If you’re like me, you love grilling pork chops. Or, you love grilled pork chops! With this step-by-step guide you’ll be making perfectly grilled chops in no time flat. They will be tender, juicy and super flavorful with only salt and pepper. Let’s take a look at how to grill these beauties up.
Grilling pork chops is easy and super delicious. This recipe is gluten free, paleo and low carb.
I love grilling pork chops. Here’s why.
Yep, I do love grilling pork chops… But I have some other big news to share with all my readers today first. For the last year or so, my wife and I have been working on moving our family to the south of France. It has been a crazy journey and it is almost complete! We’re going to be moving in early June 2016 (less than a month- I’m freaking out!) for at least a year if not more. I’m going to start posting up a side thread of blog posts with pictures of where we are going, the outdoor markets as well as some of the other fantastic food experiences while we are there. If you’re interested in following this journey- you can subscribe to get updates at all points in the journey!
Ok- so back to grilling pork chops. Here’s what I love about it: pork chops are really easy to make and with just a little salt and pepper will taste amazing. No need for sauces, compound butters or anything else. The secret to grilling pork chops is simple: buy pork that is well marbled. If you look at the picture in Step 1 below, you’ll notice that the pork has some fat throughout the chop. Read this: fat = flavor when it comes to pork. Most grocery stores have low-fat pork chops that are all pale pink in color. To get chops like these, you’re going to need to visit your local butcher shop. It is so worth the extra stop home from the market.
How to Grill Pork Chops
You’ll see a step-by-step guide below on how to grill pork chops. I do need to explain a couple things to make it easier though. Here’s the scoop:
- Bringing the pork to room temperature isn’t necessary, but a really good idea. This is particularly true if you are using thick cut pork chops like I am. Here’s why: the meat near the bone is going remain cold longer than the meat on the outside of the chop. If you have ever had overcooked meat on the outside of the chop and raw meat near the bone, it is because the pork chop was cooked right after being brought out of the fridge. Let the meat come to room temp with the seasoning on it.
- Season early and liberally. If you season the chops before letting them come to room temperature for about an hour, the salt will start to do its job of pulling moisture out of the chop. Less moisture means more flavor. Don’t worry about the salt drying out the chop, that won’t happen. It takes days (sometimes weeks!) of curing to dry out meat with salt.
- Gas Grill: I’m using a gas grill for these chops. I’m not a huge fan of charcoal and don’t have the experience to accurately describe how to cook with charcoal.
- Varying The Temperature: If you get thick cut pork chops, we’re going to need them to cook through without burning on the outside. To do this, we are going to need to vary the temperature on the grill. So here’s how we do it:
- Preheat all burners on the grill on the highest setting. Let the grill get nice and hot.
- When you add the chops, put them first on the right side and turn the heat to low.
- When you rotate the chops, move them to the left side. Turn the heat to low on the left side and the heat back to high on the right.
- Continue to change the temperatures from low to high as you are rotating and flipping the chops from side to side. The temperature under the chop should always be low and on the side without the chops it should be high to keep the under-hood cooking temperature as high as possible.
How Long Do You Grill Pork Chops?
I’ve been asked a lot of times how long to grill pork chops. The answer is not simple. Here’s why: grills have all kinds of different temperatures based on their age, hot spots and BTU output. My grill is a workhorse that really cranks the BTU’s and gets super hot. It has some cold spots near the front, so food takes longer to cook there. When you are reading a recipe about grilling pork chops, the best way to tell if they are cooked is with an instant read thermometer. The internal temperature of the pork should read 145 degrees before the meat rests.
Cooking times for pork chops will also vary by the thickness of the meat. In this recipe I’m using thick cut chops. You can see the double bone in the images. These chops are going to take much longer than a regular chop. Some chops come butterflied from the grocery store so they can be stuffed with any number of things. In the past I have opened the butterflied section and placed that face down on the grill to decrease the cook time as well. So, the long-and-short of it is this: the safest method is to use an instant read thermometer so you know that it is cooked through.
- 4 1 LB Thick Cut Pork Chops well marbled
- 1 TBSP Olive or other oil
- 1 TSP Kosher Salt
- 1/2 TSP Fresh Cracked Pepper
- Remove the chops from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking.
- Lightly coat with the oil and generously season with the salt and pepper.
- When you're ready, turn the grill on high to get it nice and hot.
- Add the chops at a 45 degree angle to the grill grates. For thick cut chops, we are going to allow to cook 4 minutes per side for each rotation on the grill.
- After 4 minutes, rotate to the hot side of the grill. See the instructions in the blog post for varying the temperature under the chops.
- Check the temperature of the meat close to the bone or in the thickest part of the chop. It should register 145 degrees.
- Remove from the grill, cover with foil and allow to rest about 5 minutes.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
PLEASE NOTE: The prep time for this recipe does not include allowing your meat to come to room temp. Please factor that into the overall time!
Please see the notes in the post about varying the temperature on your grill to cook these thick-cut pork chops.
Dependent on how thick your chops are and how hot your grill can get, you may need more or less time for each flip. The times provided in this post are guidelines. Cook your meat to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Final thoughts about grilling pork chops:
If you have never tried grilling pork chops in the past, I hope that this guide will help you on your culinary journey. These chops will be tender, juicy and delightful with just salt, pepper and a hot grill.
So now that we have these awesome grilled pork chops… what to make to go with them? Since the grill will be on and hot, how about some Grilled Asparagus. Since the asparagus gets grilled in foil to start and finished on the grill grates for a touch of flavor, they are easy to move around the grill while making your pork chops. I also love this meal with some sauteed spinach or roasted brussel sprouts with bacon.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this simple recipe.