Anything you cook on the grill will have a distinct smoky flavor with a touch of fire to it. This succulent taste manifests itself in roasted meats but is arguably better in a charcoal grill compared to a gas grill due to the difference in temperatures. In this guide, we share what you need to know about cooking pork chops and answer the question, “How long should you BBQ pork chops.”
What’s the Difference Between Charcoal and Gas Grill?
Most people will use these words interchangeably, but there is a difference between them. Using the barbecue refers to cooking slowly under low heat while grilling uses a fast cooking technique on a higher heat.
Moreover, charcoal will burn hotter around double the amount of a gas grill’s temperature, or around 1,200 degrees. At the right temperature range, you can create the perfect, drooly-worthy crust, along with the grill marks that make it tempting to eat.
But if you want to get juicy pork chops, the biggest hurdle you’ll need to overcome is how easy it is to overcook them. The delicious flavor that a grilled pork chop can deliver might not be as good as the savory flavor that a pork tenderloin delivers when it’s put on charcoal. This is the reason why many people will prefer barbecue pork chops any day over grilled pork chops.
Which Cuts of Pork Chop are Best for Grilling?
During your trip to the grocery store, be sure to choose a thick pork chop — ask the meat counter if they have at least 1-inch thick cuts because these won’t dry out quickly. The thickness of your pork chops will determine how juicy they can remain inside, as well as the sear on the outside. When the desired thickness of a cut isn’t available, the best way to get tender pork chops is to brine them in a salt and sugar solution, which is easy enough even for beginners.
Even so, pork chops will come in different sizes and cuts, so the cooking time will often depend on which category your pork chop comes in, such as:
- Bone-in pork chops
- Boneless pork chops
- ½ inch pork chops
- 1-inch pork chops
How Long Should it Take for Pork Chops to Cook?
First, you need to know that the internal temperature of the pork should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit for bone-in chops. To ensure that you’re working with the right temperature, use a meat thermometer — preferably an instant read thermometer to get quick feedback. Below are estimated cook times for the following cuts when using charcoal properly.
It takes around 4 to 5 minutes on each side of the meat to give them a sear. Make sure to prioritize searing one side to seal in the great flavor. Flip the chop over and cook it until it’s done.
- Bone-in pork chops should take around 4 to 5 minutes, but depending on the thickness, the time should be adjusted according to the temperature; you can use a digital thermometer for this.
- Boneless pork chops should take around 1 to 2 minutes depending on how thick the cut is.
- Thicker chops may take around 4 to 8 minutes per side; the longer you leave it, the more you’ll get a nice sear and grill marks. Thin pork chops will require less time.
Keep in mind that the times listed below are for pork chop grilling with the lid off during spring and summer. During cooler weather, you can close the lid on your grill to ensure that the heat is retained inside. If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure that you pour out and light the charcoal at the bottom of your grill to make it smolder.
Cooking Your Own BBQ Pork Chops
Technique and timing will play a huge role in getting the best pork chops, so if you’re looking for a great way for cooking pork chops, here’s an easy recipe. Below are the ingredients you’ll need to achieve juicy chops using a simple brine.
For Pork Chop Brine
- 4 boneless chops, (other cuts include pork loin chops and center-cut rib chops)
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of kosher salt
- 2 cups of cold water
- 1 cup of hot water
For Pork Chop Dry Rub
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Black pepper
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- ¼ cup of chopped parsley (or any herb you like)
- Your favorite seasoning blend
You can also use a pork chop marinade — a combination of soy sauce, garlic, and pineapple is great for steak fajitas. You can also turn to pantry staples such as Dijon mustard and barbecue sauce to get the best results. Below are simple steps you can take to lessen the amount of time to the perfect pork chops during grilling season.
1. Start your brine by placing the sugar and salt in the hot water then stir it well until everything is dissolved.
2. Add your 2 cups of cold water to the mix and place pork chops in the brine then refrigerate them for 2 to 4 hours.
3. Remove them from the brine and dry your pork chops using a paper towel.
4. Coat each piece with olive oil to ensure that your rub sticks to them.
5. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients needed for the pork rub and coat each pork chop evenly (you can use a large resealable plastic bag for this). Sprinkle some parsley and save a small amount for serving later.
6. Prepare your gas or charcoal grill by using olive oil to coat your grill grates if needed. When using a gas grill, preheat it on medium-high heat for 10 minutes before using it. If you’re using a charcoal grill, create a source of indirect heat by placing coals on the side of the grill while leaving the center of the grill empty.
7. Light the coals 20 minutes before you start grilling to ensure a hot grill. The temperature for both grills should reach around 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit before you place the pork chops inside.
8. Grill your pork chops according to the times provided above. For 1-inch thick chops, you may want to take 5 mins on one side to get the sear you’re looking for before flipping them over. Cook them until they reach 145 degrees or around 2 minutes.
Getting the best flavor and the right cook on this meat is already tricky enough but there are also different cuts for you to choose from. Shoulder chop, pork steaks, and pork shoulder steaks are just some of the cuts that you can use for a great recipe. But if you see that your meat is a little pink, walk on the side of caution and use medium heat for your favorite pork chop recipes.
As a final piece of advice, trust us when we say that a pellet grill and a good BBQ sauce will be your new best friend for all your grilling adventures.
- Kitchen Accessory Buying Guides
- Kitchen Appliance Buying Guides
- Kitchen Cookbook Buying Guides
- Kitchen Cookware Buying Guides
- Kitchen Pantry Food Buying Guides
- Does Food Go Bad Articles
- Food Comparison Articles
- Foods That Start With Letter Articles
- How Long Can Food Sit Out Articles
- How To Defrost Food Articles
- How To Reheat Food Articles
- How To Soak Food Articles
- Popular Foods Articles
- What Does It Taste Like Articles