Pork chops do very well on the barbeque, especially if you have added a lot of flavor in the form of a marinade or spice rub. Dry rubs are great for adding plenty of flavor to pork, and you can leave the pork to sit (like you would do with a marinade) so the spices really get into the meat, adding plenty of flavor. Nice thick pork chops are the best for making this recipe. Avoid flimsy ones and choose ones that are about an inch thick, or at least ¾ inch. They need to be cooked over a steady medium heat.
Medium means you should be able to hold your hand over the hot coals for 4 or 5 seconds max. Rib chops are better than center-cut because they have more fat and this keeps them juicy and moist, but you can use center-cut chops if you want, perhaps adding a little BBQ sauce on the side. The flavor you can expect is aromatic, spicy and special. Feel free to change the spices used, perhaps adding a little ancho chili or smoky chipotle, or leaving out anything you don’t have or don’t like. Using more or less of anything or leaving something out will not affect the texture at all, since it is a rub, so you don’t have to worry about that.
How to Make a Dry Rub
The rub is simply a combination of spices, and if you have spices in your cupboard you can make one. Either just make what you need or make a larger quantity and keep some for future recipes, labeling the package so you know what it is in. This spice rub can be used on beef or chicken. It is probably too heavy for most kinds of fish or seafood, but the good thing about dry rubs is once you have made a couple you can invent your own, adding various elements so you end up with the exact flavor you have been envisioning.
Making the recipe is very simple. In fact if you are cooking barbeque pork for the first time, this is a nice recipe to choose, because you cannot go wrong with it unless you under- or overcook the meat, and that is hard to do unless you get the heat on the grill really wrong, or do not check the pork has a tiny bit of pink in it before serving. The hand test will check your barbeque is the right heat and you will be able to see the pork change color.
Once you have combined the spices and allowed your pork to marinate, you can get the barbeque started. The marinating time can be overnight or 8 hours, as you prefer, but a minimum of one hour is recommended. Let the meat come back to room temperature before you put it on the barbeque, else it will ‘seize up’ because of going from cold to very hot and that will make it tougher. Letting meat come to room temperature before cooking it is always a good idea, so plan ahead and make sure you allow time for this. Thick chops will take around 20 minutes if the heat is medium.
- 6 bone-in pork rib chops, 10 oz each and ¾ to 1 inch thick
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- 3 tablespoons sweet paprika (Spanish if possible)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- Vegetable oil spray, as needed
- Combine the onion powder, cayenne, garlic powder, sugar, chili, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Rub this spice mix all over the pork chops and put them in a big Ziploc bag.
- Seal the bag and refrigerator them for between 1 and 8 hours.
- Preheat the barbeque for a medium heat.
- Leave the chops at room temperature for 20 minutes, then spray them with oil.
- Barbeque them for a total of 18 to 20 minutes, flipping twice.
- You can rotate them ¼ turn if you want crisscross grill marks.
- When there is just a little pink at the center, the chops are ready to serve.
Pork chops are flavored with spices before being cooked on the barbeque until they are done to juicy perfection. These bone-in chops will be succulent and pair nicely with potato salad, coleslaw or another creamy side dish to contrast with the spice. The photo shows what they look like halfway through the cooking time. You will still see some blood although the grill marks should be visible on one side. It is best to flip these and do ¼ turns so you get crisscross lines, although parallel ones like in the photo are also fine.
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