These easy Grilled Pork Chops are a summer dinner sensation! They are extra juicy and tender, and seasoned to mouthwatering perfection. And the delicious dry rub brings out the best flavor.
Pork chops have long been one of my favorite easy keto dinners. They are incredibly versatile and simple to cook. And I have several very popular recipes, including Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops and Keto Smothered Pork Chops.
I have shied away from grilling them, however, because they often end up over-cooked and dried out. But I recently made it a goal to perfect grilled pork chops, and I think I’ve nailed it.
They are succulent and juicy, and just the smell alone will set your mouth watering. I couldn’t be happier with this recipe!
The secret ingredient
You may already be aware that brining pork chops makes them juicier. The brining process allows the meat to retain more moisture during cooking. It’s an important step when grilling as pork can dry out easily over the open flames.
So I applied this method to my grilled pork chop recipe. But I didn’t just use any old brine. Most brine requires salt and sugar to penetrate the meat and add flavor, and we just don’t do added sugar on keto.
Instead, I took a note from one of my favorite recipes for keto chicken wings and I used pickle brine! And it resulted in the most tender, juiciest grilled pork chops I have ever had.
The advantage here is that the salt penetrates the meat and the vinegar tenderizes it at the same time. And hey, you’re getting some added electrolytes in your diet while you’re at it. You’ve got to give it a try.
Ingredients you need
- Pork chops: This method works on both bone-in and boneless pork chops, but boneless typically cook a little faster. I used bone-in for this recipe because I prefer them. You want to pick chops that are about 1-inch thick.
- Pickle juice: Save your jars of pickle juice after the pickles are all gone. It will keep in the fridge for months.
- Spices: A mix of paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder make up the dry rub. I used smoked paprika for a hint of smokiness, but regular paprika works well too.
- Salt and Pepper: The brine adds salt to the meat so go lightly on the added salt until you taste the chops. I found that half a teaspoon was enough for the seasoning rub.
Step by Step Directions
This recipe for grilled pork chops couldn’t be easier!
1. Brine the chops: Place the pork chops in a bowl and use enough pickle juice that they are completely covered. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Prepare the seasoning: Add the seasoning rub ingredients to an old spice jar and shake to combine.
3. Season the chops: Remove the chops from the brine and pat them completely dry, then brush a little olive oil over both sides. Sprinkle with the seasoning, pressing lightly to adhere to the surface.
4. Grill to perfection: Place the chops on the grill over medium-high heat and grill 3 minutes on the first side. Them move them to medium heat and grill another 5 to 8 minutes on the second side, or until cooked through. They should reach 145ºF on an instant read thermometer.
Expert Tips and FAQ
Choose pork chops that are at least 1 inch thick. Thinner cuts tend to cook through too quickly and dry out before they become golden brown on the outside.
You can sprinkle these grilled pork chops with your favorite seasoning. My dry rub works really nicely and gives them added flavor and color, but it’s not required. Consider these other options:
- Italian seasoning
- Cajun seasoning
- Lemon pepper
- Chile and lime (some Tajin would be delicious!)
If you don’t have quite enough brine to cover the chops completely, add a little water. They should be fully submerged in the liquid so that they absorb the salt and flavorings more evenly.
Pork chops cook quickly so keep your eye on them. Grill the first side over medium high heat for about 3 minutes, then flip and continue to grill on the second side for 5 to 8 more minutes. The total time depends on the thickness of the chops.
Brine the pork chops prior to grilling to help them retain moisture. These grilled pork chops are brined in pickle juice, which makes them extra tender and juicy. The vinegar in pickle juice helps break down the proteins prior to cooking, so they don’t become tough.
How long you brine pork chops depends on the thickness of the cut. 1-inch thick chops will take 1 to 2 hours to absorb the brine properly. Don’t brine them too long, however, as they can become too salty.
What to serve with grilled pork chops
Pork chops pair well with almost any keto side you can think of. Here are some delicious ideas:
- Grilled Zucchini
- Cauliflower Risotto
- Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
- Creamy Cauliflower Salad
- Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash
- Easy Zucchini Casserole
Want even more Easy Keto Dinners? Check out my cookbook. Available on Amazon and at other booksellers.
Juicy Grilled Pork Chops
- Place the chops in a large bowl and add the brine. The chops should be covered completely in the liquid. If not, add a little water. Brine 1 to 2 hours.
- Combine the paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and salt in a shaker jar and shake to combine. Or you can whisk them together in a bowl.
- Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry very well, then brush a little olive oil over both sides. Sprinkle both sides with the seasoning, pressing lightly to adhere.
- Preheat the grill to medium high on one section and medium on another. Grill the chops on one side over medium high for 3 minutes. Then flip them over and move them to the medium heat for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until they reach 145ºF on an instant read thermometer.
- Remove to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before serving.