cooked at high temperatures, the heat can cause the juices to evaporate, resulting in dry, tough meat. By cooking at a lower temperature, the meat retains its moisture and flavor, resulting in a more succulent and flavorful end result.
How Long Does It Take to Smoke Pork Chops?
Smoked pork chops take around 60 to 90 minutes to smoke at a temperature of 225°F. Thicker pork chops may take slightly longer to smoke, while thinner pork chops may cook faster.
It’s important to use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the pork chops throughout the smoking process to ensure that they are cooked through to a safe temperature.
How to Smoke Pork Chops
Season the pork chops with salt, and pepper, and rub if you are using.
Load the smoker with wood pellets and preheat the smoker on the smoke setting (if available), then increase heat to 225° F.
If available, insert a meat probe and set the final temp to 140° F.
Place the chops on the smoker grate and close the lid.
Smoke for 60-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 140° F. The amount of time it takes to smoke will vary depending on the thickness of the chops and how well your smoker holds heat.
Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil and rest for 5-10 minutes.
Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill
For this recipe, I used my Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill, which is a new offering from the kitchen appliance brand that makes our beloved favorites, the Ninja MaxXL Air Fryer and the Ninja Creami. The Woodfire Grill is a portable outdoor grill with 7 functions: grill, smoke, air fry, bake, roast, broil, and dehydrate.
Why I Like It
- It imparts an amazing amount of woodfire flavor into the food with just 1/2 cup of pellets.
- It’s incredibly fast and efficient.
- It cooks faster and with more smoker flavor than my full-size smoker – by far.
- There’s no guessing, especially with the built-in temperature probe available on the Pro version.
- The food comes out with a perfect crispy or seared exterior that’s both gorgeous and super tasty.
- It’s very portable and can be set up anywhere on a sturdy surface with a power outlet nearby.
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Some Tips for Smoking Pork Chops
- Dry the pork chops thoroughly before applying the rub to ensure that it sticks well.
- Place the pork chops on the smoker with a small gap between each chop to allow for even smoke distribution.
- Serve the smoked pork chops with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, corn on the cob, or potato salad.
How to Store
To store smoked pork chops, let them cool down to room temperature and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you need to store smoked pork chops for longer, you can freeze them for up to 6 months. Wrap each individual pork chop tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap them in aluminum foil or place them in a freezer-safe bag.
How to Reheat
To reheat your pork chops in the oven preheat your oven to 250°F and bake for around 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
To reheat on the smoker preheat your smoker to 250°F and cook in the smoker for 10-15 minutes until they should reach 165°F.
What Pellets to Use for the Smoker?
You’ll also need pellets for your smoker, if you’ve got a pellet grill like we do. Pellets come in many different types that you can choose from. I like to use hickory wood, or cherry wood pellets for mine. They also have a bourbon wood pellet that’s very good. My friend Todd swears by the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey pellets.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you smoke pork chops without drying them out?
The biggest problem with pork chops for many people is that they are often dry when served. This is because of a lack of fat on most lean pork chops. The best way to make sure they don’t dry out is to buy pork chops that contain some fat around the edges, and to not overcook them. Make sure you use a meat thermometer and don’t cook the pork past 140° F.
What temperature should I set my pellet grill to smoke pork chops?
The ideal temperature for smoking pork chops on a pellet grill is around 225-250°F. This temperature allows the chops to cook slowly and absorb the smoky flavor from the wood pellets.
How long do I need to smoke pork chops on the pellet grill?
It typically takes around 1 to 1 1/2 hours to smoke pork chops on a pellet grill. However, the exact time may vary depending on the thickness of the chops and the temperature of the grill.
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Delicious Smoked Pork Chops
- 4 center cut pork chops 1 1/2” thick
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) bbq pork rub optional
- Season the pork chops with salt, pepper, and rub (if using).
- Load the smoker with wood pellets. Preheat the smoker on the smoke setting (if available), then increase heat to 225° F.
- If available, insert a meat probe and set final temp to 140° F.
- Place the chops on the smoker grate and close the lid. Smoke for 60-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 140° F. The amount of time it takes to smoke will vary depending on the thickness of the chops and how well your smoker holds heat.
- Transfer the pork chops to a plate. Tent with foil and rest for 5-10 minutes.
- I prefer to use apple or fruit wood for pork.
- You can use bone-in or boneless pork chops. The cook time will vary, so you must check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to know it’s done.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, Instant Pot recipes over at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
Laura is a passionate home cook and grill enthusiast who has spent years perfecting her culinary skills, with a particular focus on grilling techniques and flavor combinations. Her fascination with the grill, smoke, and the mouthwatering results they produce has led her on an exciting journey to discover the best methods for grilling delicious and unforgettable meals.