Grilling season is upon us! It's time to clean off those grill grates, grab your apron, and get to grilling. We're sharing all the details on how long to grill pork chops, including boneless and bone-in pork chops.
Keep reading for our favorite tips for the best way to cook juicy pork chops on the grill.
You may be wondering, "How long do I grill 1-inch pork chops?" - and we've got the answer for you. We tested several grilled pork chops recipes to determine which temperature resulted in juicy, tender pork chops with the perfect grill marks.
Plus, we're sharing an easy recipe for the best pork chops on the grill that has great flavor, little fat, and a whole lot of protein. It reminds us of one of our favorite pork chop recipes, sheet pan pork chops with sweet potatoes and apples.
Grilled Pork Chops
Pork chops are a lean cut of meat, making them a great healthy option for a lighter summer meal. However, for the same reason, they can be difficult to cook properly.
They are known for their tenderness (if you cook them right!), flavor, and ability to be cooked in various ways.
Internal Temperature of Pork Chops
Always use an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness. Grill temperature, the thickness of your pork chops, and the type of grill all impact how long it takes to cook pork chops on the grill. Using a meat thermometer is the best way to achieve tender chops every time.
Pork chops should be cooked to 145°F followed by a minimum of a 3-minute rest period.
Pro tip: Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the pork.
Pull it off the grill when it reaches 145 degrees f, which results in juicy pork with just a little pink in the center. We like to let ours rest for 5-10 minutes. This helps lock the juices in.
How Long to Grill 1-Inch Pork Chops
It takes 9-12 minutes to grill 1-inch pork chops on medium heat (400°F). Sear the pork chops for 3 minutes on each side to achieve gorgeous grill marks then transfer the pork chops to indirect heat for 5-6 more minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 145°F in the thickest part of the pork chop. 1-inch chops are ideal for grilling, as they tend to cook more evenly and retain moisture.
You may be wondering if bone-in pork chops take longer to cook. As long as the pork chops are about 1 inch in size, the bone should not affect the cooking time. However, the bone will start to affect the grill time for thick pork chops(larger than 1 inch).
Pro tip: Utilize two-zone grilling to cook the middle to the perfect temperature without the outsides becoming too charred. Thicker bone-in chops can take up to 15-20 minutes.
Remember: Although time is a nice guideline for a recipe, the absolute most important factor when cooking pork chops on the grill is to pay attention to internal temperature. Pork is perfectly cooked through, juicy, and safe to eat at 145°F.
How Long to Cook Pork Chops on a Gas Grill
It takes approximately 10 minutes to cook a perfectly grilled pork chop on a gas grill at 400°F. Here's a breakdown of grill times based on the thickness of the chops.
- Thin pork chops: chops that are less than 1 inch will take somewhere between 5-10 minutes to grill at 400°F.
- 1-inch pork chops: take 9-12 minutes to grill at 400°F. This is true for both boneless or bone-in pork chops.
- Thick boneless pork chops: chops larger than 1 inch can take 10-15 minutes to grill at 400°F.
- Thick bone-in pork chops: the bone starts to affect grill time if it's larger than an inch, so thick bone-in pork chops can take up to 15-20 minutes to grill.
Best Cuts of Pork For Grilling
Pork chops are categorized based on the location they are cut from the pig's loin. The two most common cuts of pork and the ones most suitable for grilling are rib chops and loin chops.
Rib chops are cut from the rib portion of the loin while loin chops are cut from the center, also known as center-cut rib chops. You can purchase bone-in loin chops or boneless chops, but they're both very lean, making them ideal for quick grilling.
You should be able to find each one at your local butcher or the meat counter at the grocery store. Other cuts of pork chops include blade chops and shoulder chops.
Marinade, Rub, Brine, or Sauce: Which to Use
Marinades, rubs, and brines are three different techniques used to enhance the flavor, tenderness, and moisture of all meat, including pork chops. Here's a breakdown of each method.
Pork chop marinade: this is a liquid mixture of ingredients used to soak meat for a specific period, typically for a few hours or overnight, to infuse it with flavors and sometimes tenderize the meat. Marinades are ideal for boneless pork chops or thinner cuts, as the liquid can easily penetrate the meat and infuse flavor, similar to marinading chicken. We love a marinade featuring soy sauce, dijon mustard, olive oil and garlic.
Pro tip: use leftover marinade to make a glaze for your pork chops. It's safe to reuse the leftover marinade as long as it boils on the stove for 5 minutes. The mixture will reduce down significantly, so be mindful of the amount of salt in the marinade because the glaze could become too salty.
Dry rub: is a dry mixture of herbs, spices, salt, and sometimes sugar that is applied directly to the surface of the meat, creating a flavorful coating. They create a delicious crust when cooked. Rubs are ideal for both bone-in and boneless pork chops and are applied to the meat just before cooking.
Pork Chop Brine: this is is a saltwater solution that you soak the meat in for several hours prior to cooking. Just like a chicken wing brine, using a brine onoo pork chops helps the meat retain moisture during cooking, and the salt allows the meat to absorb more liquid and become more tender.
Additionally, you can add sauces like our Whole30 BBQ sauce, an apple cider glaze, or a mushroom sauce to the meat after cooking to complement the flavors of the pork.
How to Grill Pork Chops Without Drying Them Out
- Choose the right cut: Choose pork chops that are at least 1-inch thick and have some marbling. This will help to keep the pork chops moist and tender.
- Brine the pork chops: The salt in the brine helps to break down the muscle fibers, allowing the pork chops to retain more moisture during cooking.
- Preheat the grill: Make sure to preheat the grill to medium-high heat before grilling the pork chops. This will ensure that the pork chops cook evenly and develop a nice crust on the outside.
- Use a meat thermometer: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork chops. Cook the pork chops to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption. (You want to remove the meat from the heat 5-15 degrees before reaching your desired temperature because it will continue to rise 5-15 degrees.) This is known as carry-over cooking.
- Let the pork chops rest: Let the pork chops rest for a few minutes after grilling to allow the juices to redistribute and the meat to be tender. Tent the pork chops with foil to keep them warm while they rest.
Frequently Asked Questions
It's generally better to grill pork chops fast rather than slow, as slow cooking can cause the pork chops to become tough and dry. Grilling pork chops at higher temperatures allows them to cook quickly and develop a nice crust on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside.
You should almost always keep the lid closed while cooking pork chops on a gas grill or charcoal grill. This helps create an oven-like environment, allowing the heat to circulate around the pork chops for even cooking. You can occasionally leave the lid open if you're grilling directly over charcoal coals to prevent them from becoming too smoky or charred.
Pairing and Serving Grilled Porkchop
Serve pork chops as a standalone main dish or pair them with various sides and sauces. They go well with roasted or grilled vegetables like these garlic-roasted mini peppers or this grilled zucchini salad that make easy sides.
If you want a salad as a simple side for the main course, this grilled peach salad is the one.
While we're big fans of pork chops, we love all pork around here — not just juicy chops. It should be no surprise that some of our favorite pork recipes are tacos. These pork tenderloin tacos and ground pork tacos are both a must-try. And nothing says summer like this instant pot pulled pork made from pork shoulder or instant pot country-style ribs.
Allow the leftover meat to cool to room temperature and place it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F or in the microwave covered in a damp paper towel until warmed all the way through. Be careful not to reheat them too much or they can dry out.
If you try pork chops on the grill or make one of these recipes, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
Grilled Pork Chops
- 4, 1- inch bone-in or boneless pork chops (Note 2 Larger Pork Chops)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut sugar (Note 3)
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Gas grill or Charcoal Grill (Note 1 Pellet Grill)
- Preheat the grill for two zone grilling: 1 on medium-high heat (400°F) and one on medium-low heat 250-300°F).
- Mix the dry rub seasoning together in a medium bowl and generously sprinkle it on all sides of the pork chops. Use your fingers to it into the meat. It will turn a deep red color.
- Place the pork chops on the grates in the high heat zone and close the lid immediately. Sear on both sides for 3 minutes over direct heat, opening the lid only to flip the pork chops quickly. For diagonal grill marks, lay the pork chops at a 45-degree angle when you put them on the grill.
- After searing, use tongs to move them to the indirect heat. If you did diagonal grill lines, turn the pork chops 180° when you place them on the indirect heat to create a crisscross pattern. This isn't mandatory but adds nice grill marks.
- After moving the pork chops to the low heat zone of the grill, close the lid and grill for another 5-6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Remove the pork chops from the grill when the thickest part reaches 145° then transfer the to a clean cutting board and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.