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Rosemary Brown Sugar Pork Chops

4.80 from 29 votes

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Super tasty and magically juicy brown sugar pork chops seasoned with with a quick 15-minute dry-rub. Sear the chops on the stovetop and finish in the oven.

Four browned pork chops in a cast iron skillet.

When it comes to cooking the best-tasting, juicy pork chops I’ve always been a huge advocate of brining.

But since I starting made this quick brown sugar dry-rub instead, my pork chop-cooking life has changed.

The neutral, sweet taste of pork is so delicious with the brown sugar mixture, which also includes aromatic fresh rosemary and dried garlic.

Brining pork chops

Brining is still an amazing method — especially for meat and poultry that would otherwise dry out — but let’s be real.

Planning ahead can be iffy, good intentions and all. The seasoning on these rosemary brown sugar pork chops takes just 15 minutes to work its magic.

That means you can prepare and cook a batch of dry-brined pork chops for dinner in less than half an hour.

Ingredients for brown sugar spice rub in small bowl, including brown sugar, garlic powder, pepper, sal and fresh chopped herbs.

How does a dry-brine work?

A dry brine works in basically the same way as a wet one: Instead of immersing a piece of meat into a water-based solution, salt, sugar and other seasonings are rubbed directly on the surface of the meat.

As they dissolve, moisture and flavor molecules make their way into the cells of the meat. Magic!

About the ingredients

Most likely, you already have everything in your kitchen cabinet to make the dry-brine rub. Double or triple the batch and keep it in a jar for up to 6 months.

  • Pork chops: Choose either rib or pork loin chops (boneless or bone-in) that are thick-cut, at least 1 1/2-inches thick. They’re much juicier than thin cut pork, which tends to dry out easily.
  • Brown sugar: Light or dark brown sugar adds a hint of molasses flavor to the pork.
  • Garlic: Instead of fresh garlic, the rub includes a little bit of garlic powder. Garlic powder is important to use when searing food at high temperature or barbecuing, because fresh garlic can easily burn — which in turn will make your dish taste very bitter.
  • Salt: Use kosher salt (this is the only brand I use for consistency) It has larger crystals and a less “salty” flavor than regular table salt or fine salt. If you don’t have kosher salt, reduce the amount in the recipe by half.
  • Herbs: I love to pair rosemary with pork. Other woody fragrant herbs, such as thyme, tarragon or oregano are also good pairings. Or, use one teaspoon of dried herbs or an herb blend.
Cooked pork chops in a skillet, with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Recipe steps

Combine the ingredients for the dry-brine in a small bowl. Rub the seasonings on the pork and let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or so.

If you’d like to start prepping for dinner in the morning before work or even the night before, the chops can be covered and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.

Raw pork loin chops topped with a brown sugar spice rub, arranged on a plate.

Cooking Tips:

Incredible Rosemary Brown Sugar Pork Chops

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Incredible Rosemary Brown Sugar Pork Chops

Rosemary Brown Sugar Pork Chops

Karen Tedesco
This quick dry-brine recipe is the secret to 15-minute, magically juicy pork chops. Mix brown sugar with salt and spices, rub on the meat and let it marinate for 15 minutes and up to 24 hours ahead of cooking.
Print Pin
4.80 from 29 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Meat
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt* (reduce by half if using fine or table salt)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried herbs, such as thyme or oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds thick cut pork chops, bone-in or boneless
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 425 (220 C) degrees.
  • Combine the brown sugar, salt, rosemary, garlic powder and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture on both sides of the pork chops, rubbing it in. Let the chops sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Heat a heavy oven-proof skillet (cast iron is perfect) over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles instantly. Add the oil and the pork chops. Sear until nicely browned on one side, 5 minutes or so. Turn the pork chops over and transfer the skillet to the oven. 
  • Roast until the meat is cooked through and feels firm to the touch (140 – 145 degrees on a meat thermometer), 8-10 minutes. Let the pork chops rest 5 minutes before serving.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

Tips and serving:
  • Use thick-cut (1- 1-1/2-inch) pork chops if possible — they juicier.
  • Instead of fresh rosemary, use fresh thyme or 1-2 teaspoons dried herb blend such as Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning.
  • To make a quick pan sauce, add 1/4 cup chicken broth to the hot pan after removing the chops. Scrape up the browned bits, and boil 1-2 minutes. 
  • Preheat a heavy pan (cast iron if you have it) to get the best sear. You can also grill the chops on an outdoor grill.
  • Serve with wilted greens and roasted potatoes for a simple dinner.

Nutrition

Calories: 1015kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 94g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Sodium: 3249mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 102IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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7 Comments

  1. These were amazing! Super quick and so flavorful. The rosemary is a great addition. Served with some sour cherries sauce. Thanks for a new favorite!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. It’s now part of my regular rotation. Very easy and incredibly flavorful! Perfect for a weeknight dinner.

  3. 5 stars
    These look amazing, I’m definitely going to try this recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was fabulous! My midwestern chops were too big to fit four in a skillet, so I cooked them in two batches. Leftovers were great with scrambled eggs this morning. Thanks for making dinner delicious and easy.

    1. Mary, I’m so glad they were a hit! Great to hear from you 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I have to share this with Scott! It looks so good and so easy! XO
    L