Monster Pork Chops

123/18: Monster Pork Chops

123/18 – Monster Pork Chops:

One of my favourite cooks from last year was “Monster Pork Chops – Smoked and Grilled in the style of the butcher and the boar” from the book Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen.

BBQ52/17: Monster Pork Chops

With a freezer full of Managalitza pork chops it seemed like a good dish to cook again!

The Book:

This recipe is from the book Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen:

The Meat:

Massive Managaltiza Pork Chops from Rogers and Son – This is what Olly sent me with the meat:

Your pig is a pedigree blonde mangalitza, bred at Penlan Farm from pure pedigree stock supplied by Christoph and Isabell Wiesner’s farm in Austria. Our pigs live outdoors, and for at least 18 months, to yield meat with outstanding flavour. The pigs are fed a totally natural, soya and GM free diet comprising whey, cheese, fruit, vegetables and brewers’ grains all of which we source locally. The pigs are slaughtered at the small family run Cig Oen Caron abattoir at Tregaron and are transported with great care by Peter Mitchell’s Black Mountain Foods chilled distribution.

These are the two previous cooks with this meat:

089/18: Mangalitza T-Bone Pork Chops

094/18: Fire Bowl Mangalitza Pork Chops

Ok, that’s a lot of chat – here is the meat!

Monster Pork Chops

Into a brine of Hot water, sea salt, sugar and Prague powder #1 stirred until dissolved then cold water added. You leave the brine to cool to room temperature then pour it over the chops, cover with clingfilm and stick it in the fridge.

Monster Pork Chops

The recipe says to leave them in the brine for 12 hours and flip over half way. I got my days wrong so they had 24 hours in the brine then 12 hours in the fridge after being rinsed and patted dry.

The Cook:

A full fire basket of Oxford Charcoal Oak Lumpwood, lit in two places with Flamers and left to heat up to 225F. Top and bottom vents wide open and slowly closed down leaving small gaps as it approached the target temperature.

With the grill up to temperature I dropped some cherry chunks in from Smokewood shack then put the heat deflectors in and placed the pork chops on the grill followed by a Meater probe.

Monster Pork Chops

Last time I cooked this it took the pork 2 hours 15 minutes to hit 63C internal temperature. This time it took less than an hour. The chops were much bigger but were thinner than last time which could explain it. I took them out and wrapped them whilst I ramped up the temperature on the Kamado Joe. Deflectors out and all vents open.

Monster Pork Chops

Whilst the Big Joe was heating up I made the rub: Chipotle powder, dark brown sugar and coarse sea salt. The recipe says to use ancho chilli powder but I still didn’t have any so used chipotle again.


But I have finally ordered some Ancho chilli powder too for next time!

Rub mixed, ready to apply.
Monster Pork Chops

Applied with the spice shaker from Nisbets (£7.99):


Both sides and all edges covered.

Monster Pork Chops

The Kamado Joe was nice and hot at around 400C so I removed the Meater probe and seared the meat on the cast iron sear grates for a couple of minutes per side. The flames were raging even with the lid down so the meat charred a bit, especially with the sugar in the rub. I took this photo after I had moved the meat off the direct heat so I could take a photo!

Monster Pork Chops

Time to Eat:

The fat was a bit charred after the flame grilled cooking action but the pork chops were looking awesome!

Monster Pork Chops


The first time I cooked this recipe we felt they were the best pork chops we had ever eaten and I have been meaning to cook them again for ages. I think what put me off until now was having to run the Weber Smokey Mountain and then fire up the Weber Kettle. One of the great things with the Kamado Joe is the ability to cook at a low temperature then quickly ramp it up to sear the meat.

This was a tasty dish again, the brine softens the meat nicely, the slow and low cook with cherry wood keeps the meat moist and adds a touch of fruity smoke, the rub tastes great and the high heat sear at the end is a great way to finish off the dish.

Whilst these were great I don’t think they were as good as the first time I cooked them. Did I brine them too long? Was the initial low and slow cook too fast? Was the KJ too hot for the final sear? To be honest, I don’t think any of these things were a big problem. I think this recipe works best with double thick pork chops. Whilst these were massive chops they weren’t double thick so best to stick to that in future. Don’t get me wrong, these were super, super tasty and really juicy but if they were double thick they would have been the ultimate pork chops!

Cook Difficulty: 4/5 
Cook Duration: Medium: 3/5
Cook Equipment: Kamado Joe Big Joe
Cook Method: Low and Slow then Sear
Charcoal: Oxford Charcoal Oak
Smoking Wood: Apple
Cook temperature: 225F then 400C
Cook time: About an hour
Internal temperature: Cook: 62C Meater
Final: 70c (Thermapen)
Notes: 1: Double thick chops
2: Don’t brine beyond 12 hours.
3: Sear them a bit lower, maybe use the grill grates to shield from the flames.

This recipe is from the book Project Smoke by Steven Raichlen:




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2 thoughts on “123/18: Monster Pork Chops

  1. The usual awesomeness from you amigo. I love charred fat big time but you went maybe a tad black on those instead of dark brown with a touch of black IMHO!

    1. Thanks Scott, aye they went a bit darker than I wanted. Still learning how to control the Kamado Joe and it was flaring up big time for this one!

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