Vanilla Brined Pork Chops with Applesauce for #AppleWeek

  • Yield: 4-6 chops, 3-4 cups applesauce 1x


  • 46 pork chops, trimmed


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (62 grams)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 star anise, broken into pieces

Spice Rub

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika or pimenton
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon sweet paprika


  • 3 pounds apples, peeled and cubed or sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider, apple juice, or water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Vanilla-Brined Pork Chops

  1. Combine all brine ingredients in a gallon sized zipper bag. Shake a bit until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  2. Use a fork to poke a few holes in each chop. Place pork chops in bag and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 24 hours.
  3. Remove pork chops from bag and dry. Let rest for a few minutes at room temperature.
  4. Combine rub ingredients. Coat pork chops and cook in one of the following ways, until a thermometer measures 145F internally.
  5. Grill: 4-6 minutes per side (longer if quite thick)
  6. Broil: 6-8 minutes per side
  7. Roast: Preheat oven to 400F. Sear both sides of the chops in an oven-safe skillet; then roast for 5-10 minutes.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until apples are fork-tender.
  2. If you like the consistency, leave as is. For a smoother applesauce, use an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor to puree to desired consistency.
  3. Serve pork chops with a healthy serving of applesauce.