Smoked & Seared Lemon/Orange Marinated Chops: Q-View & Recipe

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by forluvofsmoke, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Dangit, I just can't stop myself! I had a big pack of chops thawing in the fridge for a couple days, and didn't get 'em smoked on my last day off. Of course, I had chops on the brain for the past 2 afternoons of work, and tonight, I was home early enough after work to make something good happen, so, let's do it!!!

    I wrote this one up lastnight while I was wishfully thinking of cooking, it's time to make it happen.

    This is a 2-part process, as I had little time for cooling and properly chilling the spice solution after heating, so I opted for a quicker method of cooling the solution with ice.

    ***BEGIN EDIT***


    ***for 6.75lbs assorted pork chops***

    ***spice solution***

    Zest of 1 lemon

    Zest of 1 large naval orange  

    3 cups water

    1 Tbls ground garlic

    1 Tbls fresh ground black peppercorn

    1 Tbls dried rosemary leaves

    1/2 Tbls paprika

    1 tsp cumin

    1/4 tsp cinnamon

    1 Tbls salt

    Combine zest with all dry ingredients and water. Heat to simmer in saucepan and remove from heat.

    ***acidic solution***

    6 Tbls light brown sugar

    Same lemon from above, peeled

    Same orange from above, peeled

    6 cups cubed ice

    2 cups cold water

    Add peeled lemon and orange chunks into blender or food processor with 1 cup ice cubes at a time until all ice is crushed.

    Add cooling spice solution to blended and mix. Pour into large bowl or tall food container and add additional ice
    and water to make at least 2.5 quarts.

    Add chops, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, stirring solution/chops every 30 minutes to aid in food contact
    with marinade.  

    ***END EDIT***

    ***Note: sugar was added to the juices only for the purpose of avoiding the possibility of any carmelization while heating the spice solution, as I was in a rather "heated" rush to get this started. It could be added to the spices instead, if slower heating were accomplished, but with only 3 cups water, it could get a syrup consistency going if not attended to closely. So, it's probably best this way afterall.

    Blending is done...nice and cold, with condensation on the glass:


    2 hours into the marinating:



    2.5 hours marinating...I yanked 'em out, no rinse, dusted with fine ground black pepper and salt:



    4 charoal briquettes and 2 pinky finger-size chunks of apple for cold smoke:


    All set to go:



    They sat in the smoke for 25 minutes by the time the briquettes were almost ready...just about to hit the platter here:


    These were nice and juicy...none were well done, mostly med/well:



    I don't do alot of marinating and I mostly dry rub or brine/dry rub my pork...this was an interesting marinade. Very mild all the way through, with hints of the tartness of citrus, a bit of spicy-sweet, with a very subtle background from the garlic...almost null. Very light smoke flavor, with the majority of the external flavoring during cooking from the charcoal fire. A surprisingly nice pairing, I thought.

    I think in the future, I'd kick up the citrus volume about 50-100%, and maybe a bit more rosemary. Other than that...well, hold on a second...maybe just reduce the water used in the entire mix so all of it is a bit more intense...ah heck, it is pretty good as is, though. If I'd had enough time to let it ride in the marinade for about 4 hours, it would have made a big difference in the overall flavor as well.

    Man, my wife asked if it was another masterpiece before she tasted it...then, said it was really good.  Our house guest loved 'em...said they were the best chops he's had in a long time. The kids just snarffed 'em up like they always do with grilled or smoked meats. One of my boys said that the butchering of the pig for this meal was a worthwhile cause...I guess that means it was a hit. Yea, we'll do this one again sometime.  

    Well, it was too good to not share it with all my friends here, so there ya go...enjoy!

    Ah, my bellys full and happy...mmm-mmm-mmm.

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
    meateater likes this.
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looking deeeeelicious Eric!!

  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Craig!

    If anyone has already copied/pasted the recipe/process of the marinade, please delete and do it over. I had to do some editing...had some boo-boo's I didn't catch earlier.


  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    They look delicious Eric!

    Another great recipe from you!

  5. daddydon

    daddydon Smoke Blower

    Great ideas and it really sounds good .. Thank you for sharing your pics with us .
  6. slownlow

    slownlow Smoking Fanatic

    Chops look great and thanks for sharing the recipe [​IMG]
  7. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Eric it looks yummy it is 14:00 here in cape town  and i am looking at your feast and at my vggies and i am drooling [​IMG]
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Great Eric!!!!

    I still think you oughta move a little farther East!!!!

    I'll bet if that Porker would have known he was gonna have body parts soaked in Lemon/Orange Marinade, he would have stopped grunting & acted more like a gentleman !!!


  9. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Another great smoke job, looks yummy. [​IMG]
  10. cfarley

    cfarley Fire Starter

    Looks good! If you like that flavor print, I would swap out the water for OJ and my personal preference for marinades is always "fresh" garlic and fresh rosemary. I made a pork tenderloin on the grill the other day with almost the exact same ingredients, kinda scary lol. I used fresh squeezed clementine juice. The wife and kids loved it.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  11. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    yeah, I used the lemon and orange along with the water...didn't want the acidity to get too high for the longer marinating period (2.5 hrs). My theory is that with reduced acidity and a longer time in the soak, I can get more flavor from the spices as well as what the citrus brings into the flavor profile (or whatever else my acidic ingredient is). With straight fruit juice, 30-45 minutes would suffice...not sure if I'd get as much from the added herbs and spices, though.

    I'd love to use fresh, but we have a short growing season here if we grow our own, so the majority of our herbs and spices end up being purchased dried in bulk. The trick I learned long ago with dried is that it needs to be worked a bit to aid in the release of it's flavors and aroma...either rub it or grind it...heating a brine, brine/cure or marinade, then chilling prior to adding meat works wonders, too.

    That is kinda spooky about you marinating a tenderloin with nearly the same thing. Man, I've yet to find tenderloin around here that wasn't exorbitantly priced, so haven't tried it yet...that and I'm feeding 6-8, minimum. I do smoke (or char-grill indirect) quite a few whole (boneless) pork loins, and at times cut my own loin chops from them. A 1-1/2" thick boneless chop works great for stuffing.

    We're huge fans of lemon with pork here...wife's always asking for lemon-pepper pork chops, and this meal was no different. She didn't know I had marinated them in a blend with lemon, and asked for me to use lemon-pepper seasoning on her's. I told her that I think she'll like it just as is...she did.


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