Brushing these pork chops with a maple syrup-soy sauce mixture before cooking them in the air fryer results in some delicious charring around the edges. You’ll need to cook the pork chops in two batches, so be sure to keep your oven on 200°F so you can keep the first two chops warm while the remaining two are in the air fryer. The pork chops also get a light coating of maple-soy glaze before going in the oven, which has an extra punch of flavor thanks to rice vinegar and Sriracha. Homemade, vibrant pickled red onions top the finished chops — feel free to use store-bought if you’d like to save time. Serve the pork chops over a bed of creamy polenta or mashed potatoes, and top with the remaining glaze and the pickled onions.
- 4 (12-ounce, 1-inch-thick) bone-in rib-cut pork chops
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup , plus 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar, divided
- ½ cup , plus 1 Tablespoon Lincoln County Reserve 100% Pure Maple Syrup, divided
- 1 small (7 ounces) red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- ⅓ cup lower-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha chile sauce
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- Let pork chops stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off the meat. Meanwhile, stir together water, white vinegar, salt, 1/4 cup of the rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Place onion in a glass jar or a heatproof bowl, and pour boiling water mixture over onion. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. (Pickled onion can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in a refrigerator, covered, until ready to use.)
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and fit with a wire rack; set aside. Stir together soy sauce, ginger, and remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup in a small bowl until combined. Transfer 3/4 cup of the maple syrup mixture to a small saucepan, reserving remaining 1/4 cup mixture in small bowl. Bring maple syrup mixture in saucepan to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, syrupy, and reduced to about 1/3 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in Sriracha and remaining 1 tablespoon rice vinegar. Set aside. While maple-soy glaze in saucepan simmers, stir canola oil into reserved maple syrup mixture in small bowl until combined.
- Preheat a 6 1/2-quart air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes. Brush 2 pork chops with some of the canola oil mixture, and add to air fryer basket. Cook pork chops until lightly charred and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 135°F, 10 to 12 minutes, flipping pork chops and brushing with more canola oil mixture twice throughout cook time (after about every 3 or 4 minutes). Reserve remaining canola oil mixture for remaining 2 pork chops. Remove pork chops from air fryer, and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush cooked pork chops lightly with some of thickened maple-soy glaze in saucepan, reserving remaining glaze for remaining 2 pork chops and for serving, and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining 2 pork chops and canola oil mixture.
- Let cooked pork chops rest for 5 minutes. Divide pork chops evenly among 4 plates. Top each pork chop with about 2 tablespoons pickled red onion and serve with remaining thickened glaze in saucepan. Reserve remaining pickled onion for another use.