The biggest question when it comes to grilling pork chops is “How long do i cook pork chops on the grill?” Whether you are grilling them on the bone or boneless, it is easy to be confused. There are also many different factors that come into play: how thick is the cut of meat, how hot is the fire of the grill, what types of sauces or marinades and seasonings are you using, and many other variables that ultimately affect the answer to this question.
Grilling pork chops however is relatively easy, and not a whole lot different than grilling anything else. Like we’ve mentioned in numerous posts before, a good digital meat thermometer is indispensable when it comes to cooking any type of meat, because the only true way to know that any type of meat is done and cooked fully is by check the temperature. If you do not have one yet, it’s never too late to order one for the next time you’re cooking!
Below are our step by step instructions for how to grill the perfect pork chop:
1. Pick Your Cuts: There are many different types of pork chops to choose from at the store. There are bone-in and boneless, loin, and rib cuts. Most cuts are a little less than an inch thick, while others may be more than that. The thicker the meat, the longer and slower you will need to cook it. Thin cuts tend to cook much faster and also are at risk for drying out the fastest as well.
2. Prepare the Meat: If your cuts are thick, you may want to consider what is called brining the meat. Brining is simply soaking them in a mixture of salt water to help maximize moisture and tenderness. Soaking thicker cuts for 2-3 hours in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of salt per cup of water will help this. If you have thin cuts, this is optional and not necessary unless you have a preference. You’ll want to make sure that after the soak you rinse them in cold water to remove any extra salt. If you decide to go this route, you may want to consider using a dry rib rub to add flavor after they are done soaking. Some people also add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the brine per cup of water, which if you are planning for BBQ or sweet flavor may be something to consider. If your chops are less than an inch thick, you may want to consider marinating it in a simple pork chop marinade instead. Italian dressing is the classic easy stand by, though you can check out many pork chop marinade recipes as well.
3. Heat Up the Grill: You will want to get your grill as hot as possible, just as if you were cooking a steak. With a gas grill this is easy to control the temperature. Charcoal can take some practice but in general you’ll want to make sure you have enough coals in the bottom and that they are white and red glowing. Outdoor gas grills can be heated to their safest highest temperature per manufacturer’s specifications.
4. Cook Them: You’ll want to grill them on each side for about 3-4 minutes and then flip as needed until they reach the internal temperature of 150-155 degrees. Thin cuts will cook very fast on a hot grill – possibly in just 5-6 minutes, so you may want to check them after just the first one to two minutes of grilling. Thicker chops will take slightly longer and may need flipped more than twice in order to keep them from becoming charred. If you will be adding a barbecue sauce or other glaze, add it only during the last few minutes of grilling, since it will cause flare ups of the flames and burn rather quickly.
5. Take them Off: Like a good steak, doing this step will help make your pork chops better too. Simply remove them from the grill when finished and then cover on a plate with a metal bowl or pot to keep the heat and moisture in.