Cocoa-and-Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops

Serving Size: 4
Prep Time:
Total Time:


  • 2 Quart water
  • 1.5 tsp crushed red pepper
  • kosher salt
  • 4 1 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork loin chop
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pure ancho chili powder
  • extra-virgin olive oil for brushing


1. In a large bowl, combine the water with the red pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and stir until the salt dissolves. Add the pork chops and let brine at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Light a grill and create a cool zone. (For a charcoal grill, rake the coals to one side; for a gas grill, leave one side unlit.) In a bowl, mix the cocoa, sugar and ancho powder with 1 tablespoon of salt.

3. Drain the pork chops and pat dry, removing any bits of crushed pepper. Brush generously with olive oil. Roll the pork chops in the cocoa rub and pat to help it adhere. Grill over moderately high heat for 4 minutes, turning the chops once or twice until lightly browned. Transfer the chops to the cool zone, cover and grill for about 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the chops registers 135° for medium meat. Let the chops rest for 10 minutes before serving.