01 of 08
How to Cook the Perfect Pork Chop on the Grill
Pork chops are perfect to cook on either a gas or charcoal grill. This method will take 2 1/2 hours from start to finish. The brining will take about two hours and cooking time takes about 30 minutes.
What you will need:
- Pork chops*
- A grill (charcoal or gas)
- Fuel for the grill
- A reliable meat thermometer
- A basting brush
- A pork chop rub (see step 3)
- A pork chop glaze (see step 4)
- Aluminum foil
*Rib chops are a great option since they are the pork equivalent of a beef rib steak. The combination of meat and fat on a good section of bone make this the best pork chop. However, any pork chop (cut one inch thick) will work perfectly for this method.
Trim the pork chops of any large pieces of fat to reduce flare-ups while grilling. Do not remove all the fat, just the large sections.
Make sure to fully read the directions before starting. While the pork chops are brining, make the spice rub and glaze so they are ready when needed.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
The First Step: Brining
A brine is a salt water solution that penetrates meat; it adds extra liquid resulting in juicier meat. Brining make the difference between a dry and flavorless chop and a juicy, tasty pork chop
What you need for the brine:
- 4 cups (950 mL) cold water
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) table salt
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) sugar
- A large, non-reactive container
The general rule for brine is 1 tablespoon of salt and sugar per 1 cup of water. The sugar offsets the salt, preventing the pork from tasting too salty.
Combine the brine ingredients in a large container and stir until mixed. Add pork chops and cover. Refrigerate for two hours. Feel free to add any herbs or spices to the brine; this will lightly enhance the brine but won't overpower the natural flavor of the protein. After two hours, remove the pork chops from the brine and rinse thoroughly to remove any extra salt from the surface. Pat the pork dry with paper towels.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Seasoning the Perfect Pork Chop
Preheat the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal. If you are using gas, light up at least two burners on high and allow the grill to preheat for 10 minutes. If possible, keep one portion of the grill cool so you can move the pork chops if there is a flare-up during cooking.
The brine has enhanced the pork chops and lightly flavored them. The spice rub will add additional flavors. It's best to use a fine grind of seasoning; large chunks of herbs will fall off during grilling. There is no need to include salt in the rub, but black pepper is highly recommended.
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard (optional)
- 1 teaspoon mild chili powder (optional)
Combine all ingredients, mix completely, and apply the rub evenly over both sides of the pork chops.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Make the Pork Chop Glaze
Glazing a pork chop adds a sweet flavor to the surface, creates a light crust, and helps to keep the chop from drying out. Ideally, the glaze should be simple with a sweet element to enhance the final flavors.
Making a glaze requires constant attention since sugars burn quickly. A simple glaze recipe includes:
- 1 cup apple jelly
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat while stirring. The glaze should be completely blended before using on the pork chops.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Cooking on the Grill
Pork chops cook quickly, so it's important to stay close to the grill and pay attention to the meat. Start with the grill as hot as possible.
Place the chops on the grill, evenly spaced directly over the heat. Close the lid. After about 1 to 2 minutes, open the lid, rotate the chop 45 degrees, and close the grill. The rotation gives them a crosshatch grill mark pattern. The chops should be browned, but not burned. If there is a flare-up in the grill, move them to an unused part of the grill when rotating.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Flipping the Pork Chops
After another minute or two, open the lid and check the doneness. The chops should be well browned, with good grill marks on the cooked side. The pork chops should appear gray along the sides of the meat and still raw on the top. At this point, flip them over and repeat the process from the last step, rotating 45 degrees after a minute or two. Once the entire surface is cooked, it's time to apply the glaze. Glaze them quickly, turning the pork chops as needed so that the glaze can cook on the meat without it burning.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
A reliable meat thermometer is a necessity when grilling. Once glazed, the chops should be close to complete. Pork is cooked at an internal temperature of 145 F/65 C. The meat will continue to cook for a few minutes after removing it from the grill so the minimum temperature should be 140 F/60 C before removing them.
To test the temperature, pick up the chop with a pair of tongs and insert the temperature probe into the side until it reaches the middle. Testing from the top of the chop will not get an accurate reading. Test all pieces before removing them from the grill since some may cook faster than others.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
The Perfect Pork Chop
After removing them from the grill, loosely cover the chops with aluminum foil and place them in a warm place. They should rest for about 5 minutes. This allows the meat to loosen, the juices to flow back into the meat evenly, and the middle of the chop to finish cooking
Serve after 5 minutes. Enjoy and make note of your cooking times for future reference. There is a lot of variability in grills and cook times can vary on different types of grills.