How to Grill Pork Chops
Learn how to season, prep, brine and grill a perfectly tender pork chop. Master these seven simple steps and you’ll be able to fire up the best chops.
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For grilling pork chops, you want to set up a two-zone, medium-hot fire. Fire up a full chimney of Kingsford® Charcoal, or light a pile of about 100 briquets. With its higher top temperature and consistent burn, Kingsford® Professional is perfect for chops. When the coals are ready, arrange them in a two-zone fire. Replace the top grate, allow it to heat up — all vents should be fully open — then just before placing the pork chops on the grate, dip a folded paper towel in cooking oil and oil the entire grate using long-handled tongs.
The best pork chops for grilling are center-cut, bone-in rib chops that are at least an inch thick. To avoid drying the chops while grilling, either marinate or brine them before cooking. We suggest a basic brine solution of 1/4 cup salt to four cups of water. Brine the pork chops in a shallow dish for two to four hours in the refrigerator. Discard the used marinade or brine, rinse chops in cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Liberally apply coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to both sides. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add a wide variety of spices, from brown sugar and chili powder to coriander, turmeric and any number of ethnic blends.
Place the pork chops on the hottest part of the grate, directly above the coals. Sear all the chops for about three minutes per side, turning only once, until they develop a brown crust. If the grill flares up, temporarily move the chops away from the coals until the flames die down.
When the chops are properly browned, move them to the cooler (indirect heat) side of the grate, with the bone side of the pork chop facing the coals to act as a heat shield. If you’re using a probe-style digital meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the pork chop now and replace the lid.
A great option for pork chops is adding a bit of smoke taste. If you like, add some soaked Kingsford® Wood Chips with Hickory or Mesquite at this stage.
For sugar-based glazes, apply it about 10 minutes prior to removing the pork chops from the grill to prevent the glaze from burning onto the chops. Apply the glaze to one side of the chops, close the lid for five minutes to let it bake on, then open the lid, turn the chops, and repeat the process.
Using a digital meat thermometer, insert the tip into the thickest part of the pork chop, but not touching the bone. When the internal temperature reaches 145°F, remove it from the grill. Place the pork chops on a cutting board or a platter, loosely cover with foil, and allow them to “rest” for five minutes to allow the juices to settle back into the meat. To maximize tenderness, some advanced grillers suggest removing the chops from the grill at 140°F, and allowing the temperature to spike another 5 degrees while the meat rests.
For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.
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