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How to Grill the Perfect Barbecue Pork Chops

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Summer has arrived and warmer weather means it's time to fire up the grill. Nothing screams healthy and delicious, not to mention fun, family dinner options like barbecue pork chops.

Barbecue Pork Chops

Barbecue Pork Chops: The Wholesome Dinner Choice

As part of my partnership with the National Pork Board, this post was going to focus solely on some of my tried and true grilling tips. But, after thinking about it for 2 seconds, I figured why just share grilling tips for how to make the absolute best barbecue pork chops when I could grill them, eat them, and savor them while writing said blog post? See my logic? So, I made a trip to Smith's Marketplace's butcher department to purchase some pork chops (thick, 1-inch pork chops the butcher told me would be perfect for grilling).

In the time that I have gone from not knowing the first thing about grilling with pork (a month ago, this bone-in ribeye pork chop recipe was the first pork recipe I had ever made) to being a die hard fan, I have learned a thing or two.

First and foremost, pork is a wholesome option for family dinners. As a mom, I'm always looking for ways to mix up mealtime options and having balanced choices is important to me. And second, grilling is something our entire family can take part in, helping us build stronger family relationships. What's not to love?

How to Barbecue Pork Chops: Grilling Tips

barbecue pork chops-troy patteeBut equally as important to wholesome mealtime recipes and family bonding is preparing recipes, like barbecue pork chops, that actually taste good. The risk with grilling any kind of meat is overcooking it. Dry, tough meat is the fastest way to get low scores from your toughest critics—your kids!

So, to create the perfect barbecue pork chops every time, consider these tips, especially for thicker pork chop cuts:

  • If you're looking for lots of flavor, season the meat with a pork rub.
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    Suggestion! My go-to pork rub is McCormick's Grill Mates Pork Rub. The spices really enhance the natural pork flavor, making it so you don't need any other seasoning or sauces.
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  • If moisture is the name of the game for you, try brining the pork chops before grilling them. Since the brine is a salt mixture, you won't need to use additional seasonings, unless your rub doesn't contain salt.
  • Heat the grill to about 450 degrees and then sear each side of the pork chops by letting them sit on the hot grill for 1 1/2 minutes each.
  • After you've seared both sides, turn the grill down to 225 degrees and grill the meat slowly. The searing followed by the slow grilling will help seal in the moisture.
  • Use a food thermometer and grill to an internal temperature of approximately 145 to 160 degrees, followed by a 3-minute rest.

If you prepare thinner cuts of meat, you'll want to sear for less time and cook faster and with higher heat to seal in the moisture. Using a rub on thinner cuts of pork chops is a great option as is using a marinade. Brining is not a necessity for the thinner cuts.

Win a Summer of Free Pork by Voting for America's Top #ChopGriller

These simple tips are what keeps our family happy and continuously hungry for pork. Other, more seasoned grillers, have shared their tips and tricks as part of the National Pork Board’s America's Top #ChopGriller contest. Eight people stood out from the more than 6,000 entries and are competing to prove they have what it takes to cook a top chop—and earn the big title.

Now it’s up to you to vote for your favorite! You can view all of the finalists’ tips and cast your vote at porkbeinspired.com/form_form-chopgriller.aspx. Voting lasts through June 13, 2014 and here is a huge incentive for you to vote: by submitting a vote, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a large Big Green Egg in Mahogany Table, Custom EGG® tools, Big Green Egg Organic Lump Charcoal, and a summer's worth of free pork to help get your grill on this season. You can submit one vote each day, so visit often!  

One lucky winner (chosen from all the people who vote for America's Top #ChopGriller) will receive this fantastic prize

For even more grilling tips from the National Pork Board, check out video below. 

What are your tried and true tips for grilling the perfect barbecue pork chops?

Disclosure: I was compensated in exchange for promoting the National Pork Board. But, my opinions about the fabulous butcher at Smith's Food & Drug, the absolutely delicious barbecue pork chops he helped me pick out, and the grilling tips are my own! Enjoy!

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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