Gluten Free Maple Brined Pork Chops Recipe

Gluten Free Maple Brined Pork Chops Recipe

I remember once going into a beautiful, expensive restaurant in California with some really good friends almost giddy with the anticipation of having a delicious meal and some great wine with the fabulous company. I hadn’t checked out the restaurant ahead of time and it turned out there were only two main dishes on the menu that were gluten-free, one was fish and the other was a pork chop dish. I was leery of ordering the pork chop but the waitress assured me their chops were juicy and flavorful so I went for it. It arrived looking gorgeous; thick, glossy and promising succulence.

Unfortunately, like a Hollywood set facade, the beauty was deceptive. It was dry and flavorless and the fact that it was huge made it seem even worse as now there was just way too much of not-a-good-thing.

As I have mentioned before, the secret to making moist, flavorful pork chops is brining. For a simple explanation of why brining is the answer you can take a look at this post. Or you can just take my word for it!

Pork and maple have a natural affinity for each other which makes brining chops with maple a pretty brilliant idea. Personally, I love the flavor of maple but I have two problems with it. First is that it sends my blood sugar on a chaotic roller coaster ride with a few moments of bliss followed by sinking into a deep sugar coma. The second is that when it is cooked it seems to me to have a bitter, almost metallic, after-taste. Some people don’t get that with maple but for some reason I am pretty sensitive to it. So instead of using pure maple syrup for my pork chops I use  Wholesome! Organic Maple Blue Agave from Wholesome!. It tastes like maple but it is agave, all that wonderful maple flavor without the wild ride!

I like to use those great big, bone-in, center-cut pork chops but this recipe will work just as well with those cheap, skimpy little things you find on sale, just adjust the cooking time.

If you have time, make your brine in the morning, let the chops hang out in the fridge while you are at work and when you get home you can grill them up in less than 15 minutes. You can brine the chops anywhere from 1 to 12 hours but no more than 12.

If you have dreams of the perfect pork chop, try this recipe. You can thank me later.

Gluten Free Maple Brined Pork Chops

5 from 1 vote
Gluten Free Maple Brined Pork Chops Recipe
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Gluten Free Maple Brined Pork Chops Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 538kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Maple Flavored Agave Nectar - use divided
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ¾ cup Sucanat or sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard - use divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary - minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups ice
  • 4 center-cut loin pork chops (approximately 1 inch thick)
  • Olive oil for brushing the chops


  • Combine 1 cup Maple Flavored Agave Nectar, salt, Sucanat or sugar, 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, rosemary and black pepper with the water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Take off the heat, stir in the ice. Pour the brining liquid into a large plastic storage bag or into a glass baking dish deep enough to hold the chops. Add the chops and refrigerate for between 1 and 12 hours.
  • Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat until hot. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons Maple Flavored Agave Nectar with the remaining teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
  • Remove the chops for the brining liquid, rinse with cold water and pat dry. Sprinkle some black pepper on each side of the chops and brush with oil.  Place the chops on the hot pan and cook 4 – 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the chops. Brush the cooked chops with the Maple Flavored Agave Nectar/Dijon Mustard sauce. Let the chops rest for 5 minutes and serve.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Maple Brined Pork Chops Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 538 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 90mg30%
Sodium 196mg8%
Potassium 526mg15%
Carbohydrates 81g27%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 75g83%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 29IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Agave Brined Dairy Free Dinner Grill Maple Syrup Pork
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  1. June 16, 2011

    I need a sub for mustard. Our son can’t have mustard so we’re having lots of trouble figuring out yummy recipes like this one.

    1. June 16, 2011


      Just leave out the mustard, it is totally great without it!

  2. Elsie Hodges
    June 16, 2011

    Hi Carol,

    That pork chop looks absolutely delicious! The suggestion for using Agave Nectar is great. I know about the sugar roller coaster and it’s not fun (although I went into total insulin shock only once when they were doing a glucose challenge on me.)
    I’m still not sure why the brining works to make the chops juicy and succulent though, and I’m wondering about all that salt. Isn’t that a lot of salt for four chops?


    1. June 16, 2011

      Hi Elsie, The salt goes in and out of the pork chops by means of osmosis and you rinse it off before grilling. I am not a nutritionist so I can’t answer about salt if you need to be on a low salt diet for some reason but I do know these make really moist and juicy pork chops :)

  3. Donna
    June 16, 2011

    This looks and sounds amazing! It is going to be on my menu this weekend!

  4. June 17, 2011

    I do love maple and pork together, Carol. And I didn’t know about this new agave product–thanks. You are so right about big dry, tough pork chops being the worse. It’s criminal to mess up pork. :-( This meal looks fantastic!


  5. June 17, 2011

    What a terrific idea! I’ll make these next time I’m putting some chops on the BBQ, pork is one of hard ones to cook without drying out and brining is a fantastic technique. Yummm…

  6. Pingback: Weekly Gluten-Free Round Up – June 19, 2011 « Celiac Kitchen Witch

  7. June 20, 2011

    I can’t wait to try this one! I find pork chops so dry and flavorless, that I rarely make them. I brine my turkey, but never thought to do it on small cuts of meat. Thanks for the idea!

    1. June 21, 2011

      You are very welcome Angie and thank you!

  8. June 21, 2011

    Pork and maple do have a natural affinity for each other, then again rosemary does too. This recipe would be great on the grill too.

  9. Pingback: Tasty Eats at Home » Dijon and Honey Pork Chops

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