How To Grill Pork Chops On An Outdoor Grill

in Common Grilling Questions,Outdoor Grilling Tips

In a recent email, I received a question from an outdoor grilling beginner asking, “How long do I cook pork chops on the grill?”. This question as actually more common than you might think.

The amount of time that cooking pork chops requires depends on several key factors: the heat of the grill, the thickness of cut of meat, whether or not it is  boneless, and a few other minor things like using sauces or marinades. The most important of these factors to consider when grilling pork chops is the thickness. Thin cuts have to be taken care of in a different manner than thick cuts. For example, thin cut pork chops will dry out faster which means they need to be cooked faster with a higher heat. On the other hand, thick cut pork chops have to be cooked longer and over a lower heat to give them time to cook thoroughly but not dry out. This may sound strange but it actually does work.

The actual grilling of pork chops is very easy and not any different than grilling any other type of meat. You can use any outdoor grill you want. Ideally you want your pork chops to be only very slightly pink in the middle or completely white. A meat thermometer is the best way to tell if your pork chops are done or not. 155° F is just right for pork.

Thin Cuts

Grilled Pork ChopsTo grill thin cut pork chops, grill them as if you were grilling steak. That means over a high heat, turning very little. If you’re using a gas grill, preheat to the maximum temperature. Then you want to put your pork chops on the grill for about a minute and close the lid. Next, you will open the lid and turn the meat 45°. Now close the lid again for about another minute. After a minute passes, flip them over and close the lid once again. Rotate the pork chops just like you did before and close the lid. At that high of a temperature the meat should be done in 4-5 more minutes depending on the grill.

Thick Cuts

For thick cut pork chops you need the exact opposite of thin cuts, a nice slow heat so you can avoid drying the meat out. You will need to make sure you sear each side to get them cooking. Start off by preheating your grill to its highest setting. Now put the pork chops on the grill and close the lid for a minute. After the minute passes, flip the chops over. This where you will want to turn down the heat to a medium setting. After another minute, rotate the chops then close the lid for 3 minutes. When the 3 minutes pass, flip the pork chops again and turn down your grill to its lowest setting. Continue cooking for about 4 more minutes.


When your pork chops are done, place them on a plate and cover with foil. Let them sit for 10 minutes. This is called resting and lets your meat loosen up and gets the juices flowing.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

tim fraser

I was grilling 1″ chops. The grilling for 2 mins. on each side seems fine, nice grill marks and fat rendering. But, at such high heat the additional 4 to 5 mins. seems too long. I use a Webber Genesis and 2 extra mins. were more than adequate. No pink and very juicy.

Thanks Tim



Thanks for the feedback Tim. Yeah 4-5 mins may be too long for some grills depending on your setup. You just have to adjust the time based on your preferences. You can usually get it just right after 1 or 2 times.



Dude! Thanks so muck for the info. Literally took them off the grill seconds ago, and
they are PERFECT. Also used an applewood spice rub and a foil wrapped
hickork wood smoker pouch as well. WOW! You are the man. Thanks so much.


Smit Steyn

I notice that most methods for grilling pork chops either depend on the taste of the marinade for success (and you might as well use a substitute for the meat) or they make it easy by cutting the bacon (fat) off the chop. Now the trick really is to get a perfectly grilled chop that includes the crackling layer and both meat and crackling should be perfect. This is not so easy and would seperate the boys from the chefs! Any thoughts about that?


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