Grilling Always Takes Me Back to the Blizzard of ’78

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Grilling with Kingsford® charcoal always brings me back to the Blizzard of ’78. For those that don’t know, the Blizzard of ’78 was a HUGE snowstorm in a relatively fast, 33 hours, that included hurricane force wind driven snow that was a big deal for many us living in Massachusetts and across the Northeast. Boston received a record-breaking 27.1 inches and other cities and towns received similar amounts of snow. 


An updated picture of the two-story tenement where we lived during the Blizzard of ’78 (Via Google Street View).

At the time we lived on the second floor of a two-story apartment aka “double decker”. For those not familiar, this places two families on their own floor. A horizontal townhouse, if you will. And after the Bizzard of ’78 blew through the region we were kind of stuck. Work for mom was closed and school for my brother and I was called off.

What mom did during this time is imprinted in my brain, probably forever. Mom decided to grill a steak on the second-floor balcony. With her trusty Weber Smoky Joe grill, some charcoal, and lighter fluid she grilled a steak in the aftermath of the Blizzard of  ’78. I couldn’t think of a better display of New England “grit” than this. Grilling in the face of mountains of snow in the near freezing cold? Go, Mom! And the smell of that steak right of the grill? Amazing!

So, when I was recently given a shot to do some grilling and try a new recipe that featured some apple cider (another favorite of mine from my childhood) and review some new sauces, I jumped at the chance.

Preparing the Cider Brine for the Grilled Pork Chops

The recipe calls for brining the pork chops. Brining adds some flavor to the chops and ups their juiciness. The brine is a combination of apple cider, apple cider vinegar, salt and brown sugar. 

Adding the cider to the saucepan.


Salt goes in next.


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Then, the brown sugar.


Finally, some apple cider vinegar is added to the marinade.


After everything gets heated up slightly and the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, add in some ice to cool things off and increase the volume of the marinade. In my experience, it didn’t take much to dissolve the sugar and salt. 


I stirred the ice into the marinade and turned off the heat. Letting the ice melt on its own, while I ran some errands.


Chops go into the marinade into a container with a tight-fitting lid.


The whole container goes in the fridge for 4 – 6 hours.

Marinading the Pork Chops

Pork chops get set on the bottom shelf. It’s a sturdy container so, no issue with stacking a few things on top.


Four hours later…. it’s just about time to start grilling. Also, time to prep some zucchini for the grill.


Preparing the Grill: Lighting the Kingsford®Charcoal

Want the classic grilling smell and flavor? Kingsford is the go to. Reminds me of that grilling my mom did all those years ago. One point of departure from my mom’s post Blizzard grilling. I used a chimney starter for my charcoal. In our modest duplex, there’s no good place to store lighter fluid.


A little wadded up paper under the charcoal loaded into the top of the charcoal chimney and it lights up in no time.


After all of the charcoal is nice and white hot looking it’s time to add it to the charcoal into the grill. Sparks fly!



Finishing with Kingsford® Brown Sugar Applewood BBQ Sauce

After grilling everything, the recipe calls for using the new Kingsford® Brown Sugar Applewood BBQ Sauce. The sauce pours thick and caramelized well.  The zucchini did well, too. Not bad on the grilling, you think?


I transferred the chops from the grill to plate and moved the action inside to the table.

Dinner is served (with a little extra sauce on the side). My family likes things saucy, what can I say?


Let’s eat!



What’s the Verdict? Our Reviews of Kingsford® Sauces


My daughter apparently loved the sauce and the meal. See the heart she created from the butterflied pork chops?


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And my wife approves! She always likes it when she doesn’t have to think up something for dinner after a long day at work. She really liked how the marinade worked it’s way through and approves of the new sauce. She’s a tough customer on sauces (being from Teaxs).


It’s hard to believe with a 90-year history of grilling that Kingsford hadn’t come out with sauces sooner. But, the Brown Sugar Applewood did not disappoint. My Wife and daughter were anxious to sample the Honey Jalapeno, too. And they were very impressed.

Have You Tried the Kingsford® Sauces? Review them below!

Grilled Cider Brined Pork Chops with Kingsford® Brown Sugar Applewood BBQ Sauce

Grilled Cider Brined Pork Chops with Kingsford® Brown Sugar Applewood BBQ Sauce is a delicious family meal.
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 pork chops approximately 1-inch thick
  • 1 cup Kingsford® Brown Sugar Applewood BBQ Sauce plus additional sauce for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, combine apple cider, kosher salt, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until salt and brown sugar are completely dissolved.
  3. Remove the brine mixture from the heat and add 2 cups of ice. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  4. Place brine in a large re-sealable bag along with the pork chops.
  5. Seal the bag while removing as much air as possible, and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
  6. Build a charcoal fire for direct cooking using Kingsford® Charcoal and preheat the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. While the grill heats, remove pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  8. Place the pork chops on the grill and cook approximately 5 minutes per side until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. During the last minute of grilling, baste each side of the pork chops with Kingsford® Brown Sugar Applewood BBQ Sauce.
  10. Remove the pork chops from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  11. Serve chops with additional BBQ sauce.
  12. Recipe created by Clint Cantwelll on behalf of Kingsford® Charcoal.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kingsford. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.