These Brined Pork Chops with Garlic and Sage are a quintessential fall dinner that is sure to please the whole family! While we do recommend letting the pork chops marinate for a few hours (or overnight), it’s a really hands off process that delivers a lot of flavor, while also keeping the pork incredibly tender and juicy.
This is a perfect meal to prep in advance for company or just to serve on a cool fall or winter evening. Our favorite side dishes? Mashed butternut squash and sautéed mushrooms — so, so good together!
- Kosher salt (we recommend Diamond Crystal salt) and freshly ground pepper to season everything!
- Water for the pork chop brine.
- Granulated sugar adds flavor and enables better browning when seared.
- Garlic cloves to add flavor to the pork brine and chops.
- Fresh sage: you can substitute with fresh rosemary or fresh thyme!
- Bone-in pork chops — yes, you can make this with boneless pork chops, but cooking meats with the bone in (whether that’s chicken, steak, or turkey) all leads to a more rich, flavorful, juicy meat.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Unsalted butter to sear the pork chops in.
- Balsamic vinegar, optional, adds a rich, sweet taste that complements the other fall flavors in the dish.
- Flaky sea salt, for serving.
Equipment: medium saucepan, whisk, a container with lid (large enough for brine + pork chops), paper towels, and a cast iron or stainless steel skillet.
How To Brine Pork Chops
- Make the brine. Bring water, salt, sugar, garlic, and sage sprigs to a simmer in a saucepan, then stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Place in an airtight container or large bowl with a lid, then refrigerate until completely cool. Once cool, add the pork chops to the brine, then marinate for 2-3 hours (or up to overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400F. Remove the pork chops (do not rinse) from the brine, pat dry with a paper towel, then season generously with Kosher salt and black pepper on both sides.
- Sear the pork chops. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, then add olive oil and unsalted butter. Cook pork chops with remaining herbs and garlic for 3 minutes per side, then transfer the skillet to the oven and cook about 5 minutes more, or until the internal temperature is 145F. Our fav instant-read thermometer is linked below!
- Finish, then serve. Allow the pork chops to rest, then serve with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Serve whole or cut into slices with a knife and serve family-style!
We recommend the Thermapen MK4 to check for doneness on all meats!
Pork chops will keep in a refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Technically, yes, cooked pork chops can be frozen. Wrap them tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil, then place them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. However, we really recommend eating this one fresh. Cooked proteins have a tendency to try out when frozen after cooking, and we can’t vouch for how these will reheat once thawed.
Yes! Both are gluten-free.
- We love the flavor of bone-in pork chops, but if you prefer to use boneless pork loin, increase the brining time up to 16 to 24 hours.
- Want to cool the brine down quicker? Add a few ice cubes to cool the water.
- Pork chops can be cooked on a grill if you don’t have a cast iron skillet.
- Let pork chops sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before you cook them. This is recommended for all meats — you want to avoid putting cold meat into hot pans.
- Feel free to play around with the brine: you can add whole peppercorns and/or whole cloves to the pork chops for spice and warmth, or brown sugar to make it sweeter.
I am totally planning to play around with brined pork chops more and next time want to brine them in a combination of apple cider (or apple juice) and beer. Kind of a sweeter flavor profile, but I bet the apple cider and beer amp up the moisture level!
This pork recipe is sure to become one of your favorite weeknight dinners. It’s tender and juicy (brining is where it’s at!), and the flavor of the sage and garlic is incredible. You will love this for a special occasion or just a fancy weeknight fall dinner!
If you make this Brined Pork Chops recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Juicy Brined Pork Chops with Garlic & Sage
For the brine
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup Kosher salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 5 garlic cloves crushed
- 3 sage sprigs (about 10-12 leaves total)
For the pork chops
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 garlic cloves crushed
- 3 sage sprigs (about 10-12 leaves more)
- 1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar optional
- Flaky sea salt for serving
- Make the brine. In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water, ¼ cup Kosher salt, ¼ cup sugar, 5 crushed garlic cloves, and 3 sage sprigs. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking until the sugar and salt dissolve. Transfer to a large container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
- Soak the pork chops in brine. Once the brine has cooled completely, add the pork chops. Marinate for at least 2-3 hours or up to overnight.
- Dry the pork chops. Preheat an oven to 400F. Drain the pork chops, discarding the brine, then pat dry thoroughly on both sides with a paper towel. Season generously on both sides with 1 tsp Kosher salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.
- Sear the pork chops. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 3 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp unsalted butter. Add the seasoned pork chops and cook for 3 minutes. Carefully flip, then add remaining sage leaves and crushed garlic. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, then transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork registers 145F.
- Rest, then serve. Allow the pork chops to rest for at least 5 minutes, then serve with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar (optional) and a pinch of flaky sea salt.
- Storage: leftovers will keep in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Technically, yes, cooked pork chops can be frozen. Wrap them tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil, then place them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. However, we really recommend eating this one fresh. Cooked proteins have a tendency to try out when frozen after cooking, and we can’t vouch for how these will reheat once thawed.
Photography by: Cambrea of Cambrea Bakes