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Grilled Maple-Glazed Pork Chops

grilled pork chops drizzled with Watkins organic spiced maple marinade

I’m all about combining a slightly sweet element with grilled pork chops; like these blueberry chipotle pork chops for example, LOVE them! If you like pork chops, that’s a great recipe to try. Like those, these maple glazed pork chops are super easy to make, and pack some serious flavor.

It might surprise some who follow my social media, but I love a pork chop just as much as a steak. It’s true—that hasn’t always been the case, but it certainly is now. I say it hasn’t always been the case because I’m old enough to remember when the USDA recommended cooking pork chops to 165° F, which is basically catcher’s mitt consistency.

In any case, one of the things I love about pork chops is the different flavor profiles they can take on: hot, spicy, sweet, citrus, Asian fusion, classic BBQ, the list goes on. This recipe though, it’s all about maple glazed pork chops.

pork chops on grill over charcoal

The flavors of this pork go very well with the slight bitterness of the baby arugula, so I highly encourage you try that. If you’ve never had arugula, it can be found in the produce section of just about every grocery store.

Before I get into the pork recipe, I’ll answer a few questions about pork chops and then offer some tips for grilling maple-glazed pork chops.

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What Are the Best Pork Chop Marinades?

I feel like the term “best ever” is way overused, has sort of lost its luster, and is inauthentic. Those that know me know that’s not how I roll, and if something is just ok or so-so, I’ll say it. In this case, this was literally one of the best pork chops I’ve ever eaten, it’s that good.

The maple marinade (which I also used as a glaze) is an excellent pairing of sweetness for savory well marbled pork chops.

Watkins spiced maple marinade packets, a bowl of marinade, and pork chops ready for marinade.

How To Know When Pork Chops Are Done?

There are a number of ways people advise to check a pork chop’s doneness. Most common is to cut into it and see if the juices run clear. That one is used for chicken as well, and it’s some of the worst advice given. Never cut into the pork chop to see if it’s done, you’ll lose valuable juice and flavor.

Instead, use a reliable quick-read thermometer to know for sure your pork is at a safe eating temperature.

Are Bone-In or Boneless Pork Chops Better?

This is personal preference. I like bone-in chops myself because I like to gnaw on the bone, but boneless pork chops are great as well and can easily be used in this recipe in place of the bone-in chops I use.

Either way, I recommend a nice thick chop, at least an inch thick but preferably 1.5″ if you can find them. You may consider asking your butcher for a double cut pork chop as well.

uncooked pork chops on a wire cooling rack

Tips For Grilling Pork Chops

The Grill Setup: Because I am using thick-cut pork chops for this recipe, I’m using the reverse-sear method for cooking them. The same recipe can be used for thin-cut pork chops, just avoid using the reverse-sear method. Instead, set your grill up for high direct heat cooking and flip often until your chops reach the desired temperature. Thin chops cook quickly, so be careful.

The Carryover Effect: Using either method of cooking, the pork chops will be seared just before coming off the grill. The energy created with the intense heat will induce carryover cooking, so pull your chops off the grill when they are about five degrees shy of desired eating temperature. The chops will continue to cook the remaining 5 degrees while they rest.

The Rest: Allow the pork chops to rest for five minutes before slicing into them. This allows the juices to redistribute into the meat as it relaxes.

The Char: Those dark spots on the chops—some would say they are burnt. That’s not the case; that char is all flavor from the Maillard reaction, enjoy it!

grilled maple glazed pork chops on a platter

Grilled Maple-Glazed Pork Chops

Serves: 4–6 | Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
4–6 thick-cut pork chops, bone-in or boneless
3 cup baby arugula

For the Marinade and Glaze:
2 packages maple marinade seasoning
½ cup cooking oil
¼ cup honey
4 tbsp water
3 tbsp white vinegar 

How to Grill Maple-Glazed Pork Chops

Step 1: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Divide equally and set aside half the mixture at room temperature.

adding Watkins Organic Spiced Maple Marinade to oil, honey, water and vinegar

Step 2: Place pork chops in a zip-top bag and cover with the remaining half of the marinade. Remove as much air as possible from the bag, massage marinade into meat, and place on a plate to prevent leaks. Place chops in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

pork chops marinating in a sealed bag

Step 3: Light your grill and set up for two-zone cooking. Establish grill temperature between 225° and 250° F.

Step 4: Remove pork chops from the bag, and discard any marinade that has touched the pork. Place chops on your preheated grill over indirect heat. Close lid and allow pork chops to cook until internal temperature reaches 130° F. Remove pork from grill and stoke coals to create high direct heat.

marinated pork chops ready to grill
TIP: If you’re using a gas grill, close lid and put burner on maximum setting and let preheat for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Place pork chops over high direct heat, flipping every 20-30 seconds in order to create a perfect crust. Remove pork chops from the grill when they are five degrees less than desired eating temperature.

marinated pork chops over high direct heat

Step 6: Brush hot pork chops with warm marinade that was set aside, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes.

Step 7: Plate pork chops on a bed of arugula and drizzle with remaining marinade as desired for serving.

Perfectly seared marinated pork chops decoratively plated with arugala and drizzled with spice maple glaze

grilled pork chops drizzled with Watkins organic spiced maple marinade

Grilled Maple-Glazed Pork Chops

5 from 37 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4–6 thick-cut pork chops bone-in or boneless
  • 3 cup baby arugula

For the Marinade and Glaze

  • 2 packages Maple Marinade I used Watkins
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • ¼ cup organic honey
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Divide equally and set aside half the mixture at room temperature.
  • Place pork chops in a zip-top bag and cover with the remaining half of the marinade. Remove as much air as possible from the bag, massage marinade into meat, and place on a plate to prevent leaks. Place chops in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  • Light your grill and set up for two-zone cooking. Establish grill temperature between 225° and 250° F.
  • Remove pork chops from the bag, and discard any marinade that has touched the pork. Place chops on your preheated grill over indirect heat. Close lid and allow pork chops to cook until internal temperature reaches 130° F. Remove pork from grill and stoke coals to create high direct heat.
  • Place pork chops over high direct heat, flipping every 20-30 seconds in order to create a perfect crust. Remove pork chops from the grill when they are five degrees less than desired eating temperature.
  • Brush hot pork chops with warm marinade that was set aside, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Plate pork chops on a bed of arugula and drizzle with remaining marinade as desired for serving.

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