Imagine succulent pork chops, hot off the grill. Because several variables can influence cooking time and temperature, there are no hard and fast rules for the perfectly grilled pork chop, but a few basic tips can help you determine the correct grilling time. Prepare your pork chops properly and grill them the right length of time so they turn out moist, tender and flavorful.
The thickness of your pork chops determines the time they will require on the grill. Thin-cut pork chops, about 1/2-inch thick, need high heat for a short time to seal in juices and properly cook the meat throughout. The total grilling time for thin pork chops is about 5 minutes. Chops that are 1 inch thick or thicker cook best over medium heat for a longer time. A temperature that's too high will burn the outside of a thick cut chop and leave the middle undercooked. Grill thick cut pork chops for about 9 to 12 minutes total.
The temperature of the coals or the flame is the first thing you might think of that affects the grill temperature. The grill heat is also affected by an open or closed lid and by how close the meat rack is to the coals or the flame. Experiment with your particular grill to find just the right combination. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. The internal temperature of a thick chop should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overcooking pork chops makes them dry and tough. Keep your chops tender and juicy by marinating them before grilling, and brush them with marinade or sauce during the grilling process.
An important step in grilling pork chops is to let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes after you remove it from the grill. Put the grilled pork chops on a platter, covering them with a foil tent. The internal temperature of the meat will rise slightly as it rests, and juices will drain. When meat juices drain away, away goes the meat's moistness. Allowing the chops rest on the covered platter lets them absorb the lost juices and regain moistness and tenderness.