Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Moonlight Pork Sonata: Maple Glazed Pork Chops

So I was out at the pit the other night, raking about a bed of orange-glowing coals and smoldering embers. Well the word “night” isn’t quite the images (1)choice word I guess, when it’s only five in the afternoon. But what in the heck else was I supposed to call it, when the stars were already out, and the old Weber kettle is silently straddled its own moon shadow. Might as well have been the dark of night. All of that at five PM and two degrees below freezing too, is what you get in Minnesota come November. But like an ugly puppy or something, we love it anyway.

I flipped the old cooking grate over the coals, almost burned through from years of patio service, and scrubbed it down with a wire brush. Moonbeams dropped through the snow-tinted spruce trees whilst I plopped a handsome chunk of apple wood, through the access panel on the grate, directly onto the coals. It quickly caught flame, as I slipped on the old, enameled lid, and the aromatic pleasure of apple wood smoke soon filled the patio. To round off the ambiance, I clicked on the pit radio, and old Beethoven was doing his thing again. His ridiculously famous Moonlight Sonata, which at the time, seemed poetically apt, this night, under the shimmering stars and pale-blue moon wash. It relaxed me at once, patron to the pit, and soon two, portly pork chops met their destiny over the coals. And whilst the meat sizzled over the pit’s fiery bosom, I could feel my foot dutifully slide off the accelerator pedal of life, as the tendrils of wood smoke curled, and the soft music ascended into the night.


Let me tell you a little more about these chops. These particular ones came pre-smoked straight from the ranch we buy them from. TheyIMG_0368 (1) smelled fabulous right out of the sack, which, when you think about it, Β maybe ain’t a half-bad compliment for a pig. Anyways, Β even tho they were already smoked, of course we would smoke them again, because that is what we do, and amp up the flavor ten-fold, using apple wood. Before they hit the grate, however, I dusted them over in liberal fashion with one of our pit favorites, Famous Dave’s Rib Rub. That stuff works on everything. And it excels on pork chops.

Whilst the chops came along opposite the hot coals, and under the soft light of the kerosene lamp, I whipped together a batch of maple glaze for to bring our culinary end game to a proper and most agreeable dismount. Like an Olympic gymnast flipping through the air in one of them triple-whirly-toed-double-tucked-front-hand spring deals, it doesn’t garner the mojo if they don’t last stick the landing. This glaze, needless to say, stuck it like a lawn dart.

In a sauce pan over the coals, mix up the following:

Maple Glaze

  • 3/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • Pinch of Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Cup finely diced apple (optional)

When the chops were of edible quality, I lovingly varnished them over with a fair coating of the maple glaze. Bits of apple clinging here and there, and after a fashion of in-direct cooking, the sugars caramelize some, as they ought to, wrought in smoke, and bathed in heat. The flavors, the time and the effort all come together now in one, last, glorious song that would leave Beethoven himself, verklempt. Is that your stomach I hear, bellowing? Plate up this succulent end game, your Sonata in Pork, and offer it unto your people, for you have done a good thing here indeed, amid the wispy plumes of wood smoke and the pale-blue moonbeams which tarried there. Amen.


Maple Glazed Apple Smoked Pork Chops, hot off the pit. Man!


41 responses

  1. Wonderful!

    November 20, 2013 at 10:48 am

  2. Oh my Lord! Your post came at a terrible time! I am staring at the most delicious photo ever, and hungry at the same time.

    November 20, 2013 at 11:22 am

    • That is why you need plastic key board covers, Richard, to thwart off your impending sieges of drool. Its OK. Happens to the best of us.

      November 20, 2013 at 11:27 am

  3. debbeedoodles

    That maple glaze sounds awesome! So how long did you howl at the moon? πŸ˜‰

    November 20, 2013 at 11:39 am

    • Until the neighbors called animal control…

      November 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      • debbeedoodles


        November 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm

  4. This made me so hungry! Great post.

    November 20, 2013 at 2:27 pm

  5. I enjoyed your poetic porkchop prose from the pit πŸ™‚

    November 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm

  6. as always, great work. maple and pork were made for each other, without a doubt. i use something almost exactly like your maple glaze (only with a little bit of mayo) when i make my signature chicken and waffles sandwich.

    just out of curiosity, were your chops bone-in? i’m a huge fan of the bone-in guys, and i can’t exactly tell from the photo.

    November 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    • Thanks kindly Misha. Yes, as I recall those chops were bone in. I have long thought, tho I cannot prove it, that the bone in any meat lends better flavor. I’ll take meat on the bone every time over boneless things.

      November 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      • we are 100% on the same page on this one.

        chemically, i’m pretty sure the flavor improvement has something to do with the marrow of the bone. also, texture wise, it allows a more even distribution of heat, making your meat cook faster and end up juicier.

        November 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm

  7. I’ve got some pork chops that I’ve delayed cooking because I’m tired of all the ways I cook it – so, thanks for sharing the maple glaze! I will try that ASAP! Sounds so yummy!

    November 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm

  8. At times like this I wish WordPress provided a, “Loved” button!

    You know I like them all, but pork chops are really meant to be smoked over low heat and the apple maple glaze looks to be fit for the Gods!

    Great job – I LOVED it, but could only press the like button.

    November 21, 2013 at 5:59 am

    • Consider your loved button intent acknowledged! Its the thought that counts, as they say.

      Yes, I do believe even the pig himself would have been pleased what his parts turned into on that one.

      Thanks John and Mary too!

      November 21, 2013 at 9:20 am

  9. … just love piggy! come to momma! πŸ˜‰

    November 21, 2013 at 10:15 am

  10. Beautifully written. I’m drooling!!!

    November 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

  11. I don’t know about a sonata of pork, more a sonnet. Poetic pork recipes indeed. An ode to the swine. I could go on. Great recipe guys, yum.

    November 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    • Yes, I admit, it was a bit of a stretch, but the swine did not care! Sonnet in Swine… Hmm, I like that..

      Thanks Laurie. Always look forwards to when you chime in. You’re one of the good guys!

      November 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      • Or perhaps a little opera:

        Pork chops smoked here today,
        Barbequed yesterday,
        Basted, in honey wine,
        Aromas are sooooo devine.
        Prepare your implements,
        for cookouts, outdoors in tents,
        or on—–your balconeeeee,
        Da, da, da, da, on your balcony you see.

        Oh dear. πŸ™‚

        November 21, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      • I think it’s time to change your medications mate!

        November 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      • Me? Never, you’re probably not a lover of opera. πŸ™‚ Did you sing it to the tune of this.

        November 21, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      • Oddly enough that does help!

        November 21, 2013 at 9:44 pm

  12. These pork chops look amazing! Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my recent post.

    November 21, 2013 at 10:42 pm

  13. The pork chops look perfect! Are you smoking turkey for Thanksgiving?

    November 22, 2013 at 10:16 am

    • They were some of the best, thanks. Of course we’re smoking the bird this Thanksgiving! That’s a given, puginthekitchen! And I’ll tell you, once you do your turkey on the pit, you nary want it any other way. Its pretty good!

      Thanks for checking in on us!

      Congrats again on all your all blogging accomplishments as of late. You’re up to good things over there!

      November 22, 2013 at 10:23 am

  14. Man, that looks great. and poetic too. Nice!

    November 23, 2013 at 7:59 am

  15. I usually ONLY sing in the shower (and occasionally when …, I’ve been plied with enuff AL-CO-HOL) guitar in hand, around the campfire.
    But … I find myself humming a familiar classical piece … could it be … a Sonata of the Porkiest kind ???
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm …. this little piggie … “jingle, jingle” πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Great post, again my smokie, snow-covered, Northern Brother …

    November 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    • Oh dear. Our stately readership is breaking into song again, sans shower or libation. You are a rowdy bunch!

      Thank you tho, smokey brethren. Always a pleasure to hear from you.


      November 24, 2013 at 10:40 am

  16. Moonlight Sonata is my favorite piece of all time! My dear Dad played it on the piano as did I. And you guys just added maple and apple and pork. I didn’t think it could get any better. Thanks.

    November 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm

  17. MAN! is right!

    November 24, 2013 at 10:07 am

  18. yumm1

    December 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm

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