The grilled pork chop is a classic. It pairs well with lots of different flavors and has plenty of flavor on its own. But it can also be the most leathery piece of meat you have ever tried to eat. That’s because pork is generally bred to be fairly lean and folks overcook it. Here’s how to do it right.
Go Thick, Not Thin
Don’t try to grill thin pork chops. Bread them and fry them, and they’ll taste great. But if you put them on the grill, they will cook too fast and end up tough and flavorless. Buy chops that are at least ¾ to 1 inch thick. Bone-in chops – a gracefully curved rib chop or a husky T-bone (center cut) – cook more evenly and have more flavor than boneless chops.
Brine, Brine, Brine
Brining pork chops, even for a short time, provides a little wiggle room on doneness. If you are forgetful and cook the chop for a minute or two too long, the brine will help keep the meat moist. And remember to pat the chops dry with paper towels so they sear, rather than steam, on the grill.
Watch the Heat
Pork doesn’t like high heat. Put a chop over a hot fire, and you’ll end up with a tough piece of meat, even if you’ve brined it. Setting up your grill for indirect grilling is a good way to go. You can put a quick sear on both sides of the chop and then move it to the indirect-heat area for slower cooking.