Cooking pork chops on the grill can be tricky. Since pork chops are so lean these days, there's not much fat to help keep the meat moist and they tend to dry out and get tough. In order to get juicy pork chops from the grill, I employ two important techniques.
First, I do a quick, easy brine of the chops. Second, when I cook the chops on the grill, I sear them first over high heat and then finish cooking them on a cooler part of the grill. Trust me, try these techniques and you'll guarantee yourself moist and juicy chops every time!
This recipe makes enough seasoning for 4 pork chops.
4 boneless or bone-in pork chops, preferably 1 to 1 1/4-inch thick
5-6 fresh sage leafs
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 Tbs. fennel seeds
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1-2 Tbs olive oil
Brining the pork chops is optional, but recommended. If you choose to brine them, here's the quick brine I use:
Mix 4 Tbs. salt into 4 cups water to dissolve.
Place the pork chops in a large, shallow container and submerge them in the saltwater mixture.
If you'd like, add some herbs such as thyme and bay leafs to the brine. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour to 2 hours.
Remove the pork chops from the fridge about a half-hour before you plan to cook them. Rinse the chops with water to remove the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
If using a charcoal grill, arrange the coals on one side of the grill and heat to medium-high. For a gas grill, turn one burner on high and another to medium.
While the grill is heating, make the herb seasoning mixture.
Place the garlic, shallot, herbs, fennel seeds, salt, pepper and olive oil into a mini food processor and pulse until blended into a thick, chunky paste. If the mixture is too dry, drizzle in a little more olive oil.
Spread the herb seasoning over both sides of each pork chop.
Grill the pork chops over the hot part of the grill for about 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned.
Move the chops to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook another 3-4 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reaches 145 F.
Place the cooked chops onto a serving platter and let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute. The chops will also finish cooking during this time.
Serve and enjoy!
Photos by Ted Scheffler