Tender Smoked Tomahawk Pork Chops with Habanero Glaze

Add some flare to your summer BBQ by smoking mouthwatering tomahawk pork chops. A tender and juicy cut of pork, when finished with a fast and hot reverse sear, your guests and family will be blown away by the simplicity of this recipe and the incredible flavor it provides.

What Are Tomahawk Pork Chops?

A tomahawk pork chop is cut from the middle of the loin and down through the rib, with the long bone in tact.  The location of this cut of meat, in a pig, is what makes it incredibly tender and packed with flavor. It is given the tomahawk name because of the long distinct rib bone that it is cut from.

Tomahawk Pork Chops

You will see tomahawk pork chops and steaks served two ways, one is Frenched and un-Frenched. Frenching a cut of meat is when some of the meat and fat is scraped off of the ribs in order to create handle like chops. Un-Frenched is when you simple leave the meat and fat on the bone. This is all simply a matter of preference and presentation. If I am providing a classier presentation meal, I may French the meat, otherwise, if it is friends and family for a summer BBQ, the cut of meat will be staying as is, meat, fat and all.

Pork Chop Prep

Prep on these in relatively easy. We don’t want to forget that this cut of pork is already bursting with flavor, so we are only looking to compliment that and will add to it with the glaze later on in the process. When is comes to seasoning, start off with a dry rub, a simple SPG is all you need.

If you used some of my other recipes, I am a fan of Kinder’s SPG rub. If you do not have a SPG rub available to you, then a simple combination of equal parts of salt, pepper and garlic will get you there. Ideally, if you can get the rub on about an hour in advance, that would be great and give the flavor some time to marinate on the pork chops.

For some initial seasoning that is all you need. If you choose to skip the next step of the habanero glaze and just go with the SPG, you will not be disappointed.

Habanero Glaze

We are going to add a kick to this recipe with this glaze. I promise, it will not disappointed! Here is a list of the items you are going need for this recipe:

  • Habanero peppers
  • pineapple, fresh should be your first choice but canned work if its all you have
  • honey
  • apple cider vinegar
  • lime juice
  • minced garlic

Start off with the pineapple, cube the pineapple in no more than 1’x1″ pieces, err on the side of smaller. After having cubed the pineapple, add the cubes, honey and lime juice to a small pot and simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes for the purpose of softening the pineapple up.

While that is on the stove, you can move to the peppers. Start on the peppers and cut them, remove the seeds and then dice. If you really enjoy spicy, leave some or all the seeds in but personally, I thought this has enough spice with the seeds out. After about five minutes of warming the pineapple add in the diced peppers, apple cider vinegar and minced garlic, continue to warm and stir for the remaining 5-10 minutes.

After softening everything up for those 10-15 minutes, add all the ingredients to a blender and puree, this should only take about 30-60 seconds. When done, put aside and wait to apply to the pork. If you would like, set some aside for glazing and leave some extra to use as a dipping sauce!

How To Smoke Tomahawk Pork Chops

You want the smoker up and running for 225°. I used some peach wood on this recipe, as it compliments the glaze exceptionally well. If you do not have any peach wood, pecan, apple or cherry would work as well. I set this up on my Weber Kettle, as its a pretty quick smoke. A small snake would do the trick.

As soon as your smoker is up to temperature you can do ahead and place the pork chops on the smoker. This is easy, once they are on there is nothing to do, just let them soak in that smoke flavor. This process will take about an hour but will have some dependency on how thick the pork chops are. The goal internal temperature we are looking for here is 125°, at which point we will go to reverse sear these.

When it comes to reverse sears there are a few ways you can do that, either crank up the smoker, which I tend to stay away from unless I am already smoking at a slighter higher temperature. The other two options are cast iron, which usually works well but for this recipe, not super convenient unless you have a griddle style cast iron skillet, that will allow the tomahawk chops to lay flat. The option I went with for this recipe and I use frequently because its the easiest option is cranking up my gas grill and searing on there.

Doing so this way allows for a quick transfer and gives me the room to sear these without having any complications. We want high heat when searing so in the case of this I got my grill up and running to about 500°. Right before we start to sear we are going to glaze the pork chops with the habanero glaze. Brush the glaze on both side, save a little as you flip you can brush some more on.

When searing, we are going to do about 5 minutes on each side, again this will vary based on the thickness of the chops. As is the case with all pork, you want to reach a food safe IT of 145°. Approximately 5 minutes of searing on each side should get you close to that. Monitor your IT as opposed to focusing on the time as you do not want to dry out the pork. As soon as you hit 145°, you can pull these off the grill.

I love using the ThermoPro TP19H for spot checking on my cooks. It is budget friendly and super reliable.

After having seared, you will want to let these rest for about 10-15 minutes. I would suggest covering them with some foil while it rests. After 10-15 minutes you are ready to serve!

Wrapping Up Smoked Tomahawk Pork Chops

Whether wanting to wow your guests with a different presentation of pork or just craving a juicy and tender cut of pork, smoked tomahawk pork chops are a sure to get the job done. Certainly not your typical cut of meat at summer BBQ, serving these will be sure to leave your guests asking for more. Smoked, sear and serve this delicious recipe to the amazement of everyone attending.

Smoked tomahawk pork chops served with a side of grilled pineapple

Thanks for being here and checking out this Smoked Tomahawk Pork Chops recipe. I hope you enjoy it! We always appreciate comments, 5 star recipe rating and social media shares. As always, keep that smoke rolling!

Looking for some other pork recipe ideas? Here are some suggestions:

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Tender Smoked Tomahawk Pork Chops with Habanero Glaze

Tender Smoked Tomahawk Pork Chops with Habanero Glaze

Excite your guests with a phenomenal presentation when serving these tomahawk pork chops and delight their taste buds with the heat of the habanero glaze.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2 Tomahawk Pork Chops
  • 1/4 cup of Kinder's SPG

Habanero Glaze

  • 3 habanero peppers
  • 1 cup of cubed pineapples
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. of minced garlic


  1. Prep the pork chops by coating both sides with the Kinder's SPG and let sit for about an hour before smoking. Place them back in the regfrigator.
  2. Prepare the smoker, for 225° using peach wood. If no peach wood, pecan, apple or cherry will work as well.
  3. When the smoker is ready, place the pork chops on the smoker
  4. While the pork chops are smoking, start on the glaze
  5. Cube the pineapple into 1"x1" pieces, then add to a small pot. Also add in the honey and lime juice. Let those three simmer for about 10-15 minutes
  6. After about 5 minutes, add in diced peppers (seeds removed unless you want it really spicy), garlic and apple cider vinegar. Continue to simmer with the pineapple for a remaining 5-10 minutes
  7. When done and softened, add all the ingredients to a blender and puree. This should only take 30-60 seconds. When done set to the side a prepare to glaze the pork.
  8. Determine how you are going to reverse sear, if using a gas grill, as I did, prepare that for a high direct heat sear.
  9. When the pork reaches an IT of 125°, move to reverse sear. Before searing coat both sides with the glaze. Save some to add additional glaze to the pork chops or as a dipping sauce when serving.
  10. Reverse sear for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until you reach and IT of 145°. Watch the IT as opposed to time, we want to ensure the pork does not get dried out.
  11. After reaching an IT of 145°, remove and let rest for 15 minutes, covered with foil. After the rest period serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 2gSugar: 42gProtein: 22g

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