Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chops

Alexis Hamilton
Southern Kitchen

Serves: 4

Hands On Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


1 quart water

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

4 sprigs thyme

2 sprigs rosemary

4 cloves garlic, smashed flat with the back of a knife

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon molasses

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

6 allspice berries

6 cloves

2 bags orange pekoe tea, preferably Luzianne or Lipton

1 bay leaf, preferably fresh

2 cups ice

4 (10- to 12-ounce) bone-in pork loin chops


In a large pot over medium high heat, combine the water, onion, thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, molasses, coriander, peppercorns, allspice, cloves, tea bags and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Transfer to a sealable container, add the ice and let cool to room temperature.

Once cool, remove the tea bags. Add the pork chops, seal the container and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Remove the pork chops from the brine. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside at room temperature while heating the grill.

Prepare a charcoal fire using about 6 pounds of charcoal and burn until the coals are completely covered with a thin coating of light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread the coals evenly over the grill bottom, position the grill rack above the coals, and heat until medium-hot (when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill surface for no longer than 3 or 4 seconds).

Or, prepare a gas grill by turning on all burners to high, closing the lid and heating until very hot, 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the pork chops on the prepared grill and cook until an instant-read thermometer reaches 145 degrees, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Let rest for at least 5 minutes and serve.

About the recipe

The tea brine makes the pork chops tender, moist and succulent. This recipe includes 24 hours of brining time. Recipe courtesy of Magnolia Grill in Durham, N.C.