Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Melissa Reome
This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks. Rest assured, all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
If you’ve ever tasted the famous Perry’s Steakhouse pork chop, you know how mind-blowing it is. Their “seven-finger high” pork chop is a sweet and smokey masterpiece and also their signature dish. I’ve seen people attempt to recreate it online but I felt the recipes were missing the mark so I felt the need to create my own. This homemade famous Perry’s Steakhouse pork chop recipe is my interpretation of that glorious pork chop.
Differences Between This Interpretation and the Secret Perry’s Steakhouse Pork Chop Recipe
There are a couple slight differences between my interpretation of Perry’s Steakhouse pork chop and this one. Granted, their recipe is a secret and how they actually make it is speculation on my part. Perry’s has mentioned that they cure their pork chop prior to smoking it and I brine the chop. Granted there are many different variations of curing which take different lengths of time, but it is secret what their method actually is and how long the process takes. For me, it was about getting that similar flavor and texture I love.
The second notable difference is that Perry’s porkchop is finished likely in the oven with a brown sugar mixture. The chop appears to be caramelized yet have a brown sugar crumbly appearance on part of the chop. The rub I made for this pork chop includes brown sugar as does the brine. However, at the end I chose to caramelize the chop with white sugar as it is more forgiving. The flavor is there, the surface is caramelized like brulee but that crumbly component is not.
The Perfect Pork Chop
There are a couple easy things we can do to assure we get a perfect chop that is perfectly cooked every time. I can’t stress this one enough as it is an essential tool we all must have in our kitchens: An instant read thermometer. I don’t care if it’s a basic model that costs $30 or one with all the bells and whistles. Accuracy is all that matters. If you are in the market for a new instant read thermometer, you can check my favorite instant read thermometer from Thermoworks here.
If you need any specific suggestions, drop me an email and I’m more than willing to help. Do you want insurance that you won’t overcook meat ever again? Invest in that thermometer.
Picking Out the Best Pork for Perry’s Steakhouse Pork Chop
Although Perry’s Steakhouse uses prime pork chops that are nicely marbled, I realize not everyone has access to prime grade pork. To make a nice tender, juicy chop, try to buy a thicker chop and the best quality pork available to you. My preference is to have one at least an inch thick for a typical recipe and for this recipe at least 2 and even 3 inches thick would be ideal. Perry’s famous pork chop per the restaurant is “seven-finger high” and they aren’t kidding. Their smaller version for lunch is still a three bone pork chop!
If you can’t get great pork near you, don’t forget about online delivery. I’ve had a number of great chops lately from Omaha Steaks. My favorite are the bone-in king cut pork chops. These massive and glorious chops weigh in at 16 ounces per chop and are well marbled.
Why Brining Pork is Important
The last bit of pork chop perfection insurance I can sell you is to brine your pork. What is a brine though and why is it important? A wet brine is a mixture of at minimum salt and water in which you meat in to make it more tender and moist when cooked. By the process of osmosis, that piece of meat will absorb some of the brine and when you cook it, you’ll have more moisture in the meat compared to if you didn’t brine at all.
A brine in addition to the salt and water can contain sugar, herbs and other aromatics to help pull some extra flavor within the meat. I’m going to keep this brine pretty simple for this recipe however. There is a lot of information available on brining meat and it’s actually quite fascinating. Many different types of recipes and methods are available if you are interested in researching the topic more.
Please note: the finished temperature of pork should be 145F and the pork may have a slight pink hue and that is completely normal. The USDA guidelines were changed in 2011 to show that pork can be consumed safely at this temperature. I know the temperature of a big chop like these 16oz chops is going to increase after I’m finished searing them so I actually temp them when searing to make sure they are at 140F then pull them off as the temperature will rise as they rest. I cannot stress this enough, please don’t overcook your pork. Not only is it unnecessary but you will ruin the piece of meat you bought. This is why having an instant read thermometer is so important.
To summarize, for this recipe we will:
- Defrost the chop if necessary
- Prepare the brine, cool the brine and brine the pork chops
- Rinse the brine from the pork and pat dry.
- Season the meat (use your favorite sweet and spicy rub or follow my rub recipe below)
- Put meat on the smoker at 250F (or oven if you don’t have one) until internal temp of 115F
- Quickly sear the pork chop on both sides (be careful not to burn the outside of the chop as there is sugar in the rub)
- Make sure chop is 140F after the sear
- Caramelize sugar on the outside of the chop
- Top with garlic butter and serve
How to Brine the Pork Chop
In a non-reactive container (glass, stainless steel etc), mix enough brine to make sure the chops are covered. Kosher salt and table salt are much different in crystal size and weight per tablespoon of salt. For this brine use ¼ cup of kosher salt OR 2 TBSP of table salt for every quart (4 cups) of water. In addition, add 2 TBSP of brown sugar (if you do not have brown sugar you may use white), 1 tsp of black peppercorns, a couple cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed open (no need to chop).
If you would like to add juniper berries (about 10 berries), or fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary, a few springs will do. I only used salt, sugar, peppercorns and garlic for mine because that is what I had on hand.
Boil brine until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Chill brine then add pork. If you don’t have much space in the refrigerator, brining in a plastic freezer bag is quite handy. Brine for the appropriate time, then remove pork from the brine, rinse with cool water and pat dry. For a 1 1/2 inch thick pork chop, brine for 6-12 hours, if 2-3 inches, brine the pork chops for at least 12 hours ideally. If you do not have the time to brine for the recommended amount of time, even 4-6 hours will improve the flavor somewhat.
Season the Pork Chop
For this recipe I love a rub that is both sweet and with a bit of heat but not spicy. Making your own rub is really easy if you have the ingredients on hand. I don’t like anything overwhelmingly spicy, but it’s nice having a slight heat to compliment the sweetness of the sugar. Don’t stress if you don’t have the ancho chile powder or the smoked paprika. Regular paprika can be used in place of the smoked and will still give great color as a replacement. Ancho chile powder is delicious but not crucial to the success of the recipe. Apply this rub liberally to all sides of the pork chops.
Pork Chop Rub:
2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground mustard
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
I personally like to always mix up multiple batches of rub at the same time and keep it on hand for when I use it next. This rub will go great on both pork and chicken.
Smoke the Pork Chop
Set up your smoker for indirect cooking at 250F with wood of choice (pecan, hickory, apple, cherry etc.). Smoke the pork chops until the internal temperature of the meat is 115F. The temperature will rise further when you sear the pork so you want to pull it off much lower than the finished cooking temperature of 145F. How long will it take to cook? That depends on the size of the chop. You are looking at anywhere from maybe 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on thickness. Remember, smoke to temperature, not time.
How To Sear Pork Chops
Time to sear the chop. You can either sear the chop quickly over direct heat on your grill, sear it in a suitable hot pan for a minute or so on each side, or place the chop in the oven at 450F for a couple minutes. Please note when searing: the brine has sugar in it as does the rub. Keep a close eye on the color of the chop as you are searing it as the sugar will burn if it gets too hot.
I would rather you take a little time longer to sear at a slightly lower temperature rather than burn the rub on the outside of the pork chop. Using an instant read thermometer, pull the chop off of the heat when it reads 140F. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to raise a few degrees as it is resting for a few minutes.
Perry’s Steakhouse Pork Chop Caramelization Process vs This Recipe
If you have tasted Perry’s Steakhouse pork chop, you would notice when served there is both the caramelized chop certainly has brown sugar on the surface. As previously mentioned, in this recipe it does not. If you truly want to recreate that specific texture, you can mix some of the rub with additional brown sugar and place it either back on the grill at 425 F or in the oven until caramelized to your liking. I personally love the crackle that the white sugar gives to the top of the pork chop in this interpretation.
Caramelizing the Pork Chops
Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of white sugar on the top and sides of the pork chops. Using a kitchen torch or blow torch, use a sweeping motion to torch the sugar with the flame until it is caramelized nicely all over. Stay a few inches back from the surface of the meat and judge how effective the flame is melting the sugar prior to moving closer.
Go slow and be cautious as you want it to caramelize the sugar, not burn it. If you have ever had creme brulee that they went a bit too crazy with the torch on, you know exactly where I’m coming from. The goal here is to create a similar effect on top of the pork as you would get on creme brulee. If you have never enjoyed that dessert, you are aiming for a sugar crackle basically.
Tip: If you have never used a torch to caramelize sugar, practice on a piece of fruit like a banana sliced lengthwise first. It’s fun and delicious to eat!
If you don’t have a blow torch, that’s okay. Sprinkle the sugar on the chop and pop it under the broiler in the oven. I recommend keeping the oven door opened slightly while you do this. Watch it closely though because it only takes a few seconds. You may also purchase a kitchen torch or blow torch online or at a home goods store or hardware store.
Finishing touches the Homemade Famous Perry’s Steakhouse Pork Chop
As a finishing touch, I chose to top my pork chop with a dab of garlic butter. I soften a stick salted butter then add a teaspoonful of minced garlic and mix to combine. Alternatively, roasted garlic in butter would be fabulous as well. Put a generous dab of the butter on chop right as you are serving. If you have a sizzle plate, this would be an ideal way to serve this stunning chop as they do serve it on a cast iron platter at the restaurant.
An exact replica, my interpretation is not. However, it very much gives me the flavors and textures I crave from the original and that brings me joy.
Homemade Famous Perry's Steakhouse Pork Chop Recipe
- 1 smoker
- 1 kitchen torch or blow torch
- 1 skillet
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 tbsp table salt
- 1 tsp black peppercorns whole
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (can sub white sugar)
- 10 juniper berries optional
- 2-3 sprigs of thyme / rosemary option
- 2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp kosher salt or sea salt
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika may use traditional paprika
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ancho chile powder optional
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 2-3 tsp white sugar for searing
- 1 stick salted butter for serving
- 1 tsp minced garlic for serving
- Defrost the chops if necessary
Prepare the Brine
- In a non-reactive container (glass, stainless steel etc), mix salt in 4 cups of water
- Add peppercorns, garlic, brown sugar, juniper berries and herbs.
- Boil brine until salt and sugar are completely dissolved.
- Chill brine then add pork
- Brine for appropriate time depending on thickness. For a 1 1/2 inch thick pork chop, brine for 6-12 hours, if 2-3 inches, brine for at least 12 hours ideally. If you do not have the time to brine for the recommended amount of time, even 4-6 hours will improve the flavor somewhat.
- Remove pork from the brine, rinse with cool water and pat dry
Season Chops with the Rub
- Mix all rub ingredients in a small bowl or container
- Apply rub liberally to all sides of the pork chops.
Smoke the Chops
- Set up your smoker for indirect cooking at 250F with wood of choice (pecan, hickory, apple, cherry etc.).
- Smoke the pork chops until the internal temperature of the meat is 115ºF (typically 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on thickness). Remember, smoke to temperature, not time.
Sear the Chops (3 Methods)
- Sear the chop quickly over direct heat on your grill OR
- Sear it in a suitable hot pan for a minute or so on each side OR
- Place the chop in the oven at 450F for a couple minutes
- Using an instant read thermometer, pull the chop off of the heat when it reads 140F.
Carmelize the Sugar
- Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of white sugar on the top and sides of the pork chops
- Using your torch, using a sweeping motion, torch the sugar until it is caramelized nicely all over. Stay a few inches back from the surface of the meat and judge how effective the flame is melting the sugar prior to moving closer. You want it to caramelize, not burn.
- OR sprinkle sugar on the pork chop and broil for a few minutes in the oven to caramelize without a torch.
- Soften butter and add minced garlic.
- Serve chop with healthy dab of garlic butter on top and serve immediately.