Pork chops have relatively little flavor, so it's helpful to marinate them before cooking. Barbecue sauce works well as a marinade base, giving you the freedom to choose your favorite from the many available brands and styles. There's no more fitting way to prepare barbecued marinated pork chops than on the grill, especially since they won't brown and crisp well in a pan due to their moist surfaces. While cooking time varies based on the thickness of your cuts and whether they're on the bone, barbecue pork chops cook in approximately 12 to 15 minutes.
Slice through the fat and connective tissue running along the side of your pork chops with a sharp knife at approximately 2-inch intervals. This prevents the pork chops from curling when they hit the heat.
Mix together equal parts of your favorite barbecue sauce and cooking oil in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Use enough to soak your pork chops. Stir in some salt and pepper to taste. Add anything else you'd like in your barbecue marinade that complements the sauce you chose, such as some honey or brown sugar, dried thyme, a little soy sauce or a splash of bourbon.
Lay the pork chops in the marinade and cover the dish with its lid or plastic wrap. Marinate them in the refrigerator for one to four hours, turning them over once in the middle of the soak time.
Grease the grill with nonstick spray and preheat it to medium-high heat. If you have a coal grill, pile the coals to one side to create one hot and one cooler side.
Pull the pork chops out of the marinade and hold them vertically over the dish so the excess falls off. Pour the marinade into a saucepan and bring it to a full boil over medium-high heat. Put the lid on the pot and continue boiling the marinade for five minutes to destroy bacteria from the raw pork.
Place the pork chops on the hottest part of the grill to sear for about two minutes, until the bottoms are crisp and well-browned, then turn them with barbecue tongs. Sear the other side for the same amount of time.
Move the chops to indirect heat. Brush on some of the barbecue marinade, then close the grill's lid. Turn the pork over after four to five minutes and brush some more marinade onto the other side. Close the lid again.
Grill the pork chops until they reach an internal temperature of 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer. Transfer the chops to a platter and allow them to rest for 10 minutes, during which time their internal temperature will rise to the USDA-recommended 145 F and their juices are redistributed so they don't bleed out of the meat when you cut it. Brush them with a bit more marinade and serve.
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- Use or freeze fresh pork chops within five days of purchase. Keep them below 40 F when storing out of the freezer.
Eric Mohrman is a food and drink, travel, and lifestyle writer living in Orlando, Florida. He has professional experience to complement his love of cooking and eating, having worked for 10 years both front- and back-of-house in casual and fine dining restaurants. He has written print and web pieces on food and drink topics for Visit Florida, Orlando Style Magazine, CrushBrew Magazine, Agent Magazine, Dollar Stretcher Magazine, The 863 Magazine and other publications.