Grilling pork chops is a summertime staple, and it’s a great way to get your daily dose of protein. There’s nothing better than a juicy, flavorful pork chop hot off the grill. While it may seem intimidating to grill pork chops, it’s actually simple if you follow a few steps. In this article, we’ll be discussing how to cook perfect pork chops on the grill.
Choosing the Right Pork Chop
The first step in grilling pork chops is to choose the right cut of meat. Some of the popular cuts of pork chops include bone-in, boneless, thick-cut, and thin-cut pork chops. If you’re looking for a chop that’s tender and flavorful, then bone-in pork chops are the best. Boneless pork chops cook quickly and are perfect for grilling. Thick-cut pork chops are ideal for slow-grilling, while thin-cut chops cook very fast.
Preparing the Pork Chops for Grilling
Before grilling, it’s essential to prepare the pork chops thoroughly. Start by seasoning the pork chops with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and spices. For extra flavor, you can rub the pork chops with olive oil or your preferred marinade. Let the pork chops sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the meat to absorb the seasoning.
Brining the Pork Chops
If you want to take the pork chops to the next level, consider brining them. Brining involves soaking the meat in saltwater, sugar, and your preferred flavorings to increase the tenderness and flavor of the pork chops. To brine, mix four cups of water, 1/4 cup of kosher salt, 1/4 cup of sugar, and your desired spices in a container. Once the pork chops have soaked in the brine for a few hours, rinse them in cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Setting Up the Grill
Before you start grilling the pork chops, set up your grill for indirect heat. Preheat the grill to high heat and brush some oil on the grates to prevent the pork chops from sticking. Once the grill is hot, turn off half of the burners and leave the other half on high heat. Alternatively, if you’re using a charcoal grill, place the lit coals on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty.
Cooking the Pork Chops on the Grill
Once the grill is set up, it’s time to start grilling the pork chops. Place the seasoned or brined pork chops on the hot side of the grill and cook for two minutes. After two minutes, rotate the pork chops 90 degrees to create grill marks and cook for another two minutes. Flip the pork chops over and repeat the process for the other side. Once both sides of the chops have grill marks, move them to the cooler side of the grill and close the lid.
Cook the pork chops for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. To check the temperature, use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork chop. Once the pork chops have reached the desired temperature, remove them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
Serving the Pork Chops
Finally, it’s time to enjoy your perfectly grilled pork chops. Serve them with your favorite side dishes, including mashed potatoes, green beans, or grilled vegetables. Pork chops pair well with a variety of sauces, including barbecue sauce, mango salsa, or herb butter.
Tips and Tricks for Grilling Pork Chops
– Preheat the grill to high heat before cooking pork chops
– Let the pork chops sit at room temperature before grilling for even cooking
– Don’t overcook the pork chops as they can become dry and tough
– Use a meat thermometer to ensure the pork chops are cooked to an appropriate temperature
– Brining the pork chops will increase tenderness and flavor
– Pork chops pair well with a variety of sauces and side dishes
1) How do I know when the pork chops are cooked?
The easiest way to determine if the pork chops are cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the chop, and once it reaches 145°F, the pork chops are ready.
2) Can I cook frozen pork chops on the grill?
It’s best to thaw the pork chops before grilling to ensure even cooking. However, you can still cook frozen pork chops on the grill but may need to increase the cooking time.
3) How long do I let the pork chops rest before serving?
Allow the pork chops to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and create a juicier pork chop.