Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Quick Grilled Pork Chops

Normally I'm a thick pork chop guy.  I like my chops 1.25" thick or more so you can get a nice outer crust but still have tender juicy meat.  To me, a perfectly grilled monster sized pork chop is every bit as good as a steak.

But sometimes I just pick up a pack of regular pork chops for a quick weeknight meal. These regular sized chops are thinner, cheaper, a little quicker cooking, and they are easier to eat with your hands.  You want to cook them hot and fast so they don't have time to dry out.  The first way that I learned to cook these thinner chops is a popular one.  Marinate them in Italian dressing, season them with garlic salt and black pepper, and then grill quickly over a hot fire.  That is a classic and still works pretty dang well.

This is a recipe that we did this week just for something quick to eat and it turned out really well.  It uses a simple quick brine so the salt is more concentrated, don't soak it for more than 2 hours.  It was just the three of us so we did three chops, but if you add more, just add a 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper blend and 1 teaspoon of BBQ rub per pork chop. 

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I love that the late afternoon sunlight is getting later every day!

Quick Grilled Pork Chops


  1. In a large container, whisk the water, salt, and sugar together until dissolved.  Place the pork chops into this brine and refrigerate from one to three hours.
  2. Set up your grill for direct heat and preheat at medium high heat (400-450°F).
  3. Mix together the Garlic Pepper Seasoning and Lawry's Pepper Seasoning.
  4. Remove chops from the grill and pat dry. Season lightly on both sides with the pepper blend (Step 3).  Then season with the BBQ rub.
  5. Clean and lightly oil your cooking grates then grill the pork chops for 4 minutes. Flip and brush the cooked side of the pork chops with the butter. 
  6. Cook another 4 minutes and then check the internal temperature in the middle of the pork chops with a instant read digital thermometer.  If they are under 140°F, move to an area of indirect heat and roast another few minutes until 140°F. Once they are 140°f, remove, rest them for 5 minutes and serve.

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The quick brine has higher salt concentration.  Normally it is 2 tablespoons per quart for a 6-8 hour brine time.  Her I go with 5 tablespoons per quart for a 1-3 hour brine time.  You can adjust to your needs.

Char-Broil Kettleman, direct grilling, Kingsford coal
I set up the Char-Broil Kettleman for direct heat but left that one small section with no coals in case I needed a "safe zone" to place the chops to finish cooking.  I used the new Kingsford Lump Briquetes for this batch.

I found this seasoned pepper at Gordon Food Services.  I like it for a quick way to boost flavor, texture, and color to rubs and sauces.  If you can't find it or the Garlic Pepper Seasoning, you can just mix 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake to substitute for both the Seasoned Pepper and Garlic Pepper Seasoning. It won't be the same but it will give you the base flavors that you're looking for.

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This layer of pepper seasoning gives it your base flavors of salt, heat, and savory.

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The layer of NMT BBQ rub adds the sweet flavor and builds on the existing base flavors.  If you don't want to make up a batch of my rub, use a commercial BBQ rub that has a sweet profile with a good bit of sugars in it.

Char-Broil Kettleman, grilling thermometer,
When the temps hit 400-450°F, we're ready to rock and roll.

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I have been quite impressed with this kettle style grill from Char-Broil.  I'll post a review of it in the next few days.

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Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle!

Char-Broil Kettleman, grilling,
Keep the grill lid closed while grilling these chops.

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The TRU-Infrared™ grates help insure even cooking and prevents flare ups.

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The butter baste keeps the surface from drying out and helps the seasonings meld with the pork.

After the 8 minutes, the chops looked done but I always double check using an instant read thermometer. about 8 degrees away from when I want to pull them from the grill.

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So I just shuttled the chops to the little "safe zone" that I had set up when arranging the coals and leaving a blank space. This lets them roast (lid closed) for another few minutes to get up to the temp I was looking for.

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The resting rack keeps the chops from laying on a flat surface, which would trap the heat and result in more moisture loss.

This was just a quick weeknight dinner, as evident by the high quality "Dixie China" :)  But it sure was delicious!

The design of the Kettleman is not your ordinary kettle grill layout, particularly the back side which looks like this.  I kept thinking that this looked familiar to me but I just couldn't place it....

Then it dawned on me...Dark Helmet from the movie Space Balls!  Dark Helmet photo credit IMDB

Dopplegangers aside, I have really been enjoying this Kettleman kettle grill and it is a bargain at $129 at Lowe's.  I'll write up a full review and post it later this week.

If you want to cook this on a kamado grill (Grill Dome, Big Green Egg, Primo, Kamado Joe, etc) or a gas grill, you'd use the same times and temps.  For a kamado you'll want a partial indirect set up like a half moon.  For a gas grill you will just do an indirect set up where all burners are on except one.  

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post. I have no affiliation with Trade East spices or Lawry's.  I am a member of the Char-Broil All Star team and received this grill as part of my sponsorship package.  However, that is for posting on their Char-Broil Live website (great grilling and recipe resource) and I'm under no obligation to post about them here.  I'm posting about this on my own volition because I like the grill.