Thank you National Pork Board and Smith’s Grocery for sponsoring this post and keeping it free for my readers. My love for pork and all opinions are, as always, my own. #GrillPork
Sweet and sour pork chops, grilled to perfection and topped with a grilled tropical salsa. The perfect family friendly main dish for a BBQ or get together.
Grilling season is in full swing at our house. We have already gone through half a propane tank, and I love grilling! Love it. From veggies to meats, and even fruits. One of my absolute favorite things to make is pork!
It is juicy, flavorful, and a perfect meat to grill. That is, if you do it right! But don’t worry, I’ll teach you!
We have a family reunion coming up, and I am going to crash the grill at the party with pork! And I am going to share all the fun details with you via video!
I have been recipe testing with pork chops from Smith’s (A Kroger banner store) to find the perfect recipe to serve my extended family. Kroger provides flavorful recipes and tips for wowing family and friends with amazing recipes when you crash the grill with pork. In fact, they even offer weekly deals and recipes at PorkBeinspired.com/
Anyway, back to my reunion, because there will be lots of kids I thought something sweet would be a hit. I know with my kids I can’t go wrong with sweet. After trying a few different options I ended up with a sweet and sour sauce, and topped the chops with this grilled salsa for even more fun flavors. But I may change my mind before the party. For now I will share this tasty option, and you will just have to check back in a few weeks to see what I serve at the reunion.
You guys, this recipe rocks! The sweet and sour sauce tastes amazing, and by brining my chops, they stayed so moist and tender!
Brining, and knowing how to properly grill pork made a huge difference in how well this recipe turned out, so I am going to share some of my tips with you.
Let’s talk about brining for a minute. Brining pork will help it be more flavorful and succulent. It offers a simple way to really bring your pork up a notch. If you have ever run into the problem of dried out meat, especially pork or poultry, you may want to consider brining. A light brine can help keep your pork moist and flavorful after grilling. You just have to be careful not to make it too salty.
Lucky for me, this recipe counteracts the saltiness with a sweet flavor, and the grilled fruit salsa just gives even more distinction in flavors. Just be careful because once brined, the pork cooks faster, so it is best to use a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat or you might end up with burned meat. This is a good practice not only to insure safe cooking, but also because every person’s grill heats differently, and this can help you gauge how long to cook for.
Next, make sure your grill is hot, and your meat is dry. This will help you get a nice brown on your meat, and it will lift off the grates more easily, so it does not rip or tear. You want your grate temperature to be about 400 degrees before you put your pork on. And make sure the pork is dry so it can brown instead of steam.
Don’t Move It
I recently heard a saying, “Where it hits, it sits” and I say make it part of your grilling routine. Resist the temptation to flip it and move it around a lot. Instead, wait for the browning to occur so it lifts fairly easily, and can be moved without resistance. Then flip. This will help it stay juicier, because you will lose less moisture because you won’t be squeezing it out, and it will give you a nice brown without tearing the meat.
Not you, the pork chop! If you feel like cooking naked go for it, but I am referring to the chops. Wait to dress your pork until after it is cooked. It is tempting to dress your pork chops with sauces and rubs before grilling, but unless you like the flavor of burn, don’t do it. When grilling, sugars, which are found in most sauces and rubs, are going to burn faster than other ingredients. Sugar starts to burn at 350 degrees. You want your grill grate heated to about 400 degrees, which means that if you put sugared sauces or rubs on your meats before grilling, you are almost guaranteed to get a nice burn on it before the meat is cooked through, which, let’s face it…does not taste good.
In this recipe, you wait to add the sweet and sour sauce until the meat is almost all the way cooked, and just cook the sauce a minute or two, in order to melt the sugars and get that crystallized sugar, not burnt sugar, flavor. Trust me on this one!
Let it Rest
Lastly, to get the best results, you remove the pork chop from the grill before it is cooked all the way. Then let it rest in a holding pan (like a foil pan or plate that is covered), to finish cooking off of direct heat. How will you know when it is done? An instant read thermometer is a good idea. Check the internal temperature, and if it is where you want it, it is done. For me that was about 10 minutes of resting time.
This is great for insuring you don’t over-cook your meat, but it is also great for keeping it moist and tender, if you cut into it right away, all the juices will run out. But if you let it rest, they will have a chance to get absorbed back in, and thus your meat will be nice and juicy!
Okay, now that you know the perfect way to grill a bone in pork chop, let’s get to this awesome recipe:
Sweet and Sour Grilled Pork Chips with Tropical Salsa
- 4-6 Bone in Pork Chops 1 inch thick
- 1 cup Grilled Tropical Salsa
- 2 cups water
- 4 Tbs Kosher Salt
- 2 Cups Pineapple Juice
Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 Tbs Ketchup
- 1/2 cup vinegar white distilled
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- a pinch of red chili pepper flakes optional
- Combine brine ingredients in a saucepan, bring to boil, and stir until salt dissolves.
- Let cool, then put in a zipper bag with pork chops and let brine for 6-8 hours if possible, or at least 1 hour minimum.
- Mix together sweet and sour sauce ingredients.
- Heat grill to a medium-high heat
- Rinse pork chops, and pat dry
- Cook on grill heated to 400 degrees for 4-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness of chop
- Using a brush, brush sweet and sour sauce on chops, and cook an additional minute per side or until meat reaches 135 degrees internal temperature
- Remove from grill, cover with foil, and let rest for about 10 minutes, meat will continue to cook during this time, when it reaches 145 degrees internal temp it is ready to serve
- Top each chop with 1/4 cup grilled tropical salsa and serve!
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.