Even more than steaks, I love to cook pork chops out on the grill. Since pork is a fairly mild flavored meat, picking up the charred flavors of the grill, gives the chops another layer of complexity. As well as crispy, rendered out little bits of fat that just taste oh-so-good. However, pork is also a really lean meat, so it can actually be pretty hard to cook to just the right temperature, where they are still tender and juicy – I think we’ve probably all had our share of dried out tough pork chops.
If you’re cooking thick pork chops, like I’m doing here, there’s also a fairly large fat layer (ironic since the meat is so lean) along the edge of the chop, and as that fat renders out on a grill, there’s often flame-ups that can burn the outside of the chop. So, a little patience, and a little practice is needed to get the pork chops grilled just perfectly. Well, I’ve got what you need. Here you’ll find the basic techniques and strategies for grilling chops…and with a little practice, you’ll be grilling up perfect chops all summer - and maybe the winter too!!
How to Grill Pork Chops
- As always, make sure to buy a good quality pork chop. The chop should have a nice layer of fat along the edge.
- I prefer bone in chops, that are at least 1.5 inches thick
- If you’re using thinner, boneless chops, follow the same techniques; just err to higher heat and faster cooking times
- If I have the time (6 hours to overnight) I like to brine my pork chops
- Take the pork chops out of the fridge, about 45 minute prior to cooking and allow them to come up to room temperature
- Pre-heat your grill over med-high heat for about 20 minutes
- Season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper (and anything else you’d like) about 10 minutes before grilling
- Coat the chops with olive oil, and take them out to the grill
- The first real key is to use a very hot grill. That is going to sear the chops, giving them great flavor and nice grill marks
- Once you lay them down on the grill, leave them alone for 4 – 5 minutes. Don’t move, don’t touch.
- Close the lid and walk away – alright listen a bit for massive flame ups, but for the most part, you just want to let them sear
- After 4 – 5 minutes, open up the grill, and gently turn the pork chops over to sear the other side.
- Again, you really want to leave them alone, so they can brown nicely on the grill – as that sear creates a ton of flavor
- After about 4 – 5 more minutes, you need to start thinking about when to take them off (remember thin ones don’t take long to cook, and are probably done after 4 minutes/side).
- You want to get the center of the chop to 140 degrees F; with the outside heavily browned
- Thicker pork chops ones like the chops in the video, need more time. So turn the heat down, and close the grill lid, using the grill like an oven to finish cooking them.
- If your pork chops are already very browned, you can move them to the 2nd rack, or a part of the grill that’s off direct heat.
- This may also be a good time to stand the chops up on their fatty side to render out some of that fat layer…which turns into great flavor.
- Use a meat thermometer to get the center of the chops to about 140 degrees for a perfect medium.
- If you don’t have a meat thermometer, the pork chop should feel firm, with a bit of give to it.
- Take the grilled pork chops off the grill, and set them on a cutting board to rest.
- I like to rest them for about 5 minutes per inch of thickness, and while they rest, it’s a great time to make a simple sauce
- Once rested, you can serve them up and start the feast!