How to Grill Pork Chops on a Charcoal Grill: Juicy and Flavorful

Published By Kevin Turner

Last Updated Feb 4, 2024 is reader-supported. If you buy something using the links on our site, we might earn an affiliate commission at no added cost to you. This helps us pay our staff to keep making awesome content for you!

Grill Pork Chops
Table of Contents

    Grilling up the perfect pork chop seems like a culinary high-wire act—too often they emerge from the flames as dry and flavorless as an old boot. Believe me, I’ve wrestled with my fair share of leathery chops, just like many home grillers out there; in fact, recent surveys suggest that around 75% encounter similar pitfalls at the barbecue.

    But fret not—I have dedicated myself to cracking the code on making succulent, perfectly seasoned pork chops over a charcoal fire. After countless trials and a hearty dose of perseverance, I’m excited to share these game-changing tips with you for crafting an irresistible plate every single time!

    Key Takeaways

    • Select the right cuts of pork chops for grilling, such as thicker bone – in chops for juiciness or thinner boneless ones for quick cooking. Season or marinate them to enhance flavor before grilling.
    • Use brining techniques to infuse moisture into pork chops and prevent them from drying out. Combine water, salt, sugar, and seasonings in a brine where chops can soak from 30 minutes to overnight.
    • Control the grill temperature carefully and use a meat thermometer to cook pork chops to an internal temperature of 145°F for safety without overcooking.
    • Experiment with different seasoning rubs like garlic powder, paprika, herbs or spices on your grilled pork chops for extra flavor.
    • Serve grilled pork chops with complementary side dishes such as grilled vegetables, potato salad, coleslaw, corn on the cob or fruit salsa to complete your meal.


    Why Grilled Pork Chops are a Summer Favorite

    After laying the groundwork with an introduction to grilling on a charcoal grill, let’s dive into the sizzle behind grilled pork chops’ popularity during summer. The combination of warm weather and the smoky aroma beckons everyone outdoors for a barbecue feast.

    Grilled pork chops top the list because they’re not only quick to cook but also pack a flavorful punch that satisfies even the most robust appetites.

    Juicy grilled pork chops have this irresistible charm; their succulent meat caramelizes beautifully over hot coals, creating those sought-after grill marks synonymous with summertime dining.

    Cooking them on a charcoal grill enhances their natural flavors and imparts a distinct smokiness that can’t be mimicked indoors — it’s like capturing the essence of summer in every bite.

    They are versatile too, pairing perfectly with seasonal sides or standing alone as the star of backyard get-togethers.

    Choosing the Best Pork Chops for Grilling

    When it comes to grilling pork chops, the cut of meat makes all the difference. I’ll discuss the best cuts for grilling and share tips on brining and seasoning to ensure juicy and flavorful results.

    Cuts of pork

    When selecting cuts of pork for grilling, I prefer bone-in pork chops or boneless loin chops. Bone-in pork chops add extra flavor and tenderness, while boneless loin chops are leaner and cook quickly on the grill.

    Both cuts are versatile and can be marinated or seasoned to enhance their natural flavors before grilling. Additionally, thicker cuts like center-cut pork chops retain juiciness better when grilled, making them a great choice for achieving perfectly tender and juicy grilled pork chops.

    For grilling purposes, it’s important to consider the thickness of the cut as well as the presence or absence of bones. Thicker cuts require longer cooking times but are less prone to drying out, whereas thinner cuts cook faster but need careful temperature control to avoid overcooking.

    Brining pork chops for juiciness

    To brine pork chops, mix water and salt until dissolved. Add sugar, peppercorns, garlic, and any other desired seasonings to the brine. Submerge the pork chops in the solution for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours in the refrigerator.

    Then, remove them from the brine, pat dry with paper towels before grilling.

    Brining helps keep pork chops juicy by infusing moisture into the meat. The salt also helps break down proteins, resulting in a more tender texture when grilled. Additionally, it allows flavors to penetrate deeper into the pork chops for a more flavorful end result.

    Grill Pork Chops

    Seasoning rubs for flavor

    After brining the pork chops for juiciness, it’s time to enhance their flavor with seasoning rubs. A simple blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika can add a savory kick to the pork chops.

    You can also experiment with different herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, cumin or chili powder for more adventurous flavor profiles. Rub the seasoning mixture evenly on both sides of the pork chops before grilling to create a flavorful crust that will complement the juicy tenderness inside.

    For maximum impact, consider letting the seasoned pork chops sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before grilling to allow the flavors to infuse into the meat. This step can help intensify and marry all the flavors together resulting in a delicious bite every time you sink your teeth into these tender grilled pork chops!

    Tips for Grilling Perfectly Juicy Pork Chops

    Brining the pork chops before grilling them can help to lock in moisture and flavor, while also ensuring that they cook evenly and stay juicy throughout. For more expert tips on grilling the perfect pork chops, keep reading!

    Brining tips

    To ensure juicy and flavorful grilled pork chops, follow these brining tips:


    1. Submerge the pork chops in a mixture of water, salt, sugar, and optional aromatics such as garlic or herbs.
    2. Brine the pork chops for at least 30 minutes to overnight in the refrigerator.
    3. Use a ratio of 1/4 cup of salt and 1/4 cup of sugar per quart of water for the brine solution.
    4. Ensure the pork chops are fully submerged in the brine to allow for even distribution of flavor and juiciness.
    5. Rinse the brined pork chops thoroughly with cold water before patting them dry with paper towels.
    6. Avoid over – brining, as this can result in overly salty pork chops.


    Temperature control

    After brining the pork chops, it’s crucial to focus on temperature control during grilling. I use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F.

    This guarantees that the pork is safe to eat while still remaining juicy and tender. By searing the pork chops over direct heat for a few minutes on each side and then moving them to an area of indirect heat, I maintain control over their cooking process, allowing them to cook through without drying out.

    Properly managing the charcoal grill’s temperature helps achieve those perfect grill marks without burning or charring the meat. Searing at a high heat followed by gentle cooking at a lower temperature allows you to lock in flavor while ensuring tenderness.

    Types of pork chops

    When choosing pork chops for grilling, it’s important to consider the thickness of the cut. Thicker cuts, like bone-in pork chops, are ideal for grilling because they can withstand high heat without drying out.

    Thin cuts, such as boneless pork chops, cook quickly and are best suited for fast grilling methods. Each type has its own advantages — thick bone-in chops are juicy and flavorful while thin boneless chops cook rapidly for a convenient meal.

    Another popular option is center-cut pork loin chops which offer a balance between tenderness and flavor. They’re versatile for different cooking techniques and recipes due to their moderate thickness.

    Serving and Pairing Suggestions

    When it comes to serving grilled pork chops, a great side dish can really elevate the meal. From creamy mashed potatoes to crisp and refreshing salads, there are many options for pairing your juicy and flavorful pork chops with delicious sides that will complement their rich taste.

    Best side dishes to serve with grilled pork chops

    When grilling pork chops, I love to pair them with delicious side dishes that complement the smoky flavor. Here are some great options:


    1. Grilled Vegetables – Grilled asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers add a charred and smoky flavor to the meal.
    2. Potato Salad – A classic creamy or tangy potato salad makes a comforting and flavorful side dish.
    3. Coleslaw – Crunchy and refreshing coleslaw balances the richness of grilled pork chops with its tangy dressing.
    4. Corn on the Cob – Grilled corn slathered with butter and sprinkled with seasoning is a delightful accompaniment.
    5. Fruit Salsa – Fresh fruit salsa with mango, pineapple, or peach adds a burst of sweetness and acidity to each bite.


    Grilled pork chop recipes

    Grilled pork chop recipes


    1. Classic BBQ Pork Chops:
    • Marinade the pork chops in a mixture of barbecue sauce, garlic, and brown sugar for at least 2 hours before grilling.
    • Grill the marinated pork chops over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes per side, brushing with extra barbecue sauce as they cook.
    1. Herb-Marinated Pork Chops:
    • In a bowl, mix olive oil, chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary and thyme), minced garlic, and lemon juice.
    • Marinate the pork chops in this mixture for at least 30 minutes before grilling to infuse them with herbaceous flavor.
    • Grill the marinated pork chops until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
    1. Honey Mustard Glazed Pork Chops:
    • Whisk together honey, Dijon mustard, and a splash of apple cider vinegar to create a tangy – sweet glaze.
    • Baste the pork chops with the honey mustard glaze while grilling to create a caramelized crust on the outside.
    1. Cajun-Spiced Pork Chops:
    • Rub your pork chops with a blend of Cajun seasoning, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt for a spicy kick.
    • Grill over high heat to achieve that perfect charred exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Grilling Pork Chops

    I find that many people ask about the ideal grilling time for pork chops. It’s necessary to adjust the grilling time depending on the thickness of the pork chop. Don’t forget to account for carry-over cooking, so it’s better to remove them from heat when they’re slightly underdone and let them rest for a few minutes.

    Another common question is how to prevent pork chops from drying out during grilling. Using a simple marinade or brine before grilling can make all the difference in keeping your pork chops juicy and flavorful.

    With these small tips, you can master the art of grilling perfect pork chops every time!


    In conclusion, grilling pork chops on a charcoal grill is a fantastic way to enjoy juicy and flavorful meat during the summer months. By choosing the right cuts of pork, brining for added juiciness, and using delicious seasoning rubs, you can elevate your grilled pork chops to perfection.

    With proper grilling techniques and attention to temperature control, you’ll achieve beautifully grilled pork chops with those coveted grill marks. Pair them with tasty side dishes or try out new grilled pork chop recipes for a delightful meal everyone will love.


    1. What’s the best way to prepare pork chops for grilling?

    To make grilled pork chops flavorful, start with a quick marinade or apply seasoning before grilling them on your charcoal grill.

    2. How long do you need to grill pork chops on a charcoal grill?

    Grilled boneless pork chops usually take about 8-10 minutes over medium heat; keep an eye on them for those perfect grill marks!

    3. Can I make my grilled pork chops juicy and not dry?

    Yes! Grill your marinated pork chop just right and let it rest after cooking to lock in all those juices.

    4. What kind of seasoning can I use for my barbecue pork chop recipe?

    Use a mix that suits your taste like salt, pepper, garlic powder, or a special rub designed for grilled meats.

    5. Any tips on how to get good at charcoal grilling techniques for meat?

    Certainly! Practice managing your fire temperature and placing the meat correctly on the grill rack to master delicious barbecue pork chops.

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    Kevin Turner
    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you. You can leverage my years of experience as a pit master and professional to grill great food!

    About The Grilling Master

    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of

    My passion has always been grilling, smoking and BBQ delicious meats that satisfy my inner carnivore!

    I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you, the hungry reader who wants to prepare the perfect meal. 

    You can leverage my years of experience as a pit master and professional. 

    Send me a message and let's connect on Twitter here.

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