Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Courtesy of the Coals: Honey Pecan Pork Chops


A few dim stars hung overhead as I struck a match and put sweet flame to the political section. Oh there are other sections of the daily paper equallyIMG_0558 as adept I suppose, at lighting your coals via the venerable charcoal chimney, but none nearly so satisfying. And as the initial rush of smoke curled into a cold, Minnesota sky, a comforting glow conspired neath the maturing coals. I tucked my hands in the pockets of the old smoking jacket, and for a moment, watched the smoke curl. I don’t know why, but I have always enjoyed lighting the coals this way. The process of it. And I suppose, because it is slow. The very thing many a well-meaning pit keeper has turned his back on, for the undeniable speed and convenience of the gas grills. And they are fast I suppose. And convenient too. We cannot deny this. But where these things reign, they also fall sadly short of that smokey flavor patron to the pit. For missing are those lofty aromatic tendrils of rising wood smoke. The crackle and the pop of hardwood lump coal. The ambiance in aroma and sound. And besides that, I like that it takes time to light charcoal. And I’ll tell you why. For here is something I love to do – to be out-of-doors, putting meat to flame, hark, let me hence extend its magic for all its worth. And when the smoke has finally faded, and the evening’s plunder resides steadfast in my belly, at least I will know, as surely as I’ve know anything, that I have just done that which is well with my soul.

Anyways, and all digressions aside, on the grill tonight, another foray into American succulence – Honey Pecan Pork Chops, lightly tinted with apple wood smoke. Dashed in garlic. Good eating, people. This fire looks ready to go, so grab yourself a manly or not-so-manly beverage, and let’s see how these chops turned out, courtesy of the coals.


The Thermal Trifecta of Modern Grilling

  • Banking the coals to the back side of the old kettle grill for indirect operations is the first step. Nary is it ever a good idea to spread your coals everywhere in your grill, which we have seen many a smokey tenderfoot burned by. Far better, and more efficient to put them to one side of the pit, thus creating the coveted thermal trifecta of modern grilling. That is what we call it anyways. Three distinct temperature zones in which to ply your bidding. One directly over the coals for intense searing. One, cooler zone, opposite the hot coals for to nurture along your spoils at a safe and modest pace. And something rather of a Switzerland affair right in the middle. It is with these three zones of heat that we charcoal pit keepers can most effectively apply a sweeping thermal sovereignty through-out the smokey kingdom patron to the pit. Oh yes. Anyways, about those chops.

We lightly dusted them in garlic salt, both sides, and sent them straight to Switzerland. After a hearty rummage through the pit-side woodpile, I procured a lovely, baseball-sized chunk of apple wood, knocked the snow off it, and tossed it gleefully onto the orange coals to smolder there. Lid on the old kettle, and the smoke soon began to curl. And nothing is quite so fine on a cold, starry night, whilst the icy breeze sweeps over crusty fields of snow, than the heady aromas of wood smoke and pork. Man! After a fashion and a flipping of the chops, I whipped up the honey pecan glaze.

Honey Pecan Glaze
Are you ready for this. It’s complicated.
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Tablespoon Crushed Pecans
Introduce them, marry them, and bring them together

Often times the better things in life are also simple in design. Like butter. And so go forth with your sweet and nutty glaze in pan, and whence your pork chops have almost, but not quite yet completed their journey on the pit, varnish them there in a fashion suitable to thee. Flip and  brush some more on the other side, tucking them back to the cooler portions of the grill. Lid on, and be mindful whilst you tarry in the aroma of perfectly executed pork. Dang people! Bring them to the land of caramelization if you please, or not. It is a pit master’s discretion. But what ever you do, do not burn your spoils now! The resident sugars are prone to such fates, so monitor it closely, and bath it in smoke. When your chops reach their destiny according to your pit, plate them at once and sidle in through the door and present them to your loved ones. For a fairer fare you shall not find, nor ingest proper, patron to the pit, and courtesy of the coals. Amen.


Apple Smoked Honey Pecan Pork Chops. Oh buddy!

32 responses

  1. I love sweet pork chops, great recipe!

    January 22, 2014 at 9:52 am

  2. Oh my Lord, that looks sinful!

    January 22, 2014 at 11:06 am

  3. I’m not giving up my gas grill – but I’m about to go raid my freezer for some pecans!

    January 22, 2014 at 11:07 am

  4. Debbie Spivey

    Really need to try this!! I grew up with pecan trees and have never had a savory dish using them.

    January 22, 2014 at 11:09 am

    • Cool! It turned out pretty tasty if you like a sweeter meat. I would love to have a pecan tree in my yard. Man!

      Take care,

      January 22, 2014 at 11:18 am

      • Debbie Spivey

        My grandparents had 4 huge trees in their yard. Only one of them is remaining and has managed to survive some hurricanes that have blown inland from the coast. I never realized what a luxury pecan are to have until I had to pay for some. Ouch! They aren’t cheap…

        January 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

  5. Wow, I have got to try this next time!

    January 22, 2014 at 12:49 pm

  6. That pork chop makes me hungry! 🙂

    January 22, 2014 at 1:41 pm

  7. I have the sudden urge to eat pork chops for breakfast

    January 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm

  8. Me too!

    January 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

  9. i might have to give myself a break from my slow-cooked pork belly kick to give this a try. i’m not much one for sweets, but honey glazed pork of any kind piques my interest.

    as always, i have a feeling that the grill gods are smiling down upon your manly deeds.

    January 23, 2014 at 12:50 am

    • Howdy Misha! Slow cooked pork belly you say? Mercy, that sounds awesome! Are these pork belly ramblings up on your site yet, as I may need to gleam some ideas! You sure have fun over there.

      Ohayou Gozaimasu! Well it is over here anyways.

      Take care,

      January 23, 2014 at 9:52 am

      • am i dreaming? did the legendary patrons of the pit (masters of meat, kings of coal, and sultans of smoke) just ask little old me for some ideas on slow cooking pork belly?

        i would be honored to upload the recipe post haste.

        thanks for stopping in from time to time, good sirs. it really means a lot to me.

        January 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      • Well, what can I say, I’m a sucker for pork bellies. Looking forwards to reading about your victories!

        January 24, 2014 at 10:14 am

  10. Yummy! 🙂

    January 23, 2014 at 9:37 am

  11. When are you opening the Patrons of the Pit Cookery School?!

    January 23, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    • Well, we might actually have to know what we’re doing to do that! It does have a lovely ring to it tho.

      January 23, 2014 at 6:23 pm

  12. Liz

    yum yum yum–love that you pork chops (and chicken breasts, ground beef patties, cobblers, etc) have their destiny! Well played as always.

    January 23, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    • You sure like food, Liz! Yeah, me too!

      Thanks kindly!

      January 24, 2014 at 10:11 am

      • Liz

        Haha, what makes you think I like food? And p.s. I just made a few recipes from The Duluth Grill Cookbook over at food for fun. No beet lemonade recipe though, sorry 😉

        January 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

  13. Goodness. I just finished dinner. But as soon as I scrolled across your fabulous photo, my mouth watered. I’m a sucker for sweet and savory. Throw in some pecans….. oooh baby!

    January 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    • Heck yes mrs Deerslayer! Good old pork is abiding with these things for sure. Thanks much!

      January 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

  14. Awesome food, awesome photos my friends! Congrats and thanks for like my blog too.

    Have a great day

    February 10, 2014 at 1:59 am

  15. I have to try! Looks amazing my mouth is watering!!!

    March 12, 2014 at 11:46 pm

  16. This looks so, so good! Yum! Thanks for the recipe!

    December 31, 2021 at 7:19 am

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