Cooking pork chops isn’t always easy, but especially if you’re a beginner.
If you’re wondering how to tell whether pork chops are done, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I will cover 3 simple techniques to help you gauge when your pork chops are done.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Cooking pork chops to perfection is a skill that takes practice and experience. If you don’t know how to cook meat correctly, then you might end up with undercooked or overcooked food. This can ruin your meal.
How To Tell If Pork Chops Are Done
Cooking pork chops correctly is a feat that even the most experienced barbecue enthusiasts can mess up. So, how can you tell whether the meat of a pork chop is cooked properly?
There are many ways to check if meat is done, but these three methods are the easiest and quickest out of them all.
The Temperature Method
The simplest and most reliable way to check whether your pork chops are done is to insert a meat thermometer into the center of the meat.
Keep the temperature in place for a few seconds to ensure you get an accurate reading. You will also want to make sure that your thermometer is of high quality.
Once the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit (or 60 degrees Celsius), the chops are ready to remove from the grill and safe to eat.
The Touch Test
Another method to determine if pork chops are done is by using the touch test.
You will need to press your finger into the center of a pork chop. When you do this, the grilled pork chop should have a firm and springy texture once it is cooked all the way through.
If the meat feels softer, then it likely needs a little more grilling time. When it feels like there is no more resistance, the pork chop is ready.
The Knife Method
The knife method isn’t highly recommended, but is a method that you can resort to if all else fails.
As this method involves cutting into the pork chops with a knife, you will want to limit the knife method to just one pork chop if you can.
When you’re nearly at the end of the estimated cooking time for your pork chops, remove a chop from the grill.
Once you’ve removed the pork chop from the grill, you will want to use a sharp knife to make a small incision in the center of the meat and have a look inside.
What you’re looking for is mostly white and opaque meat to ensure that the pork is cooked all the way through.
How Long Should You Grill Pork Chops For?
The answer to this question depends on the following factors:
The Thickness Of The Meat
How thick your pork chops are will significantly affect how long you need to grill them. While thinner pork chops will take less time to cook, thicker pork chops can take significantly longer to cook all the way through.
The Type Of Pork Chop
Alongside this, you will need to consider the type of pork chop. Typically speaking, boneless pork chops take less time to cook than bone-in pork chops.
The Grill Temperature
Last, but by no means least, you will need to consider the grill temperature. Over a high heat, your pork chops won’t take as long to cook as a low heat.
To give you a better idea, follow these general guidelines below for bone-in and boneless pork chops.
Boneless Pork Chops
When cooking boneless pork chops, you’ll want to opt for a medium to high heat.
When preheating your grill to this temperature, your chops will take around 7 minutes per half-inch of thickness.
Bearing this in mind, when you’ve got a pork chop that is only 1/2 inch thick, you should grill it for 3 and a half minutes on each side before they are cooked all the way through.
Bone-In Pork Chops
Bone-in chops take significantly longer to cook on the grill, but the flavor is well worth it.
When it comes to cooking bone-in chops, you will want to make sure that you add 5 minutes to the total cooking time.
Generally speaking, leaving your grill at 400 degrees is a good temperature in many cases.
That being said, if the pork chops are on the thicker side, then you might want to turn the temperature to 350 degrees to ensure you don’t excessively scorch the pork chops.
It’s important to note that pork chops always need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower than this, and the pork isn’t safe to eat.
That being said, it’s very easy to overcook pork chops, so make sure that you are on hand with your meat thermometer to ensure that your pork can retain most of its moisture.
What Do You Do If Your Pork Chops Are Still Pink In The Middle?
If your pork chops are still slightly pink in the middle, this isn’t the end of the world.
Provided that they reach the internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, they are still safe to consume!
It’s also worth mentioning that if you wait for the meat to be white throughout, you increase the risk of drying the meat out, so it’s important to strike the right balance.
However, while slightly pink pork chops can be suitable to eat, you need to make sure that the juices run clear when you cut into the meat.
If you find that your pork chops are still pink in the middle and the juices aren’t clear after they have been on the grill, then you will need to add them to the grill for a few more minutes to finish cooking.
Tips For Grilling Pork Chops
There are a variety of handy tips to consider when grilling pork chops at home. These tips include but are not limited to:
Choose Thick Pork Chops
When it comes to choosing your meat, one of the biggest tips is to choose thick pork chops.
Generally speaking, you should aim for pork chops that measure 1 to 2 inches thick.
Pork chops of this thickness can better withstand the high temperature of the grill, retaining their juice throughout the grilling process. Delicious!
Sear The Outside Of The Chops
Another tip to bear in mind is searing the outside of the chops.
Raise the grill temperature to around 450 degrees to sear your pork chops for 2 minutes on each side. This will help to lock in those juices and will also create those wonderful grill lines.
On the topic of grill lines, if you wish to create a grid pattern on your pork chops, then you can rotate them 90 degrees after you’ve allowed them to sear for one minute on each side.
Brine Your Pork Chops
Brining your pork chops for a minimum of 30 minutes before you chuck them on a grill is an excellent way to tenderize the meat.
Alongside this, brining your pork chops can also help the meat to retain its moisture as it cooks.
When making your brine solution, you will need 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of salt for every pork chop.
If you’d like to make it sweeter, you can also add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the mixture.
While you can brine your pork chops overnight, it’s not recommended that you brine them for longer than 12 hours, as this will result in your pork chops being far too salty.
For whatever reason you decide to skip the brining process, make sure that you generously season your pork chops before you add them to the grill. After all, you want your chops to be as flavorful as possible.
Dry Your Pork Chops Before Searing Them
If your pork chops are wet or even damp before you add them to the grill, there won’t be a good sear on the outside.
As a result, you will want to make sure that you thoroughly dry your pork chops with a paper towel on both sides before you place them onto the grill.
Pre-Heat And Monitor The Temperature Of The Grill
For the best sear, you want to ensure that you preheat the grill so that it is nice and hot before you add your pork chops to it.
In addition to this, you will want to make sure that you are monitoring the temperature of your grill, as this can fluctuate whilst the pork chops are cooking.
You don’t want your temperature to be too low as you’ll struggle to get a sear, and you definitely don’t want it to be too high, so make sure you are constantly checking it for the best results.
Allow Your Pork Chops To Rest After You Remove Them From The Grill
Letting your pork chops rest is essential for tender meat. As they’re not the biggest cuts of meat, pork chops won’t need long to rest. However, you should still have patience and allow them to!
On average, you should allow your pork chops to rest for 3 to 5 minutes, but this could differ depending on how big or small they are.
There are so many different ways to check if pork chops are done, but these three are some of the most common.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to tell if your pork chops are cooked perfectly every single time.
I hope you found this article useful. The more practice you have making pork chops, the easier it will be to get consistent results.
Good luck making the perfect pork chops at home!