Why You Should Think Twice Before Making Pork Chops On The Grill

Thinking about grilling pork chops? You may want to think again. It turns out if you're grilling, you might be drying out your chop and depriving yourself of that perfect golden crust you get on a well-cooked pork chop. Erik Pettersen, executive chef of the restaurant Evo Italian in Tequesta, Florida explained to Insider that pork chops aren't ideal for grilling because they tend to be too lean. Less fat content means your pork chop will dry out easily on a grill, and a dried out piece of pork is definitely not an appetizing option. 

You're better off cooking them in the oven. If you're looking to grill white meat, you're better off going with chicken. "If you properly marinate chicken, you can ensure a tender, juicy, flavorful dish," Pettersen said. "There's a reason people say chicken is the easiest food to prepare on the planet."

So how should you cook pork chops?

If you want to grill pork chops anyway, FoodieCrush advises that fattier center-cut rib chops and center-cut loin chops will yield greater flavor and tenderness. From there, to keep your meat from sticking to the grill, oil the chops with canola, grape seed, or olive oil before cooking. Just know that you'll be missing out on the perfect crust, and your meat will be dryer than if you roasted it in the oven.

For the best pork chop results, you're best off cooking them in the oven. Brine your chops for at least a half-hour before cooking. Pork is easy to dry out, so The Kitchn recommends using the "stovetop to oven" method: start by heating a skillet in the oven, then (with mitts, obviously) move the skillet to a stovetop burner and sear the pork. When one side is seared to a golden brown, flip the chop and return the skillet to the oven. You'll get a juicy pork chop with a perfect, crusted outside.

What type of pork chops are best?

Bon Appétit contributor Danielle Walsh recommends avoiding boneless chops when you pick your meat out at the supermarket, and there are a couple of reasons for that. The bones in the meat will help slow the cooking down, which helps ensure a quality sear, and they will also enrich the flavor of the meat. 

Also, it's a good idea to use a heavy hand with the salt and pepper when prepping your meat. "You want to season that sucker so much that you can see the salt and pepper on the surface when you're standing a couple feet away," she said. The extra flavors from the seasoning combine well with the meat and can really boost the flavor of your meal.

So, if you want to avoid dry, under-flavored pork chops, skip the grill and opt for the oven and stovetop, and season well.