These Traeger pork chops are a total game changer (and don’t worry: if you don’t have a Traeger grill I’ll show you how to make them on a gas grill!). With just a couple of easy techniques, you can make perfectly grilled thick cut pork chops every single time. Be sure to scroll down to get my favorite sides and sauces to pair with the chops!

Grilled thick cut pork chops resting on a sheet tray.

Traeger pork chops recipe

As I mentioned in this easy smoked baby back ribs post, I have a serious love for my Traeger pellet smoker. The consistent heat is great not only for smoking, but also for grilling. This is a foolproof recipe, whether you’re using a Traeger OR gas grill. 

Grilled pork chop slices on a plate, topped with chimichurri sauce.

Grilled thick cut pork chops

Unlike thin pork chops, which can easily dry out on the grill, thick chops (1 – 1 1/2-inches thick) retain their moisture and rich flavor. The secret to grilling thick chops—whether on a Traeger or on a gas grill—is to brine them first. A brine is a simple solution of water, salt, and in this case, a touch of sugar. The pork chops absorb the brine, seasoning the meat all the way down to the bone (not just on the surface!). The brine also gives the meat a higher water content and more tender texture, meaning you end up with juicier, more succulent chops. 

Thick cut pork chops on butcher paper.

Brine for pork chops

Making a brine is as easy as stirring together cold water, salt and sugar.

  • Stir together 6 cups of cold water, 6 tablespoons of kosher salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the pork chops, and refrigerate them for 1 hour (it’s important not to brine the chops for longer than 2 hours max, otherwise the meat can turn mushy.)
Process shot showing hand mixing brine ingredients.
  • Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse them quickly, then pat them dry. Let them sit at room temperature while you preheat your grill. 
Process shot showing thick cut pork chops brining in a clear container.

How should I season my pork chops?

Before grilling the chops, season them them lightly with salt and pepper. You can stop there, or you can apply your favorite spice or herb rub. I love rubbing the pork chops with a mix of chopped hardy herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and sage. Or you can try a store-bought rub like this. The sky is the limit!

Process shot showing pork chops sprinkled with chopped herbs.

BBQ Traeger pork chops

To make barbecue pork chops, brush them with barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve the chops with more sauce for drizzling.

How to cook pork chops on the Traeger

Preheat the Traeger to 450˚F. Place the pork chops directly on the grill grates. Cover the grill, and cook for 12 minutes. Flip the chops over, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes longer, or until the internal temperature reads 145˚F (a good meat thermometer is a must!).

Process shot showing bone in pork chops cooking on a Traeger grill.

How to cook pork chops on a gas grill

Preheat a gas grill to high. When the grill is hot, reduce one of the burners to medium-low to create a two-zone fire. Place the pork chops on the hot part of the grill. Cover and cook until grill marks appear on the bottom of the chops, about 3 minutes. Flip the chops over and cook until grill marks form on the other side, about 2-3 minutes longer. Transfer the chops to the cooler side of the grill. Cover and cook, flipping the chops once or twice, until the internal temperature reads 145˚F, about 5-8 minutes longer depending on the thickness of the chops. 

Grilled thick cut pork chops on a sheet tray with tongs.

How do I serve grilled pork chops?

The pork chops are delicious on their own, but I love to top them with a simple green sauce, or to pile them with these slow roasted peppers and onions. You could also go for your favorite barbecue sauce.

The chops are fantastic alongside grits, creamy mashed potatoes or this simple sweet potato souffle!

Close up of a grilled pork chop on a serving board.

FAQ

At what temperature are pork chops done?

Pork chops should cook to an internal temperature of 145˚F. Test the meat at the thickest part, being careful not to touch the bone.

How long should pork chops rest?

Pork chops should rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute and the muscle fibers to relax. 

How long does it take to cook pork chops at 450 degrees?

It takes 25-30 minutes to cook thick-cut pork chops at 450˚F.

Overhead close up of a sliced pork chop on a plate drizzled with green sauce.

Tips:

  • If you use a spice rub that contains salt, don’t season the chops after brining.
  • These gallon containers are really handy for brining and marinating meat. They’re also great for storing food in the fridge or pantry. 
  • A good meat thermometer is essential. I LOVE my instant-read Thermapen.
  • It’s important not to brine the chops for longer than 2 hours maximum, otherwise the meat can turn mushy. 
  • Be sure to clean your grill grates before using, especially if using a gas grill (if using a gas grill, oil the grates as well). I like this bristle-free grill brush, which won’t shed metal like other brushes.
  • The pork chops are fantastic alongside grits, creamy mashed potatoes or this simple sweet potato souffle!

What to serve with pork chops:

Other grilled recipes you might like:

Get the recipe!

Grilled Thick Cut Pork Chops (BEST Traeger Pork Chops!)

These are the ULTIMATE pork chops, and they’re a cinch to make! Brining the chops before grilling is essential—it ensures that they stay ultra juicy and flavorful to the bone. If you’d like, you can rub the pork chops with an herb or spice mix before grilling. I love to drizzle the cooked chops with this easy green sauce or to top them with these slow roasted peppers and onions. For barbecue chops, brush them with barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking. The pork chops are fantastic alongside grits, creamy mashed potatoes or this simple sweet potato souffle!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Brining Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled pork chops, grilled thick cut pork chops, Traeger pork chops
Servings: 3 -4 people

Ingredients

Brine

  • 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) cold water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt (6 tablespoons total)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1-1 1/2 inch thick bone-in pork chops

Seasonings

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hardy herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and/or sage OR your favorite spice rub (optional)

Instructions

Brine the pork chops

  • In a large bowl or container, stir together the water, salt and sugar until dissolved. Add the pork chops and refrigerate for 1 hour. Take the chops out of the brine, rinse them quickly, then pat them dry. Let the chops sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes while you preheat your grill (see below).
  • Before grilling, season the pork chops lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chops with chopped herbs or your favorite spice rub, if using, patting the spices/herbs to adhere.

How to grill the chops on a Traeger

  • Preheat the Traeger to 450˚F (clean the grates as needed).
  • Place the seasoned chops directly on the grill grates (no oil is necessary). Cook 12 minutes. Flip the chops over and cook 12-15 minutes longer, or until the internal temperature reads 145˚F.

How to grill the chops on a gas grill

  • Preheat a gas grill to high (clean and oil the grates as needed).
  • When the grill is hot, reduce one of the burners to medium-low to create a two-zone fire. Place the pork chops on the hot part of the grill. Cover and cook until grill marks appear on the bottom of the chops, about 3 minutes. Flip the chops over and cook until grill marks form on the other side, about 2-3 minutes longer. Transfer the chops to the cooler side of the grill. Cover and cook, flipping the chops once or twice, until the internal temperature reads 145˚F, about 4-8 minutes longer depending on the thickness of the chops.

Let the meat rest, then serve

  • Transfer the chops to a cutting board and tent them lightly with foil. Let them rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve the chops on their own or with your favorite sauce (see below)!

Notes

Tips:
  • If you use a spice rub that contains salt, don’t season the chops after brining.
  • These gallon containers are really handy for brining and marinating meat. They’re also great for storing food in the fridge or pantry. 
  • It’s important not to brine the chops for longer than 2 hours maximum, otherwise the meat can turn mushy. 
  • A good meat thermometer is essential. I LOVE my instant-read Thermapen.
  • Be sure to clean your grill grates before using, especially if using a gas grill (if using a gas grill, oil the grates as well). I like this bristle-free grill brush, which won’t shed metal like other brushes.
  • The pork chops are delicious on their own, but I love to drizzle them with a simple green sauce, or to pile them with these slow roasted peppers and onions. You could also go for your favorite barbecue sauce.

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