How to Grill Pork Chops: A Step-by-Step Guide to Juicy and Flavorful Results

How To Grill Pork Chops

We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. 

Grilling is a great way to enjoy the summer weather and tantalize your taste buds. So consider grilling pork chops if you want something new to add to your cooking repertoire! Not only are they delicious and flavorful, but they also give you some tasty options for mealtime preparation. In this article, we will explore how to grill pork chops like a pro in easy steps!

First, let's talk about the proper seasoning techniques to help take your grilled pork chops up a notch. You can create an amazing flavor profile that pairs perfectly with our main dish with just a few simple ingredients and spices. We'll also discuss why marinating your pork chops before grilling them is essential if you want juicy and tender results every time.

Finally, once all the groundwork has been laid out, it's time to fire up the grill and prepare for some serious sizzling action! We'll share step-by-step instructions on properly cooking your pork chops so that they reach maximum perfection each time. So grab those tongs and follow along as we show you exactly how to grill pork chops like a professional chef!

Tools You Need to Get Started With Your Grilling

Before you put pork chops on the grill and have your grill pan heated up for your bone-in pork chops, it's important to have the right tools to ensure a successful grilling experience. Here are the essential tools you need to get started with your grilling:

  1. Wooden Cutting Board- A wooden cutting board is a must-have tool for any grill master. Not only does it provide a sturdy surface for cutting and preparing your meats and vegetables, but it also helps to prevent cross-contamination by absorbing bacteria. Unlike plastic cutting boards, wooden boards are less likely to harbour bacteria and are easier to clean. 
  2. Meat Thermometer- A  thermometer is an indispensable tool for grilling. It allows you to accurately measure the internal temperature of your food without touching it, which is especially useful when cooking meat. Measuring the temperature of your meat is crucial to ensure that it is cooked to perfection and safe to eat.
  3. Long-handled Tongs - Long-handled tongs are essential for handling your food on the grill. They allow you to flip and turn your food without getting too close to the heat. Look for tongs with a non-slip grip and a locking mechanism for easy storage.
  4. Grill Brush - A grill brush is important for keeping your grill grates clean. Over time, grime and grease can build up on the grates, affecting your food's flavor and posing a fire hazard. A grill brush makes it easy to clean your grates and keep your grill in top condition.
  5. Two Spatulas - Two spatulas are handy for flipping larger items such as burgers or fish. Using two spatulas allows you to flip your food without falling apart. Look for spatulas with a sturdy construction and a non-slip grip.

What Cut of Pork Chop Should You Choose?

raw pork chops

Whether you plan to use a gas grill or charcoal grill, choosing the right meat is essential to achieve juicy grilled pork chops. So covering this under our how to grill pork chops article is a no-brainer. Pork chops are versatile cuts of meat that can be cooked in various ways, but the two most popular types are pork loin chops and pork shoulder chops.

Pork Loin

Pork loin chops are cut from the pig's loin, which is a leaner part of the animal. They are bone-in and typically thicker than other pork chops. These pork chops are great if you want a leaner cut of meat, as they are lower in fat than other cuts. They are easy to marinate and can be cooked quickly on the grill. Pork loin chops are a popular choice for those looking for a healthier option without sacrificing flavor.

Pork Shoulder

On the other hand, pork shoulder chops are cut from the shoulder of the pig and are a fattier cut of meat. They are bone-in and typically thinner than pork loin chops. These pork chops are the best if you are looking for a more flavorful cut of meat. They can be a bit tougher than other cuts, but they can be tender and juicy with the right pork chop marinade and cooking technique. Pork shoulder chops are popular for those looking for a more indulgent and flavorful meal.

If you want boneless pork chops, you can ask your local butcher to remove the bone from your pork chops. These are great options for those who only have a little time to cook but still want to enjoy delicious, juicy meat.

Should You Brine Pork Chops? How to Do it?

When it comes to grilling, one of the most important considerations is whether or not you should brine them. Brining can add flavor and moisture to your pork chops, making them more succulent when grilled. But how do you actually go about doing it?

First, let's look at why you might want to brine pork chops in the first place. Generally speaking, brining helps keep the meat moist during cooking by increasing its moisture content before it even hits the grill. Additionally, adding salt or other seasonings to a brine solution adds extra flavor that seeps into the meat as well. This makes for an overall tastier dish!

So what does this process involve? 

  • To start, select a container big enough to hold all of your ingredients - water, kosher salt (or any type of sea salt), sugar (brown or white), some herbs like rosemary or thyme if desired, garlic cloves, and black peppercorns are usually recommended components of a good brine mix.
  • Then simply add these ingredients together and stir until everything has dissolved completely.
  • Finally, submerge your raw pork chops into the mixture and store them in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours prior to grilling. That's it; nothing too complicated!

By taking just a few minutes out of your day to prepare your pork chops ahead of time using this method, you can ensure they will turn out juicy and flavorful once cooked on the grill. So give it a try next time you plan a meal involving pork chops – we are sure you won't be disappointed.

How to Season Your Pork Chops?

Pork chops are best seasoned! Yes, you heard that right. While many just grill and let an unseasoned pork chop speak for itself, seasoning your pork chops can take them to a new level of flavor. Here are some tips on how to season your pork chops for juicy, flavorful results.

  1. First, start with your favorite seasoning. Whether it's a store-bought rub or a homemade blend of spices, using seasoning will ensure you enjoy your pork chops' flavor. Some popular seasonings for pork chops include garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and chili powder.
  2. Next, generously season both sides of the pork chops. You can do this by sprinkling the seasoning directly onto the pork chops and patting it down to ensure it sticks. Be sure to season the edges of the pork chops as well.

Step-by-Step Instruction on How to Grill Pork Chops

Now for the exciting part! Grilling! Whether you're a seasoned grill master or a novice, grilling chops can be intimidating. But fear not, with these step-by-step instructions, you'll be grilling juicy chops in no time!

Step 1: Make the brine

 The first step in achieving juicy chops is to make a brine. A brine is a mixture of water, salt, and sugar that helps the meat retain moisture while it cooks. Mix 1/4 cup of salt and 1/4 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water to make a basic brine. You can add herbs, spices, garlic or citrus to the brine for additional flavor.

Step 2: Brine for 30 minutes to 2 hours

brine Pork Chops

Once the brine is made, submerge the chops and let them sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours. This will help the chops stay juicy and tender during the grilling process.

Step 3: Heat the grill

Preheat your grill to high heat, around 450-500°F. This will help create a nice sear on the chops.

Step 4: Dry and season the chops


Season Pork Chops

Remove the chops from the brine and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, season the chops with your favorite seasoning blend.

Step 5: Sear over high heat

sear the pork chops

Since it's winter here in Canada, I'm using my Ninja foodie Grill

ninja foodie grill 

Place the chops on the grill and sear for 2-3 minutes per side. This will create a nice crust on the outside of the chops.

Step 6: Finish grilling over medium heat

After searing, move the chops to the side of the grill and finish cooking over medium heat, around 350-400°F. Cook the chops for an additional 6-8 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7: Rest the chops for 5 minutes

grilled pork chops

Once the chops are done cooking, remove them from the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make the chops even juicier.

Best Grilled Pork Chops Recipe

Now you're done with your meat and might think about what to pair with it. Well, there are many pork chop recipes that you can try, but if you want to keep things simple, here are some of our favorites:

Apple butter pork chops

This is a great recipe for the fall when apples are in season. It's also a good choice if you're looking for something easy—mix apple butter and Sriracha sauce together before spreading it on top of your chops. Then, grill the pork chops until golden brown and serve with a side of sweet potato fries.

Herb-rubbed pork chops

This simple recipe can be whipped up in no time at all—just rub some olive oil and herbs on your pork chops before throwing them in the charcoal. If you want to get creative, consider mixing different kinds of dried herbs, like oregano and thyme. You can also add some lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper for extra flavor. 

Beer-battered pork chops

This recipe is a fun twist on the classic fried chicken recipe. Instead of flour and cornstarch, use beer to coat your pork chops before frying them in oil. Then, serve with homemade ketchup or barbecue sauce for dipping.


Is It Better To Cook Chops With The Bone In Or Out?

When it comes to grilling chops, an important decision to make is whether to cook them with the bone in or out. Some people prefer leaving the bone in as they feel that it adds flavor and helps keep the meat juicy while cooking. Others may opt for boneless chops because they are easier to eat and can be cooked more quickly than those with a bone attached.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Chops with bones tend to take longer to cook due to the extra thickness of the bone, but they also hold on to moisture better during grilling. On the other hand, boneless chops can be cooked faster since there's no need for heat transfer through the bone; however, they might dry out quickly when exposed to high temperatures.

So which should you choose? Ultimately, it depends on your preferences and what kind of texture you want from your grilled pork chop. If time isn't an issue and you're looking for a juicier end result, go with one with a bone still attached. However, if speed is key, opting for a boneless option would work best.

Is There A Difference Between Grilling Chops And Pan-Frying Them?

When it comes to cooking chops, there are a variety of methods that can be used. Grilling and pan-frying are two popular techniques. But is there a difference between grilling and pan-frying chops? Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each approach.

Grilling chops provide an opportunity for distinctive flavorings with marinades or rubs to create delicious smoky flavors. The high heat method also helps reduce fat in the meat while locking in juices. On the downside, some people may find grilling difficult if they're not used to using charcoal or gas grills. Plus, you'll need to watch them as they cook, so they don't burn over direct flames.

Pan-frying involves shallow frying chops in oil or butter inside a skillet on your stovetop. This is one of the quickest ways to get dinner ready since chops only take about 5 minutes per side to cook this way. Furthermore, pan-frying is great for achieving those results if you want crispy edges and golden brown coloration. However, because you're using more fat when pan-frying than you do when grilling, some folks might worry about unhealthy levels of saturated fat in their diet from time to time.

So which should you choose - grilling or pan-frying? Ultimately, it depends on what tastes and textures you prefer most when eating chops and how much effort you're willing to put into preparing them!

Should Pork Chops Be Cooked Covered Or Uncovered?

When it comes to cooking pork chops, there are a few options. One of the most popular methods is grilling, which can be done outdoors or on the stovetop. But when it comes to grilling pork chops, should they be cooked covered or uncovered? This is an important question that many home cooks face.

The answer depends on your pork chops' thickness and whether you prefer them crispy or juicy. If your pork chops are thicker than 1 inch, then covering them while grilling will help keep all of their juices inside, so they stay extra tender and juicy. On the other hand, if you like your pork chops nice and crispy on the outside and slightly pink in the middle, leaving them uncovered will allow for some evaporation of liquid and charring from direct heat exposure.

So depending on the texture you're looking for with your grilled pork chops, whether they should be covered or not should be considered. A good rule of thumb is: if they're more than one inch thick, then cover them; otherwise, leave them exposed for optimal results.

Is There A Way To Tell When Pork Chops Are Done Cooking?

Cooking pork chops can be tricky, as ensuring they're cooked through and not dry is important. To tell if your pork chops are done cooking, you can use a few methods.

The first method is to insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat; when it reads 145°F (63°C), the pork chops should be done. Another method is to press down on one with your finger; when it feels firm and bounces back quickly, it's likely ready. The third option is to cut into one of the thicker cuts; they're finished if the center isn't pink or red anymore.

These tips are especially helpful when grilling chops, as overcooked pork will become dry and tough. It's best to watch them and check for doneness frequently, so you don't end up with unappetizing results! Remember that smaller pieces may cook faster than larger ones, so adjust accordingly. Otherwise, you could end up with undercooked chunks of meat…or, worse yet, burnt ones! Knowing how to tell if your pork chops have reached the right temperature will help ensure delicious meals every time.

The Bottom Line

When you season the pork chops, there is that magical moment when you realize that they are good. The meat is tender, seasoning is perfect. You have created a masterpiece, and now you must eat it. Juicy pork meat is not just about simply putting it on heat but also about understanding how to season the meat and what goes well with it. If you are looking for a delicious and easy recipe that will make you want to lick your fingers, then feel free to follow this guide!