Grilling perfect juicy pork chops on your gas grill in under 30 minutes is simple. Use boneless or bone-in chops, do an optional brine if you have time, and season to your taste, and you will have an easy healthy dinner for the whole family.
Pork chops are great lean meat that grills quickly but pork can dry easily. Correctly cooked and you will enjoy great tenderness and juices.
Grilled pork chops should be a standard in every grill master's skill set. It is ultra-simple to do right once you understand the few simple steps.
- Preheat grill to 450°
- Use boneless or bone-in pork chops about 1-inch thick. Trim fat if thick than ¼ inch. Brine if you have time.
- Season to your taste.
- Grill to an internal temperature of 145° and rest for a few minutes before serving.
A nice low 5, but I do love a good chop.
🐖How to Choose Your Pork Chop
Let's talk about pork and pork chops. First, pork is not graded like beef. There is no prime, choice, etc., unless made up as a marketing gimmick.
A pork chop is from the loin of the hog. It is the same bone as you will find in baby-back ribs if there is a bone.
Unfortunately, the powers in pork marketing changed the names of various cuts of pork to change perceptions. That adds confusion about what you are getting.
I have listed five chops, but only the middle three should be considered "real" chops and cook the same. The other two "chops" do not cook the same and, to me, should be avoided.
Shoulder Chop AKA Blade Chop, Pork Shoulder Steak, Pork Steak (Not a real chop) - Think of it as part pork loin and part pork butt. This chop is hard to cook, and it is more of a “low and slow” meat like a pork shoulder (butt). I don’t consider it the same class as the “real” pork chops and should not be cooked the same. Avoid this cut unless you know what you are doing.
Rib Chop AKA Pork Rib Chop, Bone-In Ribeye Chop, Rib End Cut - Frequently sold boneless and are the most common boneless chop. Cut from the rib section of the loin. These chops are easily identified by the bone that runs along one side and the one large eye of loin muscle—an excellent real pork chop.
Center Cut Loin Chop AKA Porterhouse Chop, Top Loin Chop - The porterhouse/center cut has both loin and tenderloin sections. So it is very similar to the loin chop with a small section of tenderloin in some versions. Also, a delicious chop.
Loin Chop AKA Pork Loin Chop, Pork Loin End Chop, New York Pork Chop - A little further down the loin. None with sections of tenderloin, otherwise very much like the center-cut loin chop and excellent for the home cook.
Sirloin Chop AKA Pork Sirloin Chop, Sirloin Steak (Not a real chop) - These "chops" cut from the sirloin end of the loin area may contain tenderloin loin meat and some hip bone. Generally not recommended. Like the shoulder cut, this cut should not be cooked like genuine pork chops.
All "real" pork chops (the middle three) are cooked approximately the same. Some people prefer bone-in, believing it adds some flavor. It may help some with temperature stabilization and prevent overcooking also. Given a choice, go with the bone-in, which I do if not buying in bulk.
How to choose
I believe you should grill pork chops that are 1 to 1 ½ inches thick, but bone-in or boneless pork chops will both be fine. ¾ inch is a little thin and can dry out more. A brine will help some, but you will be happier with thicker.
Many stores sell ½ inch cuts. These should never see a grill. Bread them, then bake or fry.
Chops thicker than 1 ½ may require either reverse searing or some time over indirect heat. I usually don't do these thicker chops since I consider them too big for a serving.
👨🍳How to Grill Pork Chops
No, not entirely. There is usually a layer of fat on the edge of a chop. You can trim it if you want, but many think it adds some flavor and helps prevent drying.
If the fat layer is over ¼ inch, trim it to ¼ inch thick. Also, it should be scored every inch to prevent cupping of the pork during cooking.
Brine is used to add moisture to meat like pork or chicken. While brining is optional, it is recommended, especially if the chops have been frozen before.
You can skip the brine for speed, but it does add some moisture and avoids that "dry pork" thing that is easy to get.
A standard pork brine is 2 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of salt. The salt is standard table salt. If using a different salt, you should adjust accordingly.
Brine for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator. Rinse the brine off under running water and pat dry with paper towels before seasoning more and cooking.
But if you are salt sensitive, cut the salt back some or skip the brine. Be sure to rinse the meat under running water before cooking. If adding more seasoning after that, it should not contain salt.
Most chefs will add some sugar to the brine at about the same amount as the salt. Other flavors like garlic can be added—my wife requires garlic.
Just the basics of some pepper and salt, if you don't brine, combined with the grilling, make a great chop.
I usually like a shake of some paprika or garlic powder, but if I don't brine, I always use seasoning salt with pepper.
But you can season to your taste.
The grill should be medium-high heat which is 450°-500° surface temperature. That is usually a bit above medium on most gas grills. If you have questions about grill setup, see A Beginners Guide to Grill Temperature on a Gas Grill.
This recipe works fine on a charcoal grill as well as a gas grill—just get the heat correct. This usually involves adjusting the vents. Aim for the same temperature range as for gas grills.
How long to grill is mainly related to the thickness of the chop. A ¾ inch thick chop may only be about 10 minutes. A 1-inch thick chop is more like 12-14 minutes, and a 1 ½ inch may take up to 20 minutes.
A bone-in chop may take a bit longer than a boneless one. Also, the starting temp of the chop and the exact grill temperature will have significant effects. As always, COOK TO THE FINAL INTERNAL TEMPERATURE AND NEVER BY TIME ALONE.
Pork chops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°-150°. The FDA recommends 145° minimum with a 3-minute rest. Pink will totally disappear around 155°.
You must use a meat thermometer to get this right.
Also, remember the temperature of the chop will climb several degrees after removing from the grill, so account for that.
When I was young, the recommendation for cooking pork was 170° to kill Trichinosis. This has not been a problem in the US for decades, but old ideas die hard. Yes, I cook my pork butt to 200° plus, but that is a taste thing not for safety.
If you want BBQ pork chops, add a light coat of your favorite BBQ sauce with about 5 minutes left, then a slightly heavier coat the last few minutes.
📖Pork Chop Recipes
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Trim a couple of 1 to 1 ½ inch pork chops. Boneless or bone-in are both OK.
If you leave a layer of fat on the edge, score it every inch to prevent cupping. I trim it back if it is over ½ inch.
Mix brine in 1-gallon zip lock: 2 cups cold water, 1 tablespoon table salt, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and one teaspoon garlic powder (optional). Mix well and submerge the pork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Salt Note: 1 teaspoon table salt = 1 ¼ teaspoons Morton kosher salt = 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
When ready to cook, clean the grates and preheat the grill to medium-high temperature (450°-500° surface temperature). Rinse the pork under running water.
Pat dry, add pepper to taste. Do not add salt if you did the brine. This is time to add other optional seasonings like some garlic powder or paprika. If you skipped the brine, also add salt or seasoning salt.
Place the pork chops on a well-oiled grill grate and grill for about 4 minutes per side initially, then flip occasionally, aiming for an internal temperature of 145°-150°. About 12-18 minutes total time depending on grill and thickness. If you want BBQ, add a light coat of sauce with about 5 minutes left and again for the last 2 minutes.
Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes or a little more before serving.
How to Grill Pork Chops
- 2 pork chops-boneless or bone-in - one inch thick
- Pepper to taste
- kosher salt - only add if not brining
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 tablespoon table salt - more of using kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar - optional
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder - optional
- garlic powder
- seasoning salt - if not brining
- BBQ Sauce
- Trim a couple of 1 to 1 ½ inch pork chops. Boneless or bone-in are both OK.
- If you are leaving a layer of fat on the edge, score it every inch to prevent cupping. I trim it back if it is over ½ inch.
- Optional Brine: Mix brine in 1-gallon zip lock: 2 cups cold water, 1 tablespoon table salt, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and one teaspoon garlic powder (optional). Mix well and submerge the pork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Salt Note: 1 teaspoon table salt = 1 ¼ teaspoons Morton kosher salt = 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
- When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium-high (450°-500° surface temperature). Rinse the pork under running water if brined.
- Pat dry, add pepper to taste. Do not add salt if you did the brine. If you skipped the brine, also add salt. This is time to add other seasonings like some garlic powder or paprika.
- Grill on a well-oiled grill for about 4 minutes per side initially, then flip occasionally, aiming for an internal temperature of 145°-150°. About 12-18 minutes total time depending on grill and thickness.
- If you want BBQ, add a light coat of sauce with about 5 minutes left and again for the last 2 minutes.
- Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes or a little more before serving.
My Private Notes
- Buy the right meat. A "real" pork chop about 1 inch thick. Either boneless or bone-in, but bone-in chops may take a few more minutes to cook.
- Brine if you have time. But then rinse and do not add any more salt.
- If the rim of fat is over ½ inch, trim it back some. Also, score the fat rim every 1 inch to prevent cupping.
- Season with just pepper or add some paprika and garlic powder.
- If I don’t brine, I always use seasoning salt and pepper.
- Cook over a medium to medium-high grill with a surface temperature of about 450°.
- If you want BBQ sauce, do a very light brush at about 5 minutes left, then a bit more in the last 2 minutes.
- Don't overcook. 145°-150° degree internal temperature is great. Plus, a 5-minute rest before serving for safety and reabsorbing fluid.
Reasons for dry pork chops:
- Too high of grill temperature - be sure to use a surface thermometer.
- Cooking to too high internal temperature - be sure to check with an instant-read thermometer.
- Previously frozen meat tends to dry more - consider brining.
- Very lean meat will dry more.
- Grilling pork chops less than ¾ inch thick.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Publisher note: Originally published September 2, 2013. This post has been expanded from 300 words to 1300 works with additional content. Updated with options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.