Pork Chops with Port Cherry Sauce

Pork Chops with Port Cherry Sauce

I love a good pork chop, with the emphasis on “good!” Try as I have, nothing beats a pork chop grilled in the backyard on my Weber.

A pork chop can be tricky. Time is essential to get in range, and an instant read thermometer is key to a perfect cooked temperature. While pork can be grilled to less than 145° F, going greater is a recipe for a tough and dry piece of meat.

The lean quality of pork makes it an excellent candidate for dry-brining. Pre-salting the pork ahead of time allows the meat to retain moisture resulting in a more flavorful and juicy chop. It takes a little bit of planning, but the result is well worth it.

I’m also a sucker for a great sauce, and the texture of a pork chop is primed for something bold, in this case, a simple port cherry sauce.

It’s no wonder my favorite pork chops are found right out my backdoor.

Grilled Pork Chops with Port Cherry Sauce
By Mike Lang

2 bone-in center pork chops, about 1-inch thick

2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper

Olive oil

1 can sweet dark cherries w/syrup
¼ cup port
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Place pork chops on a wire rack. Salt both sides and refrigerate loosely covered for at least 2 to 4 hours.

2. Before grilling, in a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, port, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, while occasionally stirring, then reduce heat and simmer. With a spoon, be sure to burst the cherries.

3. Season the pork chops with freshly cracked black pepper. Brush with olive oil.

4. Prepare a two-zone fire and grill over direct medium heat, around 325° to 375°F.

5. For a 1-inch thick chop, grill approximately 8-10 minutes, flipping once. Grill until the internal temperature reaches 140°F with an instant-read thermometer.

6. Remove from the grill, loosely tent the chops with aluminum foil, and allow to rest 5 minutes.

7. Serve with the sauce.



What are your thoughts? (2)


mark s

you mention a two-zone fire. Do you cook the chops over direct heat or brown and move to cooler side? thank you


Mike Lang

Hi Mark - Great question. While these chops can be grilled over direct heat, I always like to have an indirect area to act as a "safe" spot in case the chops exterior cook too fast over the direct coals. I hope this answers your question!

Grill on!


Lou E

My preferred method of grilling chops requires a chop an inch thick or more, like an Iowa Chop. Placed on the grill standing up with the flat bone on the grates and closer to the fire. This allows the bone to heat more thoroughly and cooks the meat from the outside as well as from the inside with the super heated bone. A remote thermometer helps to insure proper interior temperature. You cannot cook on a grill by time alone. Ike


Mike Lang

Hi Lou - Great process and great tips! You are so right about the importance of temperature and wow, now I'm in the mood for a pork chop!



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