If you've ever made grilled pork chops and had them turn out dry and tough, you're not alone. However, deliciously tender, juicy chops are a cinch to make provided you have the right cut of pork and an hour or so to bathe them in a super-simple brine. We opted to add a coating of Smoky BBQ Rub to our chops just before grilling, but feel free to go without because the brining makes the pork plenty flavorful on its own.Print
Juicy Grilled Pork Chops
Deliciously tender and juicy pork chops from the grill are easy to make when you choose the right cut of pork and prep with a 1-hour brine.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes (hands on)
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 23 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- 4 bone-in pork rib chops (3/4 to 1-inch thick – see notes)
- 2-1/2 to 3 tablespoons Smoky BBQ Rub (optional)
For the brine:
- 4 cups water, divided
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- Make the brine by combining 2 cups of water with the salt and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until all the salt and sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and stir in 2 cups of cold water along with the garlic. Set aside.
- Once the brine has cooled completely, pour it into a large, heavy-duty zip-top bag and add the pork chops. Remove as much air as possible and seal tightly. Refrigerate the chops for 1 hour, turning the bag over after 30 minutes to ensure even brining.
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove the chops from the brine and pat them dry on both sides with paper towels. Discard the brine.
- If desired, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the Smoky BBQ Rub on each side of the chops and rub it into the meat with the back of a spoon.
- Alternately, you can rub them with a little olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Because of the salt in the brine you'll want to be sure to go easy when seasoning the outside of the meat.
- Oil the grill grates and add the chops. Grill for 4 minutes on the first side, turn and continue grilling until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes additional.
- Note: You can check for doneness with an instant-read thermometer and remove the chops from the grill when they reach 135 to 140°F (for medium).
- Allow the chops to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
The best chops to purchase for grilling are bone-in rib chops. Choose chops between 3/4 and 1-inch thick with nice marbling. Resist the urge to trim them as the rim of fat around the outside adds extra moisture and flavor.
If you can't get bone-in rib chops, the next best choice would be bone-in center-cut chops. These chops are tender and flavorful, but generally have less marbling than rib chops and consequently are not quite as juicy.