Southwestern-Style Pork Chops with Ancho Chili Powder

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You can use loin chops or rib chops for this recipe. Loin pork chops are cut from the front of the center loin and have a tasty nugget of tenderloin nestled next to the T-bone. They are juicy and delicious—a favorite for grilling. Rib pork chops are equally tasty but don't have the tenderloin. Beware of this spice rub: It is not for the faint of heart. The salsa cools it down a little, but not completely! If the rub is to your liking, try it on pork loin or spareribs too.

Cooking Method:
Grilling Grilling
Servings :
  • Ingredients
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    4 (12 oz.) Pork Rib Chops
    3 tbsp. ancho chili powder, see "Tip"
    1 tbsp. crushed toasted cumin seeds, see "Tip"
    1 tsp. dry mustard
    Vegetable oil cooking spray
    Salt, to taste
    Pepper, freshly ground, to taste


    Combine the chili powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and dry mustard in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, stirring well.
    Rub the mixture into the meatiest parts of the pork chops and put the chops in a glass or ceramic dish. Cover and set aside at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or refrigerate for as long as 8 hours.
    Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable oil cooking spray. The coals should be moderately hot.
    Grill the chops for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the meatiest sections registers 150° to 155°F. Let the chops rest for a few minutes before serving. Serve with salsa.


Ancho chili powder is made from ground ancho chilies, which are mildly hot. The powder is stronger-tasting than other chili powders and is generally available in Hispanic and specialty markets. If you cannot find it, substitute any chili powder. We suggest trying Nirmala's Wild Fire Chili Blend. To toast the cumin seeds, spread them in a small, dry skillet and cook over medium-high heat for about 60 seconds or until fragrant. Crush the seeds with a skillet. Measure after crushing.