Grilling thick cuts of meat may seem daunting — take 2-inch thick pork chops, for example. You want to make sure they're fully cooked in the middle without burning the exterior.
Pork chops are full of nutritional value, and they make a tasty addition to your plate. Luckily, grilling thick pork chops isn't super complicated and doesn't take long. Just follow the expert-backed instructions and tips below.
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How to Grill Thick Pork Chops Without Drying Them Out
If you're in search of the best way to cook 2-inch pork chops without charring and drying out the meat, experts say searing or baking pork chops is a safe bet, but grilling them adds a new layer of flavor. Plus, grilling is fun in the summer.
To get sound instructions on how to grill 2-inch pork chops, we spoke to Daniel P. Craig, a chef with more than 20 years of experience working in professional kitchens. His experience as a chef at a world-famous steakhouse makes him the perfect expert on grilling thick pork chops.
Things You'll Need
Grill tongs or spatula
1. Prep the Grill
Heat the grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer or wait until the grill is medium hot.
Place the pork chops on the grill, ensuring they are a few inches apart.
2. Put the Chops on the Grill
Grill the pork chops for 3 minutes on one side. Rotate the meat 90 degrees and grill for an additional 3 minutes on that same side. This creates those mouth-watering cross-hatch marks on the meat.
3. Flip the Meat
Flip the pork chops to grill the other side. Follow the same technique as before, rotating the meat so it cooks for 3 minutes each way.
"It takes about 8 to 12 minutes to grill a 2-inch pork chop," Craig explains. "For thick and juicy pork chops, remove them from the heat when they are barely pink inside."
How Long to Grill Thick Pork Chops
Grilling thick pork chops may take a little longer than your standard-sized chops.
The total cooking time is about 12 minutes — 6 minutes on each side.
4. Check for Doneness
To check if the meat is done cooking, press on it with your finger. It should feel slightly firm with clear juices when it's done. If it isn't done, cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Check frequently to avoid overcooking it. You can move it to a cooler spot on the grill if it starts to blacken.
“To make sure pork is cooked all the way through, you should use an instant-read thermometer,” Craig says.
He recommends inserting the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat but says not to let it touch the bone.
The internal temperature of pork chops should read at least 145 F for safety, according to the USDA.
5. Remove the Pork Chops and Let Them Rest
When the pork chops are fully cooked, transfer them to a serving tray. Allow them to rest for 3 minutes, according to the National Pork Board. As the juices settle in the meat, the result is more tender chops.
Finally, serve the pork chops and enjoy.
Follow these simple suggestions to ensure the best thick grilled pork chops every time.
1. Buy Quality Meats
When shopping for thick pork chops, look for meat that is pink, moist and fresh, with no strange odors. Use fresh pork chops within two to four days of purchasing, or wrap them and freeze them for up to six months.
2. Don't Under- or Overcook
If you take the pork chops off the grill and they're not done, put the meat back onto the grill. Grill the pork chops one more minute for every 10 degrees the pork chop is under the optimal temperature.
So, for example, if the temp of your pork chops reads 120 F when you take it off the grill, put them back on and give them just over 2 more minutes to reach the safe internal temp for pork, which is 145 F.
3. Store and Reheat Properly
To store your pork chops after grilling, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or place them in a shallow airtight container. They'll keep in the refrigerator for three to four days.
You can reheat leftover pork chops in the microwave or oven, or on the stovetop.
Recipes to Try With Thick Grilled Pork Chops
There are so many different ways you can prepare and flavor your grilled thick pork chops. While you can always simply rub the meat with salt and pepper before throwing it on the grill, marinating the pork with Goya Mojo Marinade or any other marinate recipe you like can give it a tangy, zesty kick.