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Smoked Cherry Pork Chops with Rainier Cherry Salsa

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!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


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.


Salsa 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.