Grilling perfect juicy pork chops on your gas grill in under 30 minutes is easy. Use boneless or bone-in chops, do an optional brine if you have time, and season to your taste. A quick 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.
👨🍳How to make this recipe
- Preheat the grill to about 450° surface temperature.
- Use boneless or bone-in pork chops about 1-inch thick. Trim fat if thicker than ¼ inch. Brine, if you have time. It is OK to use thinner or thicker, but it will affect cooking times.
- Season to your taste.
- Grill to an internal temperature of 145°—about 12-14 minutes.
- Rest for a few minutes off the heat before serving.
🐖About pork chops
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. And if there is meat on the other side of the bone, it will be a slice of pork tenderloin.
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, Center-cut Rib Chop - The porterhouse/center cut has both loin and pork tenderloin sections. So it is very similar to the loin chop with a small piece of tenderloin in some versions.
Loin Chop AKA Pork Loin Chop, Pork Loin End Chop, New York Pork Chop - A little further down the loin. None with tenderloin sections, 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.
🔪Preparing pork chops to grill
What Chops to Choose: Any pork chop will work, but I prefer a center cut 1 inch thick, either bone-in or boneless. ¾ inch is a little thin and can dry out more. A brine will help some, but you will be happier with thicker.
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.
Trim the Fat Layer: There is usually a layer of fat on the edge any pork loin. I suggest trimming it, but others think it adds some flavor and helps prevent drying. If not trimmed, it may cause "cupping," complicating the grilling.
If the fat layer is over ¼ inch, trim it to ¼ inch thick and score every inch to prevent cupping of the pork during cooking.
Should I Brine?
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 previously frozen.
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 common 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.
You may season to your taste, but just the basics of some pepper and salt combined with the grilling make a great chop. Or go all the way with your favorite marinade.
I usually like a shake of some paprika or garlic powder, but if I don't brine, I always use seasoning salt with pepper.
♨️The Grill set-up
A grill surface temperature of about 450° is best for grilling pork chops. A bit lower or higher will work fine since cooking to a final internal temperature. Too high will overcook the outside before the center is done.
450° surface temperature is usually about medium-high heat burners on most gas grills. If you have more questions about grill setup, see A Beginners Guide to Grill Temperature on a Gas Grill.
Charcoal Grill: This recipe works fine on a charcoal grill—just get the heat correct. This usually involves adjusting the vents. Aim for the same temperature range as for gas grills.
🌡️Levels of cooked pork doneness
The FDA recommends a 145° minimum internal temperature with a 3-minute rest for safety.
|Cooked Pork Level||Internal Temperature|
|Well Done||160°+ (will dry)|
⏰How long to grill
A 1-inch thick boneless chop on a 450° grill will usually take 12-14 minutes to reach the minimum internal temperature of 145°. Three variables affecting the cooking time are thickness, the exact grill temperature, and your preferred final internal temperature.
Approximate grilling time by thickness to 145° and on a 450° grill
|Thickness||Approximate grill time||Notes|
|½ inch||5-6 minutes||not recommended|
|¾ inch||9-11 minutes|
|1 inch||12-14 minutes|
|1 ½ inch||up to 20 minutes|
How to serve and store leftovers
Side dishes are always hard to choose. I suggest vegetables like Grilled Mixed Vegetables or Grilled Asparagus make an excellent side dish. We like to have potatoes of some type like Grilled Baby Potatoes.
The common cold dishes like potato salad, broccoli salad, macaroni salad, or a fresh garden salad goes with everything grilled.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Glazed Grilled Pineapple is a great dessert served with ice cream. Or a simple fruit salad.
What to do with leftovers?
Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days and reheated in a microwave. I love to slice up cold leftovers on a green salad.
Pork chops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°-150°. The FDA recommends 145° minimum with a 3-minute rest. Pink will 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 about taste, not for safety.
If you want BBQ, add a light coat of your favorite BBQ sauce with about 5 minutes left, then a slightly heavier coat the last few minutes.
Since chops are very lean and tend to dry very quickly, there are several things to do to prevent drying.
1) Brine if you have time, especially if previously frozen.
2) Do not cook at a higher than recommended grill temperature.
3) Stop at the minimum safe temperature of 145°.
4) Don't forget to rest for 5-10 minutes after removing from heat. This allows fluid to reabsorb into the cells of the meat.
📖Pork Chop Recipes
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Start with the pork chops of your choice but I suggest 1-inch thick center cut chops with or without bones.
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 ¼ inch.
Optional: Mix brine in a 1-gallon zip lock of 2 cups cold water, 1 tablespoon table salt, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 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. Rinse the pork under running water after removing from the brine.
When ready to cook, clean the grates and preheat the grill to medium-high temperature (450°-500° surface temperature).
Pat dry and season to taste usually with seasoning salt and black pepper. Other optional seasonings can be used if desired. But remember to not add any seasoning with salt if you did brine.
Place the pork chops on a well-oiled grill grate and grill with a closed lid 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 on a Gas Grill
- 2 pork chops-boneless or bone-in - one inch thick
- kosher salt - only add if not brining
- black pepper - to taste
- 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
- Start with the pork chops of your choice but I suggest 1-inch thick center cut chops with or without bones.
- 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 ¼ inch.
- Optional: Mix brine in a 1-gallon zip lock of 2 cups cold water, 1 tablespoon table salt, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 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. Rinse the pork under running water after removing it from the brine.
- When ready to cook, clean the grates and preheat the grill to medium-high temperature (450°-500° surface temperature).
- Pat dry and season to taste usually with seasoning salt and black pepper. Other optional seasonings can be used if desired. But remember to not add any seasoning with salt if you did brine.
- Place the pork chops on a well-oiled grill grate and grill with a closed lid 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.
Your Own 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 ¼ 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. I usually use seasoning salt and black pepper.
- 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. Updated with options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.