Grilled Thin Pork Chops, Quick Brinerated

Thin pork chops are an idea I learned from from John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger in Gourmet magazine. They suggest you think thin, crispy and flavorful, instead of the usual thick and juicy. For a quick weeknight meal on the grill, thin is good – it cooks quickly, and gets dinner on the table that much faster.

Even though you’re looking for thin and crispy, this is modern pork.*  You have to be careful to not overcook it, or you’ll dry it out.  The brinerade gives you a little cushion, but the real trick is to only cook them on one side.  They are thin enough to cook through, and they’ll be nicely browned on that one side that’s always facing the grill.
*As I’ve said before, it’s been renamed “modern pork”, and it’s a euphemism for “there’s no fat in there.”

Recipe: Grilled Thin Pork Chops, Quick Brinerated



  • 2 to 3 lbs Thin Cut Pork Chops (1/4″ to 1/2″ thick, preferably rib chops)


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

1. Brinerate the pork chops: Whisk the brinerade ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
*I use a 2 quart pyrex measuring cup for my bowl, and I whisk with a fork.
Put the pork chops in a medium bowl, and pour the brinerade over them, reserving roughly 2 tbsp of the brinerade for later. Toss the pork chops to evenly cover with the marinade, and toss once or twice while the grill preheats.

2. Prepare the grill: Preheat your grill, then set it up for grilling on direct medium heat. For my Weber Summit, this means turning all the burners to high and preheating for 10 minutes, then turning them all down to medium and starting to cook.

3. Cook the chops: Toss the chops one more time in the bowl, put them on the grill, and keep the lid closed while cooking.  Let them cook for 2-3 minutes, until they have good grill marks on them, then rotate them 90 degrees*, and cook them another 2-3 minutes.
*Again, don’t flip them, just rotate them about a quarter turn.  It gives you that nice diamond pattern on that you can see in the picture at the top of this post.

At this point, they should be cooked through – they’ll have gone from pink to white on the side that’s been facing up the whole time. (If you have 1/2″ thick chops instead of 1/4″ chops, you may need to flip them and cook them for another minute.)

This is what you’re looking for: these chops are cooked through without being flipped

4. Glaze and serve: Remove the chops to a platter, and pour the reserved brinerade over the chops, trying to get an even coating on all of them. Let rest for five minutes (if you can), then serve.

*Asian style: the soy sauce is already giving them a little bit of an asian flavor; you can play this up by replacing the balsamic vinegar with seasoned asian rice vinegar, and the olive oil with peanut or sesame oil.

*Barbecued pork chops: When done, brush the chops with barbecue sauce instead of the reserved brinerade.

*If you can get a jump start on dinner, start the brinerating step up to an hour and a half before it’s time to cook. Don’t go beyond that, or the vinegar in the brinerade will start to pickle the chops.

*For the rest of your meal, serve a salad tossed with red wine vinaigrette and grilled corn that you cooked with the pork chops.

*Don’t forget to gnaw on the bones…it’s my favorite part!

Questions? Comments? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:
This recipe is part of Quick Grilling Week
Grilled Boneless Pork Loin Chops, Brined and Honey Glazed recipe
Grilled Corn recipe

Inspired by:
“Doc” Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger: Grill It!

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  1. great tips on the cooking technique and a really great recipe

  2. @A Year on the Grill: Thank you!

  3. nice site. just found it while looking for a rotisserie pineapple site.

    great job, i think i’ll be vising your blog quite often for recipes

  4. @Bruce – Thank you! I’m glad you’ll be back. I can always use regular readers.

  5. quick pork recipes fan /

    I think this can be done on a stove top grill as well for those that do not have access to an outdoor grill all year round.

  6. Woodsytattooman /

     Just wanted to say i made my own marinade from ketchup,honey,steak seasoning,oregano,garlic,A1,and apple cider vinegar and used your grilling method.I used pork loin that i sliced this and soaked in the marinade overnight.They turned out to be the best chops Ive ever grilled:))

  7. I’m glad it worked for you…enjoy!

  8. Came across this recipe searching on google. Last time I grilled thin chops they were over cooked. Tried this recipe tonight and the wife and I loved them! A little charred on the one side and plenty of juice inside. Great taste and so simple. Thank you. New subscriber.

  9. You’re welcome. I’m glad you liked it!

  10. First off I am such an amateur griller its not even funny… I wanted to surprise the hubby with dinner and came across this recipe…. All I can say is my husband is more then happy to share the grill now! Thank you!!

  11. Great! I love it when I get a new grill convert.

  12. Billca /

    I’ll try your one-sided grilling technique tonight. The major difference is that I’ll be using a charcoal-fired Weber grill and marinading the boneless chops in an Italian salad dressing for about 90 minutes. This has worked well for thicker chops, not it’s time to try it on the thinner, boneless chops.

  13. I come back to your post every time I grill thin chops. Thanks for the tips!

  14. Denise Clemons /

    Planning to try this tonight, but couldn’t fit the chops in my 2-cup pyrex measuring cup, perhaps you meant 2-quart?

  15. Shannon /

    Awesome recipe

  16. Sean /

    Great quick recipe. I did it on my kettle grill (a Coleman, not a Weber, sorry) and it turned out fantastic.

    Thanks for all your tips, tricks and recipes. This is the only website I recommend to friends.

  17. Kathleen /

    This is an excellent plan for grilling this thin cut of meat. And you are 100% right! Modern pork does mean it has almost no fat. I always prefer thin cut pork chops when I cook; the thick ones tend to come out tasting dry. I love the idea of not grilling on both sides. Never would’ve thought of that, so thank you Mike!

  18. Could I use this recipe on a pork loin? We made the chops last night and my family LOVED it so much. Pork loins were on sale this week so I wanted to try it? Thoughts?

  19. Tommy jones /

    Looks good licking my lips going to try it tonight thank you

  20. Would this work with boneless chops also?

  21. Chris A. /

    Just made these, found it in a google search. Amazing! Thank you for this! Thanks to two tired and fussy toddlers it sat in the brine for almost 2 hours so I was a bit worried how they would turn out, still tastes great!

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