Grilled Bone-In Pork Chops

Juicy, Sweet, and Slightly Spicy Delight

Grilled bone-in pork chops are a classic main course that can elevate any dinner. This recipe guarantees juicy, tender chops with a hint of sweetness and a touch of spice, making it perfect for weeknight meals or weekend gatherings. With a simple yet effective brine, these pork chops remain succulent and flavorful, preventing them from drying out during grilling. Let’s dive into the secrets of perfect grilled pork chops and how you can master this dish in your own kitchen.


Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This recipe is designed for anyone who loves a good grilled meat dish. Whether you’re a seasoned griller or a beginner, the straightforward instructions and simple ingredients make this recipe accessible to all. The brine is the star here, ensuring that the pork chops stay moist and flavorful. Additionally, this dish is versatile and pairs well with a variety of sides, making it a go-to for any occasion.




  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 4 (6 ounce) bone-in, center-cut pork chops (about 1-inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


Nutrition Facts (per serving)


  • Calories: 256
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbs: 3g
  • Protein: 38g




  • Prepare the Brine: In a small bowl, stir together water, honey, vinegar, crushed red pepper, and 4 teaspoons of the salt until honey and salt are dissolved.
  • Marinate the Pork Chops: Place pork chops and the water mixture in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the Grill: Preheat a grill or grill pan to high (450°F to 500°F).
  • Prepare the Pork Chops for Grilling: Remove chops from the bag; discard marinade and pat chops very dry with paper towels. Drizzle chops evenly with olive oil on both sides; sprinkle with black pepper and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
  • Grill the Pork Chops: Place chops on oiled grates; grill, covered, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of meat registers 140°F, about 4 minutes per side.
  • Rest the Meat: Remove from grill; let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


The Secret to Perfectly Grilled Pork Chops


The Magic of Brining

The key to juicy, tender pork chops is a good brine. In this recipe, we use a wet brine made from water, honey, apple cider vinegar, crushed red pepper, and salt. The salt and vinegar work together to tenderize the meat, while the honey adds a touch of sweetness and the red pepper adds a hint of spice. This brine not only flavors the meat but also helps it retain moisture during cooking.


Optimal Grilling Time

Grilling time can vary depending on the thickness of the chops and whether they are bone-in or boneless. For 1-inch thick, bone-in chops, about four minutes per side on a preheated high-heat grill is usually perfect. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the chops are cooked to 140°F before letting them rest. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a final internal temperature of 145°F, which is safe for pork.


Tips and Tricks


  • Don’t Over-Marinate: Marinating for more than an hour can start to break down the meat’s structure too much, leading to a mushy texture.
  • Pat Dry Before Grilling: Ensuring the chops are dry before grilling helps them sear properly, giving you that delicious crust.
  • Use a Meat Thermometer: This ensures you don’t overcook or undercook your pork chops. Aim for 140°F before resting.


Kitchen Equipment Needed


  • Small mixing bowl
  • Zip-top plastic bag
  • Grill or grill pan
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Paper towels
  • Tongs


Storing Leftovers

Store any leftover pork chops in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or a low oven to avoid drying them out.


Recipe Variations


  • Spicy Variation: Add more crushed red pepper or a dash of hot sauce to the brine for an extra kick.
  • Herb-Infused: Add fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme to the brine for an aromatic twist.
  • Citrus Flavor: Swap out the vinegar for lemon or orange juice for a citrusy flavor profile.


Suggested Pairings




  • Grilled Vegetables: Asparagus, bell peppers, and zucchini make excellent sides.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes complement the flavors of the pork chops.
  • Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette balances the richness of the meat.




  • White Wine: A chilled Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay pairs well with grilled pork.
  • Beer: A light lager or a slightly hoppy IPA can complement the flavors nicely.
  • Non-Alcoholic: A sparkling apple cider or a cold iced tea makes a refreshing pairing.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Can I use boneless pork chops instead?

Yes, you can. Boneless pork chops may cook faster since the bone acts as an insulator. Adjust the grilling time accordingly and ensure the internal temperature reaches 140°F before resting.


What if I don’t have a grill?

You can use a grill pan on the stovetop. Preheat it to high and follow the same grilling instructions.


How do I know if the pork chops are done?

Using an instant-read thermometer is the best way to check. Insert it into the center of the chop, away from the bone, and look for a temperature of 140°F.


Can I freeze the pork chops after brining?

It’s best to grill them fresh, but you can freeze the brined pork chops. Place them in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before grilling.


Grilled bone-in pork chops are a delicious and versatile main course that can be enjoyed year-round. With a simple brine and proper grilling technique, you can achieve perfectly juicy and flavorful chops every time. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or preparing a weeknight dinner, this recipe is sure to impress.


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