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Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Zucchini-Pineapple Salsa

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 9 hr 35 min (includes chilling, brining and resting times)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Four 1-inch-thick bone-in pork chops (8 to 10 ounces each)

Base Brine, recipe follows

2/3 cup small-diced pineapple 

2/3 cup small-diced zucchini 

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

1 tablespoon chardonnay or white wine vinegar 

1 teaspoon finely chopped shallots 

1 teaspoon finely minced jalapenos

1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Base Brine:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup kosher salt 

1 teaspoon black peppercorns 

3 cloves garlic, smashed 

1 sprig fresh thyme 

1 sprig fresh rosemary 

1 bay leaf 


  1. Place the pork chops into a glass baking dish or bowl and pour the chilled Base Brine over top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. About an hour before serving, make the salsa. Combine the pineapple, zucchini, mint, olive oil, chardonnay, shallots, jalapenos, ginger and some salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Let marinate 1 hour. (This is best if allowed to marinate for 1 hour, but you can also serve it straight away if necessary.)
  3. When ready to cook the pork, prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Remove the pork chops from the brine, pat dry and allow to sit out while the grill is preheating.
  4. Season the pork chops on all sides with salt and pepper. Place onto the hot grill and cook until the internal temperature registers 145 degrees F on a meat thermometer, 7 to 8 minutes per side for medium. Allow the pork chops to rest for 5 minutes before serving topped with the salsa.

Base Brine:

  1. Combine the brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and 8 cups (2 quarts) water in a large stockpot and heat just to dissolve the salt and sugar. Chill thoroughly before using.
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