Recipe Details

Maple-Pepper Chops with Sizzling Applesauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 3 hours
Servings: 4


Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest


4 bone-in ribeye (rib) pork chops, 1-inch thick
1/3 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons dried sage, crumbled (OR 1/4 cup fresh sage, snipped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper, coarsely ground

Sizzling Applesauce:

3 large Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 whole clove
1 cinnamon stick
1 jalapeno chile, cored, seeded, and cut in half*

Cooking Directions

In large self-sealing bag, mix together the apple juice concentrate, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, sage, salt and pepper. Add pork chops and seal bag; refrigerate 4-24 hours.

Prepare Sizzling Applesauce while chops marinate. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill; remove chops from marinade (discard any remaining marinade) and grill over direct heat for a total of 10-12 minutes, turning once, until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a 3-minute rest time. Serve with Sizzling Applesauce.

Serves 4

Sizzling Applesauce: In a medium saucepan, combine apples, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, clove, cinnamon stick and jalapeno. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until apples are soft. Remove from heat; discard clove and cinnamon stick. Puree mixture in food processor. Cover and let cool at room temperature up to 3 hours or, if making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to one week.

*Wear rubber gloves when handling hot chiles.

Serving Suggestions

Grilling goes beyond the summer season and not just in the fair weather regions. Add sizzle to your winter menu with this pork chop recipe. Grilling time may need to be extended depending on how low the mercury drops. Round out the meal with grilled squash and a fresh winter slaw. Keep the chef warm by using the remaining apple juice for a hot apple drink.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 599 calories
Protein: 23 grams
Fat: 7 grams
Sodium: 563 milligrams
Cholesterol: 55 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 114 grams
Fiber: 5 grams

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About the Cut: Chop

Pork chops are the most popular cut from the pork loin, which is the strip of meat that runs from the pig’s hip to shoulder. Depending on where they originate, pork chops can be found under a variety of names, including loin, rib, sirloin, top loin and blade chops.

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About the Cooking Method: Grilling

There are two ways to grill pork based on the size of the cut:

  • Direct heat, where food is placed directly over the heat source, is ideal for small cuts like kabobs, tenderloin, burgers and chops.
  • Indirect heat, where food is placed on the grill rack away from the coals or gas burners, is good for large cuts like loin roasts, ribs, shoulder and fresh ham.

Direct Heat

Arrange hot coals evenly on the fire grate of the grill or use all gas burners. Place pork directly above the heat source. Follow suggested cooking times, turning once during cooking.

Indirect Heat

Bank hot coals on both sides of the fire grate, on one side of the grill or in a ring around the perimeter. For gas grills, pre-heat and then turn off any burners directly below where the food will go. Place pork on the grill so it is not directly over any coals or gas burners and close grill hood. Follow suggested cooking times until pork is done. The heat circulates inside the grill, so turning the pork is not necessary.

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Tips and Tricks

Buying, Handling & Storage Tips

The best way to defrost pork is in the refrigerator in its wrapping. Defrosting a 1 inch chop will take 12-14 hours.

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Butcher's Tips

It’s important to note that all pork chops cook the same. The length of cooking primarily depends on the thickness of the chop. Thickness can vary from ½ to 2 inches. Whether you choose chops boneless for convenience or chops with the bone attached for their attractive appearance, the cooking time is the same. Pork chops are likely the least intimidating of all pork cuts because they are so easy to prepare.

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