Achieving a perfect grilled pork chop requires mastery of technique. Pork seems to be lean that’s why the meat can get easily overcook.
There is different technique of creating the best if not the perfect grilled pork chops. But, it doesn’t require to be a professional to do it. All you have to do is to follow the golden rules of grilling that will make a sumptuous grilled pork chops.
Golden rules of grilling pork chops
- It is better to grill thick cut of pork chops to keep the tender juices within. Otherwise, thin pork chops dry out easily and most likely to overcook.
- Brining is one of the secrets to keep the pork chops moist and juicy.
- Use indirect heat so that you can control the heat while cooking.
However, it does not necessarily mean sticking by the rules. You can do your own technique as you are the master behind the grill.
Step by Step guide to grill tender, moist pork chops
- Use the right cut of chops
Thin chops can get easily overdone. The best thing to do is to use thicker chops, yet with thin streaks of fat. It will give you a flavorful and succulent meat. A marbled chop can be the best choice, but quite difficult to find.
- Brine hard
Brining helps to moisten the meat. It’s because soaking the meat in the brine to loosen the gaps in the meat, thus allows the liquid to absorb.
You can use an acidic marinade as brine or you can make your own brine by dissolving ¼ cup of sugar and salt and mix it with 1 liter of water. You can also boil the water and add aromatic herb like rosemary, thyme and other flavorings.
If you’ll use brine, you should not add salt to the meat. Marinate the chops in cooled brine for about three hours or more.
- Grill a chop like a steak
Just like all meats, before putting the pork chops inside the Weber Smokey Mountain grill make sure to dry off the surface using paper towel.
Direct grilling is needed for thin chops. But for thick chops, you should check if the surface is done. Once it’s done, you can turn off the flame and let the heat inside the grill complete the process.
- Get some color
Pork meat doesn’t easily get brown just like chicken skin does. To give color to your grilled pork chops, the best way to do is to apply a thin layer of sauce with sugar after few minutes inside the grill.
You can make your own homemade gravy browning. Once the sugar melts, it will add color to your chops.
- Grill the edge
If you wrap the chops in a foil, you should check if they’re done. Expose the edge to direct flame. This is necessary especially if you’re grilling thick cuts of pork chops.
The center-cut of the pork is the best choice for grilling. Use a digital thermometer to check for doneness. Cook the pork chop ensuring the required internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Approximate Grilling Times for Pork
|Pork Chop Cut||Thickness/Weight||Cooking Time|
|Chop, boneless or bone-in||1/2 inch thick|
3/4 inch thick
1 inch thick
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inches thick
|5 - 7 minutes over direct high heat|
6 - 8 minutes over direct high heat
8 - 10 minutes over direct medium heat
10 - 12 minutes: sear for 6 minutes over high heat, then grill 4 - 6 minutes over medium high heat
|Tenderloin||1 lb||15 - 20 minutes over direct medium heat|
|Loin roast, boneless||2 - 3 lbs||40 - 50 minutes over indirect medium heat|
|Loin roast, bone-in||3 - 5 lbs||1 1/4 - 1 3/4 hours over indirect medium heat|
|Shoulder (Boston Butt), boneless||5 - 6 lbs||5 -7 hours over indirect low heat|
|Pattie (ground)||1/2 inch thick||8 - 10 minutes over direct medium heat|
|Ham, steak||1/2 inch thick||8 - 11 minutes over direct medium heat|
|Ham, bone-in, smoked or pre-cooked||8-10 lbs||1 1/4 - 2 hours over indirect low heat until internal temp. reaches 135°F|
|Ham, boneless, smoked or pre-cooked||3-5 lbs||1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours (15-18 minutes per pound) over indirect low heat until internal temp. reached 135°F|
|Ribs, baby back||1 1/2 - 2 lbs||3 - 4 hours over indirect low heat|
|Ribs, spareribs||2 1/2 - 3 1/2 lbs||3 - 4 hours over indirect low heat|
|Ribs, country-style, boneless||1 1/2 - 2 lbs||12 - 15 minutes over direct medium heat|
|Ribs, country-style, bone-in||3 - 4 lbs||1 1/2 - 2 hours over indirect medium heat|
|Bratwurst, fresh||20 - 25 minutes over direct medium heat|
|Bratwurst, pre-cooked||10 - 12 minutes over direct medium heat|