Say bye to dry meat.
Pork cooked on the grill is a special treat. When it comes to picking a cut, chops are the way to go. Grilled pork chops caramelize, tenderize, and absorb all that wonderful grilled flavor for a fantastic meal that’s high in protein, decadent, versatile, and easy. It’s a win all around. And it all starts with a good cut of meat.
“Buy quality meat from a butcher, or artisan meat purveyor,” advises Russ Kremer, a fifth generation hog farmer and partner with True Story Foods. He recommends heritage or Kurobuta pork, which is known for its abundant marbling, similar to wagyu beef. “Those fine ribbons of fat interspersed throughout the meat make it extremely tender and juicy when cooked,” Kremer says. “It also has a higher pH content as compared to conventional pork, which, when combined with the intramuscular fat content, keeps it juicy and flavorful."
If you’re working with a butcher, you can also request pork chops cut specifically for open flame, making your grilled meat all the more successful. “Ask the butcher to cut the pork chops thick, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches,” notes Colin Harter, True Story Foods’ co-founder. “The thickness will result in a deep caramelization on the outside that is worth the extra grill time.”
And in terms of boneless or bone-in, the type of pork chop you grill can be a personal preference. “They’re both equally as delicious, but if you’re looking for the result to be super flavorful, tender, and juicy,” says Harter. “I always go with thick cut, bone-in pork chops. The bone helps to protect the meat, which keeps the pork chop moist."
For notes on how to make grilled pork chops that don’t skimp on flavor, read on.
Grilled Pork Chop Recipe
Pork chops can be prepped up to a day in advance, before grilling. Start by patting your pork chops dry and seasoning liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. You can also add your preferred meat rub or grill seasoning blends at this stage, and let the flavor soak in overnight or for a few hours in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to grill your pork chops, remove them from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Cold pork chops won’t cook evenly, and you’ll be left with a rare center and overcooked exterior.
Preheat your grill to medium high-heat, about 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the grill is up to temperature, add your pork chops to the grates and cover the grill as they cook, flipping once.
How Long to Grill Pork Chops
Both bone-in and boneless pork chops will need 4-5 minutes of cook time on the first side. Flip and continue to cook boneless chops for 1-2 minutes more minutes, and 4-5 more minutes if the chops are bone-in.
When the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145 degrees (use a meat thermometer), remove the chops, transferring to a clean plate. Cover with aluminum foil to let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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