For a lot of us, Memorial Day officially kicks off grilling season. We'll make burgers, hot dogs, maybe a couple of steaks, too. But in addition to those grilling classics, we're also putting all sorts of under-appreciated pork cuts over the flame. Pork is great at soaking up marinades and taking on smoky flavor, and a bit of char from the occasional flare up never hurt. In other words, pork is the perfect grilling meat. From barbecue ribs and rotisserie porchetta to Vietnamese lemongrass chops and Yucatán-style barbecue, these are seven of our favorite pork recipes to fire up over the grill. Need more Memorial Day grilling inspiration? Check out the rest of our favorite grilled pork recipes.
Traditional Filipino adobo features stewed chicken or pork in a tangy, flavorful sauce made from cane vinegar, soy sauce, and aromatics. But the building blocks of that dish make for an equally delicious marinade for grilled meats, like these thick and juicy pork chops. The trick to this dish is to use good Filipino cane vinegar, and to get a nice char on the meat.
These grilled pork chops are one of the easiest—not to mention most delicious—Vietnamese dishes to replicate at home. You won't need to get your hands on any hard-to-find ingredients. The marinade, which is full of shallots, lemongrass, garlic, sugar, pepper, and hot sauce, lends the thinly sliced pork chops tons of flavor. Cooked over a hot flame, the sugary marinade caramelizes, leaving the chops crisp and salty.
Skewers are a great way to prepare grilled food for two reasons: they're easy to handle on the grill, and just as easy to get from plate to mouth. This Balinese pork satay marinates in a turmeric, lemongrass, and chili-infused spice paste. After the crisped skewers come off the grill, they're brushed with a sweet soy sauce glaze. We serve the finished skewers with a tart and salty peanut dipping sauce.
Picture this: Right as your last guests arrive with beer and wine in hand, you pull an enormous package wrapped in banana leaves from the grill, and reveal a huge, tender slab of pork within. This Yucatán-style barbecued pork is a show-stopper. The meat is marinated in a mixture of garlic, warm spices, orange juice, white vinegar, and soy sauce, and gets stacked with bay leaves, tomato, and onion. Then it's wrapped in banana leaves which impart the meat with an earthy floral flavor as it cooks low and slow on the grill.
By the time these Memphis-style ribs come off the grill, they've built up a sweet and spicy bark that crunches between your teeth, and insulates the juicy, flavorful meat. We start by rubbing the meat with more than 10 spices, and mop the ribs with a vinegar and water mixture every 15 to 20 minutes while they cook.
Your guests will most likely come over expecting burgers and hot dogs (which you may or may not provide), but what they certainly will not expect is this crispy, crackling rotisserie porchetta. Pork belly which has been scored and rubbed with an aromatic mixture of spices and herbs is wrapped around a brined pork loin. After it's neatly tied shut, the impressive roll of pork is placed on a rotisserie over the grill, where it cooks until the meat is juicy and the skin is shatteringly crisp.
Sure, you probably could make these competition-style barbecue ribs for an actual competition, but it's so much easier to just grill them for your non-judgmental friends. We cook them low and slow on a smoker or grill until they've turned a deep mahogany color. Misting them with apple juice every hour keeps them moist and flavorful right up until the moment you eat them.
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