Pork chops are a cut of meat obtained by cutting perpendicular to the spine of the pig. They generally contain part of a rib, are a delicious cut of pork, and are just right for grilling. Although the pork chops are relatively fatty, they don’t have a lot of flavors all on their own. They are moist, but all they have is the natural sweetness of the pork.
For people who really love pork, this is fine, but most people prefer to have a little bit of tartness or tang to their meat. If you are not feeling too certain about your skill with spices or marinades, just sprinkle a little bit of salt and cracked pepper onto both sides of the pork chop and allow it to sit for five to ten minutes before grilling. This is a good choice if you are pressed for time and you want a quick pork chop recipe.
Step-by-Step Guide On How To Grill Pork Chops
Step one: Picking & Prepping Your Pork Chops
Thin cut boneless chops are usually under 3/4 of an inch thick and need to be grilled differently from thick-cut pork chops which are chops that are over 3/4 of an inch thick. Thinner cuts need to be grilled quickly so that they retain their moisture and don’t dry out. Thicker pork chops cuts need to be grilled slower. They need to be cooked through the middle while keeping the surface from drying out. For grilling purposes, thicker cuts of chops work better.
Step two: Prepare Your Pork Chops
First Option: Rub Your Meat
Spice rubs are another option when you want to easily flavor your meat. While they lack the moisture of a marinade, a spice rub containing rosemary, cracked black pepper, dried chili peppers, and kosher salt can give your pork chops a real kick. Rub this on a clean dry chop and let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Cook them slowly on a cooler part of the grill to allow the meat juices to mix with the spices producing a delicious barbeque coating.
Second Option: Brine Your Meat
Pork nowadays has been bred to be extra lean. While this is healthier, the fat is what causes a chop to be juicy and tender. To make up for the lack of fat in pork chops, brining the chops in a solution of salt and water for two to four hours before grilling is recommended. The salt breaks down tough fibers found in the meat. We don’t recommend brining & marinating; choose one or you’ll have very salty chops.
Third Option: Marinate Your Meat
Marinades bring out the flavor of the chops and add an additional layer of flavor to them. They can range from spicy to sweet. Here’s our favorite simple pork chop marinade:
- 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons beer or applesauce
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 (8 ounces) pork loin chops
- A touch of olive oil
- In a large bowl with a lid, combine the Dijon mustard, brown sugar, beer or applesauce, a touch of olive oil, and the Worcestershire sauce. Blend well.
- Place the pork chops in the mixture, making sure each chop is coated.
- Place the lid on the bowl and refrigerate for at least four hours– but overnight is better.
- Oil the grill rack before starting the grill.
- Remove chops from marinade, reserving the marinade, and let them rest for about 20 minutes while the grill is heating. This will keep the meat from going into shock when it is placed on the hot grill.
- Place pork chops on grill rack and baste with reserved marinade.
- Cover the grill and let them cook for about three minutes on each side. After flipping, reduce the grill to low if it is a gas grill, or move over indirect heat if you are using charcoal and grill for about 7 minutes per side. Using a meat thermometer, insert the probe at the thickest part of the chop. Look for an internal reading of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Apples go well with pork and enhance the flavor. Other ideas for marinades include teriyaki sauces, barbecue sauce, Italian dressing, onions, garlic, or even different jams and jellies. A tip to remember is when grilling with a jam, jelly, or barbecue sauce, don’t apply the glaze or sauce until the final five minutes of cooking time. These contain sugar, which causes pork chops to char and burns.
Step Three: Cook Your Pork Chops
Grilling pork chops isn’t difficult, but there are few rules that you have to follow if you want to get the perfect pork chop. First, make sure that your gas or charcoal grill is hot enough. Once it is ready, put the pork chops in one place and don’t move them around. After few minutes, turn them to the other side, and again do not move them around.
The best way to know that your pork chops are ready is to check their temperature with a meat thermometer. Simply put it into the thickest part of the meat and when the temperature gets to 145 degrees, take them off the grill.
In case you don’t have a thermometer, you can check if they’re ready manually. Just poke your chops gently to check their firmness. You want your meat to be firm but not too hard or soft and spongy. If it is firm, remove it from the grill and let it rest for between five and ten minutes before you serve them up. This allows the protein to break down completely, and it also gives the meat time to cool down so that it can be eaten as soon as they get to the table.
To Wrap Up
There are many recipes for grilled pork chops. The most important factor of having the tastiest pork chops is the quality of the meat. Make sure you buy your meat from a reliable supplier. It has to be fresh and lean to get the most out of it.
Once you choose your pork chops, prepare them just the way you want. You can use a dry rub, brine, or marinate it. You can also use various spices or sauces. All of them will make your meat taste a bit different. Experiment as long as you find your favorite flavor.
Lastly, while grilling pork chops, remember that you don’t want them to be too soft or hard. They have to be firm. To check if they are ready, use either the thermometer or poke them gently in the thickest place.
Enjoy your pork chops, and remember to let us know in the comment section below what’s your favorite recipe!