Cedar Plank Pork Chops {Molasses Brine Recipe}

Cedar Plank Grilling is a great trick to have up your sleeve.   Grilling on planks has the triple benefits of imparting new flavors, creating great presentations and making the grilling process easier.

Stick with me and I’ll show you what I am talking about.

Pork Chops Cooking on a Cedar Plank

Prepare the Pork Chops for the Grill

Start with two thick cut pork chops (about a pound each) and brine them in the refrigerator overnight with the following:

  • 1 quart water
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt

Pork Chops in Brine

If you are not a fan of the molasses flavor profile then this awesome pork steak marinade would work amazingly well for this recipe.

After the chops have brined/marinated, rinse them off, place on a soaked cedar plank and season both sides with black pepper.

Planked Chops for the Grill

Prepare the Grill and Plank

For this recipe I was using a cedar plank, about 1/4 inch thick, that had been soaked in water for an hour.  Soaking the plank helps make sure that the wood smolders and provides smoke flavor without bursting into flames.

I wanted to grill with direct high heat so I used a full chimney of Kingsford charcoal.  Once the coals were lit I spread them in a single layer evenly distributed across the charcoal grate of a 22.5 inch Weber kettle.

How Much Charcoal for Cedar Plank Grilling

The top and bottom air vents are kept completely open during the entire grilling process.

Top Air Vent Setting

Grill the Planked Chops

Place the planked pork chops over direct high heat in the middle of the kettle.

Chops on the Grill

Now comes the easy part.  Close the lid and walk away for 30 minutes.

Let the cedar plank work its magic as the heat from the coals slowly char the underside of the plank and release some wonderful smoke flavors.  You will be getting a very different flavor profile than traditional smoked pork chops.

After 30 minutes open the lid, brush the chops with a little melted butter and check the internal temperature.

Brushed with butter

I pulled these chops off the grill when they hit 150F internal.

The brine kept them super moist and the flavor profile was outstanding.

Sliced Cedar Planked Pork Chop

Throw Away the Plank

The bottom of the cedar plank had a nice char but at no point had it caught on fire.

Charred Cedar Plank

You might be tempted to reuse your cedar plank but it really is best to throw it away.  The planks develop a little warp as they char which makes recycling them for other grill sessions awkward.  It also just seems kind of yucky to try to get the plank cleaned up for a second use.

Before you throw the plank away run the charred side under cold water to make sure there are no coals/hot spots that could catch your trash on fire.

Pork Chops Cooking on a Cedar Plank

Cedar Plank Pork Chops

Thick cut pork chops are brined, seasoned and then grilled over high heat on a cedar plank. The flavors are incredible!
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 375 kcal


  • 2 Thick Cut Pork Chops
  • 1 quart water brine
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt brine
  • 1/3 cup molasses brine
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 cedar plank 1/4 inch thick


  • Combine the brine ingredients and mix well.
  • Brine the pork chops for at least four hours.
  • Remove the chops from the brine, pat dry with paper towels and season with black pepper.
  • Soak the cedar plank in water for one hour.
  • Set up your grill for direct high heat
  • Place the pork chops on the cedar plank and place on the grill.
  • Grill for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145-150F.
  • Baste with melted butter and serve.


Please do not skip the brining step as this is the key to keeping your chops juicy and tender.
Keyword Cedar Plank Pork Chops