Apple Butter Pecan Pork Chops

There are some things that just seem to go together. Fall, the flavor of fresh apples, pork chops, and pecans! The flavors mix well, it’s perfect for a fall recipe and the ingredients are easy to come by. In fact, you may have everything in your kitchen right now. The main ingredients are simple – apple butter, pork, pecans, and cola! Just avoid Diet versions of Coke Cola, Pepsi, etc. And don’t worry – if you don’t have apple butter you can substitute with reduced apple juice with a few dashes of brown sugar or even chunky apple sauce with a dash of brown sugar.

Johnny Appleseed – a Real Guy!

If you have paid any attention to American legends and lore then you’ve possibly heard of Johnny Appleseed! As the legend goes, this near-mythical figure in American history worked his way across the land planting trees, passing out apple seeds, doing good deeds, all while wearing a tin pot for cooking on his head as a hat. As it turns out, Johnny Appleseed was a real person that every grilling guru and BBQ lover should give a silent salute to.

John Chapman was born on September 26, 1774, and died March 18, 1845. He is considered as being an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to many states including Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and West Virginia. By all accounts, he was a kind and generous man who loved sharing his knowledge of planting and harvesting apples. According to Wikipedia, the Fort Wayne TinCaps, a minor league baseball team in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where Chapman spent his final years, is named in his honor. This is because of his signature tin pot he used as a cap.

So next time you use apples in a recipe, give a nod to Mr. Chapman even though he was a vegetarian and probably didn’t toss a bunch of meat over hot coals. But we can appreciate his hard work in building apple nurseries and passing along information as he traveled.  That info turned into recipes for pies, fresh fruit, beverages, applewood pellets, and wood chips. Plus a whole bunch of recipes for grilling.

Apple Butter Pecan Pork Chops


  • Pork Chops
  • Apple Butter
  • 1 apple, diced small
  • pecans, chopped
  • hot sauce
  • butter
  • Can of cola, soda – not diet.


Grab some nice, thick pork chops or pork steaks and coat them with apple butter, cover, and chill. For the sauce, dice up some apples into small pieces. Then grab some chopped or crushed pecans, a regular cola, or your favorite cola such as Coke or Pepsi – not diet, pecans, a splash of hot sauce and a spoon full of butter. Clean the grates on your grill using the BBQ Dragon Brush and Rake, fire up the charcoal, and get ready to grill! While the chops are cooking heat the butter in a skillet. Feel free to do the skillet work inside on the kitchen stove or on a side burner if using a gas grill.

Add in the pecans and apples to brown a bit. Then add in the cola careful not to burn yourself. It will foam up. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and allow the mix to reduce by a third before topping your chops. Be careful to not over reduce the sauce as the sugars in the sugar may turn bitter.

Author Bio: Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is an award-winning culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader, NASCAR and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill. You can reach out to Kent at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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