Cherry Wood Smoked Pork Chops cooked to perfection then topped with Rainier Cherry Salsa you grill on a plank. This is one seriously over the top pork chop recipe, smothered in a mix of cherry and red pepper. You will want to make this one again and again. It’s perfect for cherry season!
This is one of those recipes that just makes you want to come back for seconds, then thirds. It may have you hiding leftovers so no one else will eat them. It’s a bit of a girlie recipe for a grill but I’ll wear that hat proudly today. If I get to eat things like this I’ll grill like a girl any day of the week, and twice on Sundays!
It’s cherry season here in Ontario. That means I will find a way to eat as many cherries as humanly possible during the short time they are available. I am such a cherry lover. If you follow my other site you may have seen my Roasted Cherry and Pistachio Salad with Roasted Cherry Vinaigrette, or my Crostini with Fresh Ricotta, Fresh Cherries and Pistachios. I just love finding creative ways to enjoy cherries. So when it came time for dinner I knew I had to find a way to pair the pork chops with cherries. This is what I came up with. It’s delicious and perfect for summer.
Not only did I grill the chops, but I also grilled the salsa ingredients. I realize you’re wondering how I grilled cherries. Simple! I planked these bad boys. Along with the onion and red pepper that are in it. Sheer perfection. Sometimes you need to think outside the box to take dinner to the next level.
This is outer limits delicious. I macerated the cherries in sugar so they soften and start to caramelize. That hit of sweet with the zesty bit of a baby red bell pepper is going to knock your socks off. Trust me on this one. You might be thinking this is an unusual concoction but I want you to give it a whirl and let me know what you think. I would bet my excessive stash of wood planks this recipe is going to blow your mind, and your taste buds. It’s seriously flavourful.
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Smoked Cherry Pork Chops with Rainier Cherry Salsa
For the Rainier Cherry Salsa:
- 1 1/2 cups rainier cherries pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 baby red bell pepper diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil reserve for after you plank the salsa
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Chops:
- 5 Pork Chops
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup roasted red pepper salad dressing
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cherry balsamic vinegar use regular balsamic if you don't have cherry
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Cherry Smoke:
Take about 1 cup of cherry wood and pop it in a small smoke box, or if you don't have a smoke box, pop them in tinfoil then just puncture a few holes in it. Set that on your grill grate above the flame. Basically the closer to the flame the better, and more smoke action happens. Since this is a quick cooked meal get the smoke set up ahead and do not soak your wood chips in water.
Once your smoker is in place, turn the burners on high. Let the grill heat up, like preheating an oven. A few minutes before you're ready to grill the chops turn the heat down to medium high.
For the Rainier Cherry Salsa:
Soak your plank in water for at least an hour. Season it while it soaks with a bit of salt added to the water.
Place all your ingredients in piles on the plank.
Place on the grill over medium heat. Cook for a good 10 to 15 minutes. The cherries should just be starting to go golden brown when they are done, and they should be soft. I cut mine up after cooking as they set on the plank better in halves.
Once it's cooked, dice the cherries and pepper. Toss everything together with the olive oil and serve over chops. You can serve this hot or cold. I prefer hot.
For the chops:
In a medium sized bowl mix the olive oil, salad dressing, sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk until it comes together.
Place chops into a shallow baking dish. Pour the marinade over top. Let marinate for 20 minutes, flipping half way through.
Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Take the plate to the grill.
Toss the chops on the grill and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes on each side. Only flip once, flipping excessively is bad news.
You want your pork with a slight char just on the very edge but the middle should still be tender.
Remove and place on a clean plate.
Take inside and let rest for a few minutes.
Serve with cherry salsa over top.
Recipe NotesSalsa can be served warm or cold. It's best used the first day. It's still good the second day but it will continue to macerate in the juices so it will start to break down a bit. I prefer to make any salsa the day of. Make sure you soak your plank for at least an hour prior to cooking. It's a must! Every grill cooks a bit differently so keep a close eye on your grill. http://kissmysmoke.com/
When using planks always soak them in water for at least an hour. Planks tend to be awkward sizes. I have found using a rimmed cookie sheet to soak them in works perfectly. I’ve tried lots of casserole dishes and roasting pans but the one that works the best is always my old rimmed cookie sheets. They are battered and bruised but I would trade them for the world. You can set something heavy on top if the plank floats. I usually set a heavy glass or container on top of the plank so it submerges better.
Thank you for spending some time with me today!
This may be a bit of a sissy girl recipe but I’m cool with that. You might want to admit to being a sissy now so you can enjoy this one with me. It’s totally worth it.
Now be confident and get your grill on!