Citrus-Brined Grilled Pork Chops

Trim any fat from the outer edges of the pork chops to help prevent flare-ups on the grill.

If you don’t have access to a grill or the weather isn't cooperating, you can also sear the pork chops in a hot cast iron skillet with a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat; cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side and then finish them in a 350°F oven, until they reach the desired temperature.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Brining time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings


For the brine:

  • 1/2 white onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup Morton kosher salt (or 1/3 cup table salt)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups ice
  • 4 (8- to 10-ounce) boneless pork chops, trimmed of any fat

For the rub:

  • 1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Neutral oil, for grill


1 Make the brine: In a medium pot, combine the onion, garlic, salt, honey, peppercorns, orange, lime, and lemon. Add two cups of water and bring to a slight simmer over medium-high heat. Stir until the honey and salt are dissolved.

Remove from heat and add ice to chill the mixture to at least room temperature.

Citrus Pork Chops on the Grill make the brine

2 Brine the pork chops: Once cool, transfer the brine to a large dish and add the pork chops. The pork chops should be covered by the brine. If they aren’t, use a small plate or bowl to keep them in the brine.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes, but longer is preferable. Don’t let them brine for longer than 24 hours—otherwise the proteins in the pork will start to cure and you’ll end up with something closer to ham.

Citrus Pork Chops on the Grill brine the pork chops

3 Prep the pork chops: When ready to grill, remove pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Stir together the spices for the rub in a small bowl, and season the pork chops liberally with the rub.

Grilled Boneless Pork Chops rub the pork chops with spices

4 Heat the grill: Preheat grill to medium-high heat and rub the grill grates with some neutral oil on a clean rag (or a few paper towels) to prevent sticking.

5 Grill the chops: Place the pork chops on grill and grill for 5 to 6 minutes on the first side. If you'd like pretty cross-hatched grill marks, rotate the pork chop 90-degrees after 3 minutes.

Flip pork chop and cook on the second side for another 4 to 6 minutes. The pork chops are done when an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chops registers 145°F. (This is the FDA recommended cooking temperature and it will give you slightly pink pork chops in the center).

If your pork chops are thicker than 3/4-inch, they will need a few minutes longer on the grill and you’ll have to watch the thermometer until they are done.

Grilled Boneless Pork Chops grill the pork chops

6 Rest the pork chops: Transfer the cooked chops to a plate and let them rest for about five minutes before serving.

7 Serve! Slice and serve the chops with grilled fruit such as pineapple and a green side such as grilled Brussels sprouts (grilled in a grill pan over high heat for a few minutes until charred in spots)!

Grilling Pork Chops