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This grilled pork chops recipe has a simple and delicious homemade marinade! It’s an easy technique to master so that you’ll be grilling like a pro all summer long.
Why you’ll love them
I get that the idea of grilling can sometimes be intimidating even when there’s no good reason it should be. We’ve all been there, but I’m here to help put some ease into the whole process so that you can confidently make these grilled pork chops! I’ve been making them this way forever, and it’s taken me waaay too long to get them up here for you to enjoy as well.
There are many ways to cook pork chops, but it’s so satisfying to grill them and get those irresistible sizzling char marks. My signature pork chop marinade infuses so much flavor into the meat, and it makes these chops juicy and tender every time. The best part is that it’s made from scratch with pantry ingredients you’ve most likely got on hand already.
Ingredients for it
What kind of pork
- Pork chops – I use bone-in pork chops since they’re less likely to dry out than boneless, and I also make sure they’re at least 1″ thick
For the homemade marinade
- Olive oil – for moisture and to bind everything
- Lemon juice – for brightness and a touch of acidity
- Worcestershire sauce – it’s pork’s best friend. It adds a deep, rich savory flavor to these chops.
- Garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika – I landed on this particular seasoning trio to elevate my marinade to the next level after loads of testing!
- Italian seasoning – it’s a super tasty blend of dried herbs that comes all in a single jar for convenience
- Brown sugar – for a hint of sweetness and to balance out all the flavors
Can I grill boneless pork chops?
- I recommend bone-in pork chops as they will remain more juicy and they tend to be more flavorful, but boneless will work if you prefer. Just take extra care to not overcook them.
How long do you marinate pork?
- In kind of science-y terms, this is an acidic marinade, meaning that the acidity of the lemon juice will help tenderize or relax the proteins in the pork. These kinds of marinades act fairly swiftly, so the sweet spot is overnight to make the chops perfectly tender and infused with flavor. After that, you’re actually not going to get any extra benefit in terms of texture or taste. The marinade’s work is done!
- At a minimum, I would suggest 1-2 hours if you’re in a rush, but prepping it before bed and letting it marinate for at least 8 hours in the fridge adds so much more flavor and gives it the best texture. I wouldn’t go longer than 24 hours, or you’ll get diminishing returns.
How to grill pork chops
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
In a small bowl, combine the marinade ingredients with a whisk. Add the pork chops to a large zip-top bag, and pour in the marinade. Squeeze out the air while sealing it, massage in the marinade, and let it marinate. When ready to grill, discard the marinade. Preheat the grill and and cook each chop following the tips below. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
- It’s easy to overcook pork and turn it to leather, so an instant read meat thermometer is essential! Pork is safe to eat and cooked through when it’s 145F in the thickest part, making it SO much more tender than in the old days. Always check it sooner rather than later because once it’s overcooked, you can’t go back.
- Definitely take that extra 5 minutes after removing the pork chops from the grill to let them rest. You may be tempted to eat them right away, but it’s very important time to let the juices redistribute and settle. It’s worth it.
What to serve with pork chops
- They go with practically any side dish, but I love pairing them with classic Garlic Mashed Potatoes and my favorite grilling side dish, this Cajun Grilled Corn on the Cob. Another summer go-to is my Simple Creamy Coleslaw Recipe.
- A side salad with summer vegetables is another great choice. Try my Chipotle Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing for a zesty twist, or serve with my popular Homemade Ranch Dressing.
Leftovers and storage
- Grilled pork chops are best fresh, but leftovers will last 3-4 days in the fridge if stored in a covered container.
- Reheat them in the oven with a splash of water or chicken broth at 350F in an oven-safe container or pan until heated through, about 10 minutes. For best results, cover with foil to keep the moisture in.
- You could freeze them for up to 3 months, but it’s not ideal since the texture is likely to change. Make sure to cover them tightly with foil and then place in an airtight container.
If you have any questions or tried this easy grilled pork chops recipe, talk to me in the comments below! Did you like my simple pork marinade? As always, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram with your photos.
Easy Grilled Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops bone-in preferred
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
- Add your pork chops to a large ZipLoc bag and then pour the marinade in. Squeeze the air out and seal it, then toss/massage it so the pork is nicely coated. I recommend marinating the pork overnight (or up to 24 hours) for the best flavor. If you're in a rush, leave the pork chops on the counter for an hour to marinate, but if you're planning on marinating them for longer, refrigerate them.
- Preheat your BBQ to medium-high heat (375F-400F).
- Take the pork chops out of the bag, place them on the grill, and discard the marinade. For 1" thick pork chops, grill for 6-7 minutes/side or until an instant read meat thermometer registers 140F (don't go much higher as its temperature will increase by 5 degrees as it rests. Pork is safe to eat at 145F and will start to get tough soon after that). Let the pork rest for 5 minutes prior to serving to redistribute juices. As BBQs/grills/grill pans all vary, timing is simply a guideline.
- Be mindful of timing when grilling anything much thinner than 1″ pork chops – they tend to dry out and overcook quite easily.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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