Perfect Grilled Pork Chops Recipe

The secret to juicy grilled chops is starting out with thick cuts, brining the meat, and cooking the chops over indirect heat.

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Photograph and video: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Center-cut, rib chops have enough fat to allow it to stand up to the heat well, along with a nice degree of flavor.
  • Chops about 1 1/2-inches thick allow some insurance in cooking.
  • Dry brining the chops help them retain more juice as they cook.

This recipe was originally published in 2012. It has been updated with new information based on further testing.

Dry, chewy pork chops are a thing of the past—these thick-cut beauties are everything an excellent grilled pork chop should be. By starting out with thick chops it's easier to prevent them from overcooking, while a dry brine keeps them seasoned and juicy. Here we utilize two-zone indirect heat, which allows you to gently finish cooking the chops after getting them browned over high heat.

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Recipe Facts

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Active: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 4 (1 1/2-inch-thick) center-cut pork rib chops, about 8 ounces (225g) each
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Type of fire: two-zone indirect
  • Grill heat: high

Directions

  1. Sprinkle pork chops all over with salt, place on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  2. Remove pork chops from refrigerator and season heavily with pepper. Lightly season with additional salt if necessary.

  3. Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate. Place pork chops over hot side of grill and cook until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

  4. Move pork chops to cool side of grill, situated with bones facing the fire. Cover and cook until meat registers 135°F (57°C) on an instant-read thermometer when inserted into thickest part of chop. Remove pork from grill, let rest for 10 minutes, then serve.

Special equipment

Grill, Instant-read thermometer, Wire rack

Notes

The best cooking temp for grilled pork chops? That would be 135°F (57°C), which is just at the high end of medium-rare. This allows the final chop to come to a rosy and juicy medium 145°F (63°C) during the mandatory 10-minute rest off the grill.

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