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May 29, 2021

Pork chops are better than steak.

We can hear the shock already.

But there's plenty of reasons why pork wins the battle. It's healthier and cheaper than the good ol' bloody red.

Now, before you pick up your pitchforks, why not grab your dinner fork and have yourself a juicy, delicious grilled pork chop? Our experts will walk you through the recipe!

Why Pork Chop Is the New Steak

Did you know that pork's actually pretty healthy?

The next time someone tells you that you're "fat as a pig," well... here's a comeback: pork's a yin-yang experience. It's the perfect balance of nutrition, calories, and taste [1].

Pigs also have 16% less body fat than humans these days. Shocker, right?

cooked pork chop on white plate

Eating pork is also better for the environment than eating beef. So if you're not yet ready to go cold turkey on meat, here's a great alternative to reduce your carbon footprint.

And if you're still not convinced, it's time to have a taste. After trying out this recipe, you might change your mind!

What You'll Need

Choosing Your Pork

No matter which recipe you follow, YOUR CHOP matters. Your pork's thickness also matters a lot here. It tells you how long you need to grill your chops, and the right heat to use for them.

Which Cut to Get?

If you're still stuck in the butcher's section, here's a quick guide for you, no matter which recipes you choose:

  • The best cut to get is center-cut chops or anything near the torso. The center cut area doesn't get a lot of work, so you get fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth juicy pork chops.
  • If you like flavor as much as texture, then bone-in pork chops might work for you. We like using rib chops. The rib section doesn't get a workout, so no toughness there.

sliced meat on ceramic plate

  • If you want a bone-in chop with more pork, try a shoulder chop. It's a challenging cut, though.
  • If you're not feeling up to eating bones with your bare hands, then boneless pork chops are fine, too. You can try loin meat if you need a lot of protein for the day.

How Thick Should My Pork Chop Be?

Whether you get frozen pork chops or fresh ones, the golden rule here is thicker is always better.

With thicker pork chops, it's easier to sear the outside and get a nice, even, savory crust that will balance out the tender meat inside. Too thin, and you risk overcooking your pork chop.

So here's a good rule of thumb: get chops that are at least half an inch thick. But if you want a little extra OOMPH! in your dish, 1-inch thick pork chops are even better.

How to Make Tender, Simple Grilled Pork Chops: A Simple Recipe

Grill Day Recipe Checklist

Lots of recipes use complicated ingredients, but we like our grilled pork chops simple. Any more ingredients, and your spices - not your grilled pork chops - are the star of the show.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Boneless or bone-in chops
  • Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika

Other Materials:

  • Meat Thermometer
  • Your grill

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Step 1: Prep and Pamper

In a small bowl, mix your dry spices. This way, each chop gets an even coating of all your flavors and you don't have any extra salty or extra spicy "special editions."

Then take your olive oil and coating your chops evenly on each side. This has two purposes: first, it helps your spices to stick to the chops. Second, you won't wrestle for dominance with your grill.

Then just rub your spices on!

sliced meats on brown table

We recommend brining your pork chops beforehand. Brining your pork helps keep it juicy when cooking it over dry heat, like a grill.

But if you don't have time for that, dunking your pork chops into a large bowl is fine.

Step 2: Turn Up the heat!

When preparing your grill, divide it into two: sear station and cook station. Most recipes tell you to do this, because grilling pork chops is a two-step process.

For sear station, turn up your grill to high heat. It's the only way to create that golden crust of rubs and spices, complete with the signature grill marks you'll find in every pork chop worth eating.

For your cook station, keep it on medium heat to medium-high heat. This way, the inside of your pork stays juicy and delicious. No one likes chewing grilled pork bubblegum!

Step 3: Cook Pork Chops

It's time to cook!

Grilling is an art. Here's where it gets a little tricky - and where you'll toe the line between meaty goodness and gummy bubblegum.

Why? Because temperature can get complicated.

You'll know you got it right when your grilled pork chops are cooked to an internal temperature of 145 at the thickest slice. This final temperature makes your pork chop safe to eat.

So for 1-inch loin chops, that's probably the part near the center.

Pork loin is one of those cuts that's easier to poke around for internal temperature, so loin chop is a GREAT cut for beginners to grill pork with.

pork chops on a smoking grill

The waiting game's different, depending on your grill. But here are a few tips when adjusting your cooking time:

  • If you're using a charcoal grill, make sure you stack enough briquettes to get your two-zone grill with a sear and a cook station.
  • Got a gas grill? Lucky you! For you, you'll need to pay attention to your heat settings and the actual temperatures for each. Most grills have a medium heat range of around 450 to 500 Fahrenheit.
  • If you're grilling outside with an outdoor grill, your temperatures will differ depending on the season. If you have an industrial thermometer gun, it's time to use it!

You'll know your grilled pork chops are cooked when you see the pork well seared with the grill grates. Once you see it, finish cooking by taking your grilled pork chops off the direct heat.

Step 4: Have a Break

Once you've forked your pork chops and set it aside, let your chops rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Patience is a virtue, and waiting it out and makes deliciously amazing grilled pork chops. Just like steak, resting redistributes the meat juices and relaxes muscle fibers.

No one likes cold pork chops, so set it aside in a place with some indirect heat. Or, wrap your chops in some aluminum foil for best results.

Conclusion

Today, we gave you a nifty, simple recipe to grill pork chops. Taste it for yourself! And if this recipe wasn't enough, you can check out more recipes here on our site!


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