Food & Swine

Perfect Iowa Chops


Congratulations Jennifer F. from Iowa, you’ve been chosen the winner of the “Pork Prize Pack!”

*This contest is officially closed.

The notorious “Iowa Chop” is the seriously thick* and succulent pork chop, cut from the lower back of the hog, just behind the rib. Recently dubbed the “Porterhouse Chop”, they have a characteristic T-bone shape, with a substantial amount of loin meat on one side of the bone and a portion of tenderloin on the other side.  The thickness (1.25-1.5 inches) of this chop led it to be coined “The Iowa Chop”, in the 1980’s by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. The Iowa Chop is still in high demand and is used widely still today throughout the Midwest and beyond.


Giveaway includes: Pork “Be Inspired” Apron, trio of Weber brand grill seasonings, $25 in pork certificates, meat thermometer, Vermont Cheddar Cheese Powder, Homemade Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub, other pork goodies.

To CELEBRATE! this grilling discovery I’m giving away a “Pork Prize Pack” with goodies for grilling, $25 in pork ‘cash’ certificates, King Arthur Flour Vermont Cheese powder (makes great mac n’ cheese to go with the chops) and a jar of my homemade “Lemon Sugar Scrub” to wash up after your duties at the grill are through.

To enter the contest, simply like our page Food & Swine on Facebook and find the Perfect Iowa Chops & Giveaway post and make a comment! (Of course, if you leave a comment on the blog post I’ll give you extra credit but it is not necessary to win!)  I love prizes more than most and giving them away is even more fun!  Thanks to the Iowa Pork Producers for helping me round up some goodies to give away!

To find more pork inspired recipes you shouldn’t live without visit:

I like to grill my chops to 155-160 degree internal temperature for medium doneness and I don’t recommend going over that temperature.  If you like your steak more rare, try cooking your chops to 145 degrees which is “medium-rare” and very delicious too!


Let’s get you on your way to the juiciest, most delicious pork chop you’ve ever tasted!  I promise! *Full recipe at the end of the post.

Step by Step Photos:

Place sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves and crushed red peppers in a large mixing bowl.


Add water, swirl.  (I should have gotten a bigger bowl…)


Insert bigger (blue) bowl.  Add chops, press down gently to submerge.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 or up to 12 hours.


Snack on some candied bacon and pineapple skewers in the meantime.  (The brainchild of my 5 year old.  They were good!)


After 4-12 hours of chilling, remove the chops from the brine, pat them dry gently with paper towels.


Getting the surface of the chops dry will allow them to sear better on the grill.


Add a nice layer of seasoned salt.


Preheat the grill to medium high heat or 400-450 degrees.


Set chops on the center part of the grill, seasoning side down.


Grill for 4-5 minutes, apply a thin layer of seasoned salt on the unseasoned side facing up.  Flip and grill for an additional 4 minutes or until temperature reaches 140 degrees


Mix barbeque sauce and ketchup together.  Glaze chops with 1 TBSP of the mixture on top side of each.

FYI: I only made 2 chops this evening, the other two stayed in the brine and I grilled them for breakfast the next day!


Flip chops and add remaining glaze to the other side.  Grill 1 minute more to set the glaze.


Check temperature (145 for medium rare, 160 for medium doneness) and remove from grill, let rest for 5 minutes and serve.


Don’t forget to visit for amazing pork recipes.


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  • Reply Lois May 12, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    I go to the Iowa state fair, stand in line, just to eat an Iowa pork chop. Love them!
    I will try this recipe !

    • Reply Cristen May 12, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks Lois! There’s no better place to enjoy a pork chop than the Iowa State Fair!

  • Reply SandyN May 13, 2014 at 2:16 am

    What a great giveaway! Living in Iowa, we love Iowa chops! 🙂

    • Reply Cristen May 13, 2014 at 3:12 am

      Thanks Sandy! They are addictive aren’t they?

  • Reply Monica Jertson Cateron May 13, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Looks soooo delicious !!

    • Reply Cristen May 13, 2014 at 3:12 am

      Thank you Monica! 🙂

  • Reply mommyjenna May 13, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Yum! I’m so excited for Summer here and the chance to grill!

    • Reply Cristen May 13, 2014 at 3:13 am

      Me too! I’m just getting the hang of the grill… I love summer!

  • Reply Sandy May 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    This recipe looks so good. I’ll be getting the chops ready for my hubby to grill soon!

    • Reply Cristen May 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Awesome! 🙂 I love this time of year for grilling!

  • Reply Jessica May 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    These look wonderful. We love good ole pork burgers on the grill especially the bacon pork burgers from Fareway (although they’re hard to find on a regular basis).

    • Reply Cristen May 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      This is true! 🙂 How do you have time for pork burgers with all the beef around? j/k!

  • Reply Mollie @Sprinkles of Life May 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I was nervous with my first giveaway, too! but piece of cake! 😉 I hope yours goes well, too! (and I hope I win!!)

  • Reply livivua May 13, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    great post…we just had a 4-H club bbq cooking contest and one of our winners grilled bone in pork chops and won 2nd place

    • Reply Cristen May 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      I love cooking contests! That is a great way to get kids cooking and grilling! Awesome.

  • Reply Heather May 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Your BBQ chops look awesome! There is nothing better than BBQ chops on the grill with some fresh corn on the cob and a baked potato!

    • Reply Cristen May 13, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      I’m hungry for that exact meal! 🙂

  • Reply HS May 14, 2014 at 2:59 am

    Love the idea of bacon and pineapple skewers !

  • Reply Debbie Lind May 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I love pork chops. Living in Florida we can grill all year long.

  • Reply Robin W. May 14, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    What a wonderful giveaway!! Iowa Chops Rock!!!

  • Reply Carolsue May 16, 2014 at 12:42 am

    I love grilling pork! There are so many different recipes! I liked your Facebook page and left a comment as Carolsue Anderson.

  • Reply Julie May 19, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I have bookmarked this recipe to try. Looks delicious-left a comment on fb page as Julie A Scott Laws. thanks for the giveaway

  • Reply Suzy March 21, 2015 at 6:05 pm


    I’m interested in trying your recipe but I don’t see the details attached as your post states they would be. Could you please provide the amounts of the ingredients involved in the recipe? I’m super anxious of trying this recipe as the weather is now beginning to cooperate! Yay!! 🙂

    • Reply Cristen March 21, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Suzy, as soon as I get home I will post those! Cristen

    • Reply Cristen March 21, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Suzy: 4 Iowa Chops, bone in, thick cut, Add to brine in large glass bowl. Brine: Mix together: 1 1/2 QT water, 1/2 C sugar, 2 TBSP salt, 1 TBSP peppercorns, 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 3-4 bay leaves. Seasoned salt (roughly 2 TBSP divided up) and don’t forget: BBQ sauce for glazing: 1/3 C should do!

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