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How Long To Cook Pork Chops On The Grill (A Chef’s Guide)

Just about any food cooked on the grill will have a unique, fire-kissed flavor to it. The succulent taste associated with meat roasted over a charcoal grill is better than gas grilling for one simple reason: higher temperatures.

Charcoal burns hotter (about double the temperature of the average gas grill at a whopping 1200 degrees) which transports you into the right temperature range for creating a drool-worthy golden-brown crust, and pretty black grill marks like the pros.

Most cuts of pork are quick to grill, easy on the wallet, and pretty simple to do.

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You’ll want to pay attention to a few details when trying to cook juicy pork chops, as the most challenging hurdle in accomplishing tender pork chops is to not overcook them.

Timing and technique play a major part in how well they grill, so, if you’re at a loss for the best grilling technique for the best pork chops, continue on to learn how long to cook various types of pork chops and recommended seasonings.

Pork chops come in different cuts and different sizes. So, answering how long it takes to cook pork chops on the grill can best be answered when you know what criteria your pork chop falls in:

●      1/2 -inch pork chops

●      1-inch pork chops

●      Bone-in pork chops (pork porterhouse)

●      Boneless chops (boneless loin chops)

What Pork Chop Cuts Are Best For Grilling?

For grilling, we want to choose the thickest cuts available at your grocery store. The best way is to choose an option that is at least 1-inch thick as they are less likely to dry out. Thicker chops have the ability to sear nicely on the outside while remaining juicy on the inside.

Sometimes this thick of a cut isn’t available and we have some tips below for thinner cuts with helpful options, such as brining them in a brown sugar and salt solution. (Really quite easy to do.)

How Long Does It Take To Cook Pork Chops on the Grill?

First off, pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. We recommend using a meat thermometer if you are learning to grill. The following cuts give an estimate of the cook time per side when using the charcoal properly.

Charcoal should be lit in a charcoal oven and poured out into the bottom of the grill to become gray and smolder. You are ready to grill when an outstretched hand held over the grill grates can be held stationary over the coals for 2 seconds only. This is the proper heat for grilling.

For Best Results, our Guide Recommends Grilling One Side With a Nice Sear and Then Finishing On the Remaining Side Until the Temperature Probe Registers 145 Degrees.

The times listed are for grilling pork chops with the lid off of the grill during spring or summer. During cool weather, you may choose to place the lid on the grill to keep the heat in the chamber.)

It takes 4-5 minutes on one side to sear any piece of meat. Prioritize searing at least one side for the best flavor, then flipping the chop and cooking until it’s just done.

1/2 inch pork chops4 minutes on the first side1 minute on the second side
1-inch pork chops5 minutes on the first side1-2 minutes on the second side
Bone-in pork chops (very thick)4-5 minutes on the first side4-5 minutes on the second side
Boneless chops4-5 minutes on the first side1-2 minutes on the second side
Chef’s Notes Of Grilled Pork Chop Times

Add 2 minutes per half-inch for thick pork chops beyond this guide.

  • Bone-in pork chops (pork porterhouse) 4-5 minutes, 4-5 minutes (thin bone-in pork chops should follow the 1/2 inch guidelines)
  • Boneless chops (boneless loin chops, pork loin chops) 4-5 minutes, 1-2 minutes

Depending on the thickness of your pork chops, a chop can cook from 4-8 minutes on each side.

This is because the flavor is in the sear…you want to grill the chop over high heat to achieve a golden brown sear and get those beautiful grill marks that we all love to see on our meat. Grill marks take about 4-5 minutes on each side when searing over hot coals.

The pork chops can be then moved to a slightly cooler area of the grill to continue cooking, but not directly over the hottest part of the fire. You can arrange your grill to have a hot area, and a cooler area by stacking the charcoal higher on one side. Naturally, the middle of the grill tends to get the hottest, while the areas on the outside seem to be cooler.

After searing, move the pork chop to indirect heat to finish cooking. This can take anywhere from four to seven more minutes on each side, depending on how thick the pork chops are. The thickest bone-in pork chops as seen in your favorite steak house can sear up to 8 min per side.

After the pork chops are grilled, allow them to rest for about five minutes to give the juices the time it needs to redistribute into the meat. Pork chops will release a little bit of juice as they’re sitting.

How Long Does It Take To Grill 1/2-inch Pork Chops?

Pork chops that are 1/2 inch thick and boneless or bone-in can take anywhere from 4 to 6 minutes to cook on the grill. This is very lean meat and cooks quickly so do your best to sear the meat quickly for great flavor and finish on a cooler area of the grill so that they do not dry out. (Also check out our brine recipe below.)

How Long To Cook 1-inch Pork Chops on Grill

Boneless pork chops that are one inch thick should be grilled for 6 to 8 minutes total on the grill.

How Long To Cook Bone-in Pork Chops

Bone-in pork chops 1/4 inch thick are best cooked over direct heat quickly. Make sure to turn the pork chops over every 3 minutes, as this will be about as long as you can go without drying them out. It’s also good to have the lid closed as they cook so the heat doesn’t escape and they can come to temp rapidly.

This thin of pork chops benefit from a sauce or glaze of some kind lightly brushed on right before removing from the grill. These thin pork chops can also be grilled in a grill pan with a stick of butter to keep them juicy.

Thick-cut bone-in pork chops over 1 1/2 inch thick, grill for 6-8 minutes per side. This includes the steakhouse cuts similar to a bone-in ribeye.

How To Prep Pork Chops For Grilling

Seasonings and Marinades:

The first thing you want to do when cooking your pork chops is to use a dry rub to season them. This helps to make the surface of the pork chops (which will hit your tongue first) loaded with flavor, while proper cooking time keeps the meat tender and juicy.

A simple seasoning of kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder works great on pork chops in a pinch.

We also love store-bought rubs for their ease and the wide selection of flavors available. Barbecue rubs are great and they can be glazed with barbecue sauce before serving. Additionally, Asian-style rubs can be delicious on pork, as well as Montreal seasoning and steak rubs.

Store-bought marinades in sweet and tangy flavors are great to use on pork, though don’t forget to also season with seasoning salt or dry rub when they go on the grill.

A simple pork chop marinade that we love is this pineapple, soy sauce, and garlic marinade that we use for steak fajitas. It’s similar to the marinade used in the now-defunct Steak and Ale Restaurants.

How To Make A Pork Chop Brine:

PRO TIP: A pork chop brine is a step that adds flavor and juiciness to any pork chop recipe but is especially helpful with very thin pork chops and you likely have all of the ingredients needed in your house…salt, sugar, and water.

In a small bowl combine 1 cup hot water, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, and 3 tablespoons brown sugar- whisk until dissolved.

Add 2 cups cold water and add the pork chops. Brine 2-4 hours in the refrigerator. Then remove from the brine and dry with paper towels. Season and grill as usual.

List of Basic Ingredients:

The basic ingredients you will need to grill your pork chops include:

  • Pork chops (we recommend at least 1-inch thick)
  • Oil to coat the pork chops or the grill grates (we recommend a high smoke point oil like avocado oil, avoid olive oil)
  • Rub for seasoning
  • Charcoal for the grill
  • Instant read thermometer (digital thermometer)
  • Long-stemmed lighter
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Paper Towels for cleaning the grill grates and coating the grill grates with oil

Gas Grill Set Up Versus Charcoal Set Up

If you’re using a gas grill, it’s handy because you can heat both sides of the grill to different temperatures. One side to medium-high heat and the other side to low-medium heat.

Sear the first side of the pork chop for 4-5 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. Then move them over to the lower-heated side of the grill and cook with the lid closed until the pork is about 145 degrees. Rest the grilled pork chop for 5 minutes before serving.

What Temperature To Grill Pork Chops

Pork chops should be grilled until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

A thermometer is a helpful tool when grilling any meat, but it is especially helpful when grilling pork chops due to their tendency to dry out. A thermometer keeps you from overcooking your pork chops and insures they retain all of their juices.

Pulling the meat at the right moment takes the guesswork out of grilling and means you can count on a perfect juicy pork chop to hit your plate every time you grill.

Here are some meat thermometers we trust:

When you think the pork chops are ready to come off the grill, check the temperature first. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. If it’s bone-in meat, you want to do this without touching the bone. The temperature should quickly appear on the screen of the digital thermometer. Once the temperature reaches 145 degrees, take the pork chops off the grill.

If you don’t have a thermometer, you can still tell if the pork chops are ready. One way to do it is to poke the pork chop with your finger or use a utensil to determine how firm it is. If it’s soft and raw, it’s not ready to come off the grill. If the meat is firm to the touch, remove one pork chop from the grill and cut into the thickest part of the meat.

It should be firm and white, not pink or raw in any way. If the pork chop is cooked throughout the chop it is safe to eat. Again, a digital thermometer makes this much easier.

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A juicy grilled pork chop on a platter
Yield: 4

How Long To Cook Pork Chops On The Grill (A Chef's Guide)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

A straightforward and easy guide for juicy grilled pork chops every time.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops (or more)

BRINE:

  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 c. hot water
  • 2 c. cold water

TO GRILL:

Instructions

Preparing the Brine:


To make the brine place the salt and sugar in a bowl and pour in the hot water. Stir well until dissolved. Add 2 c. cold water. Place all of the pork chops in this brine and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Remove the pork chops from the brine and dry with paper towels. Coat with 2 T. avocado oil and season liberally on all sides with kosher salt or seasoning salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Sprinkle on some of the green parsley and reserve a bit for the final plating.

Grilling the Pork Chops


Prep your charcoal or gas grill as instructed in the post. Clean the grill grate well with a grill brush. Use the last 1 T. of avocado oil to coat the grill grates if they need it. When the grill is just hot enough that an outstretched hand cannot be placed over the coals for more than 2 seconds, you are ready to begin.

Grill the pork chops as demonstrated in the pork chop table above. These pork chops were 1 inch thick and took 5 min on one side, flipped, and cooked on the other side until the chops hit 145 degrees, about 2 minutes.

Remove the chops to a platter and rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with extra green herbs or parsley and spoon their juices back onto the chops when serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 3135mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 37g

This nutritional information is provided as a courtesy as an estimate only. Consult with a dietician for precise estimates. This website makes no claims that the nutritional values listed are accurate.

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