A pork chop easily moves from moist and juicy to dry as leather if it is overcooked or grilled improperly. A raw center and crispy outside is also a possible problem when you are grilling pork chops. To achieve a tender and juicy grilled pork chop, you need to consider the specific cut of meat you choose, how you prepare it and your grilling technique. For best results, look for a pork chop that is around 1 inch thick so it doesn't cook too quickly and turn tough.
- Paper towel
- Meat thermometer
As an alternative to marinating the pork, brush barbecue sauce on both sides after you initially sear the pork chop.
Pour your favorite pork marinade into a bowl or resealable bag.
Place the pork chops into the bag, coating them thoroughly in the marinade, and refrigerate for at least two hours. The longer the meat marinates, the more tender and flavorful it becomes.
Preheat a gas grill for a minimum of 10 minutes to ensure that it's hot enough. For a charcoal grill, place the grate over the coals before you bring out the pork so it's hot.
Wipe oil onto the grate by pouring some onto a paper towel and rubbing it on the grate with tongs.
Lift the pork chops out of the marinade with the tongs, allowing the excess marinade to drip back in the bowl to prevent flare-ups in the grill, and place the pork on the hottest part of the grill. Sear the chops for about two minutes on each side to create brown grill lines on the meat.
Move the chops to a slightly cooler part of the grill, or turn the grill's heat to medium if you're using a gas grill. Cook the chops for about four minutes on each side, leaving the lid of the grill closed except for when you need to flip the pork.
Check the pork's internal temperature by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chop. A temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended for pork by the United States Department of Agriculture. Keep in mind that the temperature will increase a few degrees if you let the pork rest for about five minutes. Pull the pork off when it reaches 155 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit to keep it juicy and tender rather than overcooked.
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Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.