If you’re tired of dry, bland pork chops, look no further. These glazed juicy grilled pork chops are tender, moist and flavorful. You will be amazed at what a few tips and tricks can do.
Check out the tips for the best grilled pork chops. My husband pays no attention to what I’m cooking, but he never fails to rave about my pork chops.
For this recipe, I grill the pork chops and use a simple and delicious glaze made with grainy Dijon mustard, orange marmalade (or any preserves) and rosemary.
It’s an easy recipe that is ready in under half an hour, not including brining which you can do the day before.
If you don’t have a grill, see the recipe notes for instructions on a pan/oven method.
The recipe describes how to cook thicker pork chops (as pictured above) and how to cook slightly thinner ones (pictured below).
How to make pork chops tender and juicy
- Choose the right type of pork chop
- Brine the chops (or marinate or sous vide them). We’ll be brining these, but check out our other pork chop recipes below.
- Don’t over cook! This is super important.
- Let the pork rest before serving.
All these steps are important for juicy pork chops. Only the brining requires extra time. It makes a huge difference, though, so if you have the time, it’s worth the extra step. Brining means soaking your pork chops in a bath of salty seasoned water.
FAQ on buying, brining and cooking pork chops
Bone in center-cut rib chops, preferably with good marbling (fat), are the best cut of meat for flavor and tenderness. Buy chops that are at least 3/4 inch/1.9cm thick. Even better is 1 -1 1/2 inches/2.5-3.8cm thick. These will be less likely to dry out on the grill. The next best option is bone-in pork loin chops (like a T-Bone steak). Thick boneless loin chops are the most common chops sold in grocery stores. They are very lean – almost no fat – and therefore have a tendency to get tough and dry.
Thin chops of 1/2 inch/1.27cm only need 30 minutes of brining. Thicker chops need 1-2 hours. Do not brine pork chops for longer as they will become too salty. Note that only 1% of the total sodium from the brine is absorbed into the meat according to Cooking Light (The Truth About Salt In Your Food).
You are aiming for a final temperature of 145F/62.8C, but you will remove the chops from the grill at 140F/60C. The temperature will rise as the chops rest. A good rule of thumb is 4-5 minutes per 1/2 inch/1.27cm of thickness. There should be a bit of softness in the meat when pressed with your finger. But using an instant read meat thermometer or probe pierced through the side of the pork chop (deep into the center) is a much preferred method to avoid an overcooked pork chop.
Yes. In the past, the safe temperature for pork chops was 160F/71C. The USDA recommendation for safe cooking is now 145F/62.8C which may show a bit of pink.
What to serve with juicy grilled pork chops
Here are a few great sides to serve with the glazed pork chops. The first 3 share the BBQ to make an easy dinner.
- Grilled peaches
- Bread salad with charred snap peas
- Grilled Cauliflower
- Herb potato salad
- Chunky Applesauce
- Peach Chutney
Tailor To Your Taste
- BBQ sauce or other glazes can be used including teriyaki.
- Substitute peach or apricot jam for the marmalade (or try our no-pectin peach marmalade)
- Use thyme or oregano instead of rosemary.
- Speed up the brining time by brining at room temperature for 30-60 minutes on the counter.
- Skip the glaze in the recipe and use a store-bought glaze such as teriyaki or sweet chili sauce with a bit of Dijon or soy mixed in.
- If you really don’t have the time, skip the brining.
- Pork chops can be brined a day or two ahead. When finished brining, rinse them off well, pat them dry, then store them in the fridge until ready to use.
Other pork chop recipes you might like
- skillet pork chop dinner
- marinated pork chops
- Vietnamese pork chops (sous vide)
- sous vide pork chops with apple chutney
How to make juicy grilled pork chops
Juicy Grilled Pork Chops
- 1.5 pounds (680g) pork chops, preferably bone-in rib chops, Note 1 (3/4-1 1/2 inch thick)
- 3 cups water not too cold
- 3 tablespoon salt (I use kosher salt – dissolves easily)
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1-2 sprigs fresh)
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard (or Dijon)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or half tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped)
- sprinkle salt and black pepper
- 3 tablespoon -4 orange marmalade (or peach/apricot preserves) (I use orange or 3 fruit marmalade)
- BRINE PORK CHOPS: Combine brine ingredients in a container large enough to let pork chops submerge in brine solution completely or a large ziploc bag. Swirl around to let salt dissolve. Submerge the pork chops. Cover (or zip up bag) and let them sit in fridge for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Note 2. Remove the pork chops. Discard the brine. Rinse well and pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel (very important!).
- PREPARE GRILL AND CHOPS: Clean grill grates and spray with oil. Or brush grates with a paper towel dipped in oil. Heat gas grill to medium-high heat (about 450F/232C). Brush pork chops with olive oil and mustard on both sides. Sprinkle lightly with salt (use more if brining period was short or if you skipped the brining). Sprinkle with pepper and dried rosemary.
- GRILL PORK CHOPS: Grill pork chops for about 2 – 4 minutes on one side, depending on the thickness of your pork chops. Turn, then brush with half the marmalade. Grill another 2-4 minutes, just until the internal temperature reaches 140F/60C tested with an instant meat thermometer (temp will rise to 145F/62/8C with resting). Pork should still have a bit of give or softness when pressed with a finger. Turn again for 1 minute to caramelize the marmalade if desired. Note 3 for pan/oven method. Remove from grill, place pork chops on cutting board or plate and let rest, tented loosely with foil, to keep warm for 5 minutes (or 10 minutes if chops are very thick). Resting is critical to juiciness and tenderness. It redistributes the juices in the meat to ensure a juicy pork chop.
- Type of pork chops to buy: Bone in pork center cut rib chops are the best cut of meat for flavor and tenderness. Buy chops that are at least 3/4 inch/1.9cm thick. Even better is 1 -1 1/2 inches/2.5-3.8cm thick. These will be less likely to dry out on the grill. The next best option is bone-in pork loin chops (like a T-Bone steak). Thick boneless chops are the most common chops sold in grocery stores. They are very lean – almost no fat – and therefore have a tendency to get tough and dry.
- How long to brine pork chops: If the pork chops are thick (over 1 inch thick), you can brine for up to 2 hours, but if not, brine for 30-60 minutes so they don’t get too salty. I brine 3/4 inch bone in pork chops for 30 minutes. If only brining for an hour or less, pork chops can sit on the counter.
- Pan/oven method (instead of grilling): Preheat oven to 400F/204C. Coat the pork chops with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt lightly (use more if brining period was short and none if brining period was longer than 2 hours). Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Sear the pork chops in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) on medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your pork chops, until golden brown. Transfer the chops to a foil-lined pan. Smear some mustard on both sides. Coat the top of the chops with marmalade and sprinkle with rosemary. Put them in the oven for about 5-6 minutes until they reach 140F/60C (temp will rise to 145F/62.8C with resting). Pork should still have a bit of softness when pressed with a finger. Remove from oven and let stand, tented with foil, for 5-10 minutes.
- Make Ahead: Pork chops can be brined a day or two ahead. When finished brining, rinse them off well, pat them dry, then store them in the fridge until ready to use. Continue with the recipe.