What Are Grilled Pork Chops?

Lori Kilchermann

Grilled pork chops are most commonly described as pork chops that have been cooked on a barbecue grill. Other types of grilled pork chops include those prepared on an indoor, range-top grill. A key identifier of the grilling process are the telltale grill marks that are branded onto the cuts of meat. Whether prepared with a fruit-based glaze or a simple mixture of seasoned salt, grilled pork chops can be flavorful and juicy when made correctly. Side dishes of applesauce and potato salad can be paired with grilled pork for a summertime meal.

Grilled pork chops are cooked on a barbecue grill.
Grilled pork chops are cooked on a barbecue grill.

The trick to delivering tasty grilled pork chops is to avoid overcooking the cuts. Overcooking tends to dry out the meat so it has a very tough and chewy consistency. When attempting to cook a juicy and very flavorful protein, it is imperative to remove the grilled pork chops from the heat just prior to the desired doneness. The meat will continue to cook after it is removed from the heat, and resting allows the juices to be reabsorbed back into the chops.

Applesauce, which is often served with grilled pork chops.
Applesauce, which is often served with grilled pork chops.

As with grilling most any meat, the less it is turned, the better the finished product. Turning grilled pork chops over once will typically produce the juiciest results. Any number of thicknesses can be used when grilling the chops, however, the meat on the grill should be of a consistent thickness so every chop cooks the same. While thicker chops are usually preferred for dinners, thinner chops are often used to make delicious pork chop sandwiches at lunchtime. A simple sandwich that can bring smiles to many faces is comprised of a thinly sliced pork chop, grilled to perfection with a sprinkling of seasoned salt and served on toasted bread with applesauce.

Being a white meat, pork chops are easily overcooked. The results can be a very dry meat that is also very tough. Using high heat to sear the meat is a common method of cooking the pork. After searing, the pork chops are completed by turning the heat down on a gas grill or sliding the chops to a cooler section of a charcoal grill. Applying a fruit glaze will aid in preserving the juices of the pork, however, the sugars in the glaze are also very prone to burning.

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