Grilled Pork Chops in a garlic and thyme marinade are easy to make and come out tender and juicy every time.
These grilled pork chopped are marinated in a combination of olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, and thyme that adds a burst of flavor and also helps tenderize the meat. They can be made with bone-in or boneless pork and are always a huge hit at barbecues.
Lately, as the weather heats up, we have been spending more time grilling and spending time outdoors. While I normally reach for chicken or salmon for the grill, lately I have been making pork and the results are delicious.
Not only is pork affordable, it tends to be an overlooked protein when it comes to grilling. And it definitely shouldn't be. It's easy to make, packed with flavor, and comes out juicy and delicious when cooked correctly.
The other great thing about this recipe is that it once you learn to properly grill pork, you can switch up the flavor with all different types of flavors and marinades. Use citrus, different herbs, spices, and seasoning blends to create all different flavors, like this Southwestern Grilled Pork Chops.
How long do you cook pork chops on the grill?
Bone-in pork chops usually take around 14-18 minutes on the grill depending on the thickness. Start them on high heat to get a nice char on the outside and grill marks. Then finish them at medium low heat until they are cooked to 145 degrees. Boneless pork will cook much more quickly and may only need 3-4 minutes per side depending on the thickness.
Since the cooking time can vary, it is always best to check your pork using a thermometer and remove it once it reaches a temperature of 145 degrees. Then let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Bone-in Pork Chops vs. Boneless Pork Chops
There are many options when it comes to pork in the grocery store and it can be hard to know which to pick when grilling. Generally, you will want to choose a bone-in rib chop, which is thought to be the best tasting and most tender option. The bone adds extra flavor to the meat. You could also buy a bone-in loin chop (looks a bit like a T-bone) but this cut is more difficult to cook correctly since it has two different types of meat on it.
For boneless, you can use a pork loin chop or a center-cut pork chops. Just be careful not to overcook boneless pork chops since they cook very quickly.
Recipe Ideas and Tips
There are many different ways to use this basic recipe to create all different recipes for grilled pork chops. Here are some favorites:
- Add a spice rub to the pork after it has marinated. Consider using a quick sweet and spicy rub with brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a touch of chili powder or cayenne. A store-bought spice rub would also work like a Cajun or Montreal seasoning mix. Just be careful with the salt content since the soy sauce in the marinade adds salt to the pork.
- Try different herbs in the marinade - rosemary, thyme, basil, marjoram, or a blend of different dried herbs. Fresh herbs can also be used.
- Instead of soy sauce, use coconut aminos for a gluten free and Whole30 friendly option. This will also lower the sodium since coconut aminos have less sodium than soy sauce.
- If you like sweeter pork chops, you can add some honey or maple syrup to the marinade.
- This marinade helps to tenderize and flavor the pork. You can always add barbecue sauce or another sauce before or after grilling.
- Add citrus zest to the marinade to add the flavor of lemon, lime, or orange to the pork.
What to serve with grilled pork chops?
There are so many options when it comes to serving grilled pork but usually I like to reach for big salads or other grilled dishes, so I am not spending time in the kitchen. Here are some favorites:
- Balsamic Grilled Mushrooms
- Grilled Red Potatoes
- Easy Grilled Asparagus
- Watermelon and Avocado Salad
- Blueberry Corn Salad
What temperature should pork be grilled to?
Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees to ensure that it is cooked through and safe to eat. This creates a tender and juicy pork chop that isn't dry. Since pork chops can vary in thickness and grills vary slightly by temperature, it is always best to check the temperature using a thermometer to ensure proper cooking.
Always let the pork chops rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the juices to redistribute in the pork.
Do pork chops need to be brined before grilling?
There are lots of recipes that call for brining pork chops in a combination of water, salt, and herbs before grilling to ensure tender pork chops. Although brining works, I find it isn't necessary, especially for smaller pork chops or boneless pork chops.
Curious about brining? Brining adds moisture to pork and also seasons the pork evenly. It can be a helpful way to add moisture to lean cuts of meat. If you want to brine your pork chops, just soak them in cold water seasoned with kosher salt and any other seasoning you like - bay leaves, aromatics, citrus, peppercorns, etc. The pork only needs to brine for about 30 minutes and no more than two hours since it will change the texture of the pork if it brines for longer.
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Grilled Pork Chops
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- 24 oz bone-in pork chops (or if you prefer boneless, 6 oz each)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme (or rosemary)
- Salt and pepper to taste
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Preheat grill or indoor grill pan to medium high heat. Place the pork on the grill, and allow it to cook for 3 minutes per side. Turn heat to medium low and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chop registers 145 degrees, about 8-12 minutes depending on the thickeness. Boneless pork chops will cook much more quickly and may only need 3-4 minutes per side. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes, then serve
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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