Why You Should Make Grilled Pork Chops This Summer
The sun is out, the days are hot, and everything is in bloom. You know what that means … It’s grilling season! And as someone who complies with diets like Paleo, AIP-, and Whole30-friendly, this might be my favorite time of year because you can throw together a simple, delicious meal with minimal effort and clean-up.
Cooking meat over fire is the way it all started, and it has held strong to this day as one of the best cooking methods. It just infuses so much delectable smokey and charred flavor into whatever you’re grilling. It’s a health-conscious eater’s dream!
Just getting started on AIP (or need a refresh)?
Here's an easy 1-week meal plan using some of my most popular AIP recipes to make it stress-free and delicious.
If you don’t have a grill, or don’t like to grill, no need to fret! You can make this Grilled Pork Chops recipe on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet or on your griddle. This is actually how I prefer to make this dish because it only yields two servings. If I were to double or triple it for meal-prepping, the grill’s the way to go.
Pineapple Salsa: You only need diced pineapple, diced red onion, roughly chopped fresh cilantro, and the juice from half of a lime to make this bright, delicious pineapple “salsa!” (No tomatoes!)
Pork Chops: Don’t skimp on quality here! Opt for center-cut, pasture-raised, bone-in pork chops.
Sea Salt and Black Pepper: To taste, but be generous. (Omit black pepper for AIP)
Nonstick Oil or Oil Spray: I recommend using avocado or extra virgin olive oil.
How To Make Pineapple Salsa
Combine diced pineapple, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl, and mix well. Adjust flavors as desired, or puree in a blender or food processor if you prefer a sauce over a salsa (aka smooth rather than chunky). Allow to rest in the fridge or at room temp until time to cook and serve so the flavors can marinate.
Prep the Pork Chops: Rinse and pat the pork chops dry thoroughly, then season each side with salt and pepper generously. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil over both pork chops, and gently rub on all sides to massage the meat and work in the seasonings.
Cook the Chops: Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat, and spray oil in a single coating. Once it’s well-heated, add pork chops in a single layer to sear and cook on each side for 6-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pork chops. Optionally, you can sear the chops on their fatty sides for more char and faux-grilled flavor. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the pork chops’ internal temperature is at least 145 degrees. Once done, turn the heat off, and set pork chops aside to rest for 3-5 minutes.
Serve with Pineapple Salsa, and Enjoy: Pour a heaping tablespoon or more of the pineapple salsa over the pork chops, serve with lime wedges, and dig in!
How To Grill Pork Chops
If you want to make truly grilled pork chops, follow these simple steps:
Preheat your outdoor grill 20 minutes before you’re ready to cook, heat an outdoor grill. For a charcoal grill, arrange the lit coals over one half of the grill, and leave the other side empty. For a gas grill, heat all burners to high (at least 450°F).
Follow skillet instructions for rinsing, drying, and seasoning the pork chops.
Sear the chops over high heat. Place the chops on the hotter side of the grill, cover, and cook until grill marks appear on the bottom (no longer than 3 minutes per side; be careful not to overcook at this stage
Finish cooking the chops over medium heat on the cooler section of the grill. Cover, cook, and flip every few minutes until the thickest piece registers 145°F on an instant-read thermometer (about 4-7 minutes).
Add some herbs! Thyme, rosemary, or basil would be delicious with this simple grilled pork chops recipe and pair well with the pineapple salsa.
Spice it up by adding a half or whole diced jalapeño pepper to the pineapple salsa!
Make a big batch of salsa to keep in the fridge to snack on with plantain chips. You could also blend half of it to marinate the pork chops in before grilling, then save the chunkier other half for serving.
Turn the salsa into guacamoleby adding in some cubed or mashed avocado!
Serve these as tacos by slicing the pork chops and filling your favorite tortilla with them and the pineapple salsa! (Or make a taco salad by serving this over leafy greens.)
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Tips
Store leftover pork chops and pineapple salsa in separate containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freeze cooked and cooled pork chops in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. We did not test freezing the pineapple salsa, but it should hold up, although it may soften as it thaws.
Reheat thawed or chilled pork chops in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until warmed through (but not overcooked). Let pineapple salsa come to room temperature, or enjoy cold.
More Recipes To Try
If you enjoyed these Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa, then you’ll love these other warm weather recipes:
oil or oil spray(avocado or olive oil recommended)
1/4cupred oniondiced small
1-2tbspfresh cilantroroughly chopped
1/2lime (juiced)plus more for garnish
Make the salsa. Add diced pineapple, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice to a small bowl and mix well. Adjust flavors as desired or add to a food processor if you’d like it to be more saucy rather than chunky. Let it sit so the flavors can meld together.
Make the pork chops. Rinse and pat pork chops dry and liberally season each side with sea salt and pepper to taste, then drizzle extra virgin olive oil over both pork chops and gently rub on all sides.
Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, and spray oil in a single coating on the cast iron (alternatively just use 2 tsp of oil and swirl around – if u sing a cast iron with grates, spray will be the best). Once the pan is well-heated (you can check by sprinkling a little water to make sure it sizzles), add pork chops in a single layer to sear and cook on each side for 6-8 minutes (depending on the thickness). You can lightly cover the pan if it’s smoking.
You can optionally sear on the fatty sides as well for more char if you have a very thick cut for 30 seconds-1 minute towards the end. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the pork chops is at least 145f degrees, and once done, turn the heat off and set pork chops aside to rest for 3-5 minutes.
Pour a heaping tablespoon or more of the pineapple salsa over the pork chops and optionally serve with lime wedges.