Tips, Tricks & Techniques for BBQ Pork Chops
Pork chops are an easy and delicious meal to make, made even more so when you use the grill. Use these fun and easy tips, tricks, and techniques to make the most out of your pork chops.
Selecting Your Pork Chops
First things first, you need to get yourself some quality pork chops to work with. When selecting your pork chops at the store, there are some things you should keep in mind. Make sure your pork chops are pinkish-red in color. Any cut of meat that is pale in color or has liquid in the pack in a big no-no. Small flecks of fat (otherwise known as “marbling”) are a good sign as this adds flavor to the meat. However, the fat of the meat should be creamy white in color and have no dark spots. Additionally, avoid pork that has dark-colored bone.
Now on to the matter of getting the best possible cuts. What most people don’t realize is that there’s more than one type of pork chop. What you will most commonly see at the butcher’s are the rib chop and loin chop - but there are others too! Depending on what you would like to achieve in your barbecue, you can choose from the following types:
Rib chop - also known as center-cut rib chop or rib end cut, these are tender chops with a mild flavor. These have less fat than the shoulder chop but more fat than the loin chop.
Loin chop - also known as center loin chop or porterhouse, these are chops taken from the hip and loin of the animal which is why these cuts may have pieces of tenderloin.
Shoulder chop - also known as blade chops or blade steaks, these are a dark-colored kid of meat with lots of fat and connective tissues. Thanks to the amount of fat this chop has, it has a lot of flavor but also has tough bone and gristle. One pro tip for this chop is to tenderize it first before cooking. Cooking low and slow or smoking are great options to get the most from these chops.
Boneless chop - also known as pork loin filets or America’s cut, this type of chop is lean with very little fat or connective tissue. As the name states, these cuts also don’t have any bone in them which makes them vulnerable to overcooking. The lack of fat also means that this chop is not as flavorful as the ones with more fat.
Sirloin chop - also known as sirloin steak, this type of pork chop contains meat from the hip and backbone. As such, it has the most bone matter among the chops on this list. The meat on this chop is tough but packs a lot of flavors.
A few takeaways from the above is that different types of pork chop have varying amounts of flavor and tenderness. Some parts are also more prone to overcooking (especially the ones with less bone
matter) - so best to be more careful with these. As a final note on shopping for the best pork chops, make sure to get them at 1 to 1 ½ inches thick since these have a reduced chance of drying out compared to those less than 1 inch thick.
Method for Grilling Pork Chops Like a Pro
And now for the main event. Whether you’re using a Napoleon Rogue® SE Series, Prestige® Series, or any other Napoleon Grill, you can be sure that barbecuing pork chops will be delicious. It just requires the right technique for the right chop. Have you got the chops for this?
Method 1: For Rib, Loin, and Boneless Chops
The rib, loin, and boneless chops are ideal for high and fast cooking techniques. We recommend seasoning pork chops with a combination of salty and sweet flavors - not too much - and preheating the grill to medium-high, from about 375°F to 500°F. Prepare a two-zone fire so that you can quickly sear the pork chops over high heat, then finish them gently over lower heat until done. Keep an eye on their internal temperature using a BBQ thermometer. You are looking for an internal temperature of around 145°F to 150°F for ideal juiciness and texture. Brushing with sauce or glaze is a great way to add extra flavor, but do this once the chops have been seared and moved off of direct heat.
PRO TIP: Pork does need to be cooked well, but not how you think. Well, as in properly and with expertise, not until it's a dry and flavorless lump. When cooking pork chops, roasts, ham, and loins - tender or otherwise - you only need to cook to a minimum temperature of 145°F and then rest for 3 to 5 minutes. For ground pork, a temperature of 160°F is required.
Method 2: For Sirloin and Shoulder Cuts
These cuts do better when a low and slow technique is used. This is due to the amounts of fat and connective tissue. Allowing these to render properly will yield the best results. Again, season your pork with your favorite spices or marinate them for up to 8 hours. Preheat the grill to low, between 225°F and 325°F, setting up an indirect heat source.
Add extra flavor by using wood chips or chunks to create smoke, which can be done on both charcoal and gas grills. Place the pork chops over the unlit portion of your grill to slowly cook. This technique takes longer, so keep that in mind when planning dinner time. Monitor the internal temperature with a BBQ thermometer and cook to between 145°F and 150°F. If you find yourself craving that BBQ-flavor, feel free to do a very quick sear before pulling your pork off the grill - a well preheated infrared SIZZLE ZONE™ is ideal for that.
The Perfect BBQ Grilled Pork Chops Dining Experience
These are general techniques that you can use to create your own perfect pork chop recipe or you can try our delightful and saucy BBQ Pork Chops with Honey Mustard Marinade for inspiration.
How do you like your pork chops? Share your best pork BBQ recipes and photos on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtags #BBQporkChops and #NapoleonGrills.