Smoked Pork Chops Stuffed With Bacon and Cotija Cheese

This week I am breaking in my new Kamado Joe Classic. Kamado style cookers are equally good at grilling, baking and smoking. BBQ Pit Stop carries the full line of kamado cookers from Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg. You’ll be seeing more of the Kamado Joe in upcoming blogs.

I decided to stuff pork chops with bacon and cotija cheese and then smoke them over charcoal and apple wood chunks. They were super easy to make and tasted amazing. Chops_3

First I butterflied the pork chops. In other words, I sliced them almost all the way through them so they open like a book. I spread them out on a sheet and then:

  • Coated the inside with spicy brown mustard and BBQ rub. I decided to use Dizzy Dust from Dizzy Pig but you can use any rub that goes good with pork.
  • Crumbled 2 slices of bacon over each pork chop.
  • Sprinkled 2 tbsp. of crumbled cotija cheese over the bacon.
  • Folded the pork chops and tied them with butcher’s twine to hold them together.
  • Coated the outside of the pork chop with spicy brown mustard and more Chops_4

Now the pork chops are ready to go in the Kamado Joe which was heating up while I was prepping the pork chops. Kamado cookers need lump charcoal. I also added a few chunks of apple wood. For this cook I kept it at about 250*. Since I wanted to cook these chops slowly I inserted the ceramic plates you can see on lower right. These diffuse the heat and smoke so that it goes around the food and cooks it slowly.The thick ceramic/clay walls of kamado cookers make it easy to maintain steady temps through the entire cook. I didn’t have to make any adjustments to the Kamado Joe once I put the pork chops in and closed the lid. Chops_5

I left the lid closed and smoked the pork chops until they reached in internal temperature of 145*-150*. These are lean center cut chops and would have quickly dried out at higher temps. In this case that took a little less than 90 minutes. DSC_9963

After removing the pork chops from the Kamado Joe I put them on a cutting board and loosely tented them with foil. I let them rest this way about 10 minutes. As you can see they were very juicy. The tanginess of the cotija cheese complemented the bacon and pork very nicely. I want to try this again soon using feta, gouda or Swiss cheese.


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