In the world of grilling, seasoning is key. So are pork chops.
It’s as easy as it is delicious to sprinkle a little salt and pepper on a chop and slap it on grill but sometimes it’s nice to step it up a little. One easy and tasty way to do this is by marinating the meat first. Pork chops can be successfully marinated for anywhere between several minutes to several days.
Types of Pork Chops
Did you know there are actually many different types of pork chop? The most common pork chops we see in American grocery stores come from the ribs and loin and may be bone-in or boneless. I am firm believer that meat cooked on the bone simply tastes better. Bone-in cuts also provide protection from overcooking.
One of my favorites is the bone in rib chop. This tender cut is considered by many to be the tastiest of pork chops and has a large eye of lean meat with the bone running along one side.
Other pork chops you may see that are also worthy of your grill include the loin chop, shoulder chop, sirloin chop, and boneless chop. These different chops all benefit from marinating and quick cooking.
Find a good butcher will cut your pork chops to your desired thickness.
Pork Chop Marinades
Now that you have some fine pork chops at hand, back to the marinades. Although it can be successfully excluded, I believe that a little oil is important to any marinade for several reasons. It aids in even distribution of flavor, helps ensure more consistent color during cooking, and protects the chop from being broken down by things like acidic ingredients.
No Recipe Pork Chop Marinade Ideas
This is my general process for marinating anything, pork chops included. Just place the pork chops in a container of some sort, coat well with the marinade, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook. I usually don’t add salt to marinades and just season right before cooking. Here are some easy, basic marinade ideas that are flexible in ingredient quantities. Simply put – add a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and wait for a while before cooking.
- A handful of fresh herbs, a couple of minced garlic cloves, a few slices of lemon and a shot of olive oil.
- Paprika, thyme (fresh or dry), a dash of black pepper and olive oil
- Soy sauce, pineapple juice, garlic and oil.
- A tablespoon or so of fresh grated ginger, some orange slices and olive oil
- Apple cider, onion slices
Smoke goes with pork chops like butter with bread. If you own a smoker you can add a bold smoke flavor through the slow and satisfying process of hot smoking. If you are looking for something a little quicker, using a grilling plank or wrap will add a nice smoky flavor in a matter of minutes. Planks and wraps work great with a marinades and also helps to guarantee you won’t overcook your pork chop.
Here are a few of my favorite planked and wrapped pork chop recipes that are sure to be winners.
Matt worked his first kitchen job in the country of Malta at the age of 15. He has worked as a restaurant Chef in Arizona, Maine, Spain, the UK, Oregon and finally North Idaho. Now the Executive Chef at Wildwood Grilling, he thoroughly enjoys his day job.