Fire up the grill for this recipe of luscious marinated pork chops perfectly grilled then topped with a tangy, mustard-based barbecue sauce that is hugely popular in South Carolina. A summertime must!
Grilling season is here, my friends. Can you smell it? The smokers wafting in the back yards, the grills firing up, the burgers and chops sizzling on the grates. I dream of this stuff and now that we're here, I'm smashing through the week with a simple and old favorite - The Pork Chop. Dang! I love a good pork chop.
My mother used to fry up pork chops in a skillet with nothing but a bit of oil, salt and pepper. I always loved them as a kid and took that love with me into adulthood. I prepare them differently, but they still deliver all the flavor you can toss at them.
Today we're throwing MUSTARD at them. Mustard and pork are best buds. I'm using it in both the marinade AND in one of my favorite sauces, South Carolina Barbecue Sauce, which uses mustard as a base. Mustard-based barbecue sauce is tied back to the Germans who populated South Carolina in the 1700s. Germans are fond of their mustards, which accounts for its early introduction, but its overall flavor is the reason for its enduring popularity.
Let's walk through the recipe, shall we?
Start off by making your barbecue sauce. It's tough, friends. Ready? Whisk together yellow mustard with honey, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and a bit of hot sauce. Refrigerate. Done! Easy, right? No cooking there, just a bit of whisking. Looks pretty, right?
Next, let's create the marinade. Whisk together yellow mustard with white wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne and a bit chopped cilantro. Wow, so much whisking. Smother the pork chops with the marinade and let it marinate a couple hours in the fridge. You can go longer if you'd like. The marinade will tenderize the meat a bit and will infuse the chops with flavor.
Fire up the grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Pop the pork chops on the grill and grill them a couple minutes with the lid closed to keep the heat inside. Flip and cook another minute or 2 until they are done to your liking. Pork chops cook up rather quickly.
Finish them off with extra South Carolina Barbecue Sauce and you're good to go! In heaven! Pork chop heaven, that is. Serve with a potato side, like this dish - Smoked Potato-Avocado Potato Salad. Ahh, I can smell the summer here already. I hope you enjoy them!
NOTE: I did this same recipe for Chile Pepper Magazine last year. I've done many features for them. If you're interested in Chile Pepper Magazine, get yourself a subscription. I've added a link to the right where you can pick one up at Amazon (affiliate link, my friends!). Highly recommended. I am a regular contributor.
Grilled Pork Chops with South Carolina Barbecue Sauce - Recipe
- 4 1-inch thick pork chops (I used center cut pork loin chops)
- FOR THE MARINADE
- ½ cup yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
- FOR THE CAROLINA BBQ SAUCE
- ¾ cup yellow mustard
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Dash of hot sauce
- Prepare your South Carolina Barbecue Sauce first by whisking all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a jar and cover. Refrigerate at least one day to let the flavors mingle.
- Next, whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
- Add pork chops to a wide flat dish and smother them with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Heat your grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates.
- Add the pork chops to the grill and cover. Grill for 2 minutes.
- Flip the pork chops and grill another minute. Get those nice grill marks!
- Reduce the heat to medium-low (or, if using charcoal, move the chops to less direct heat) and mop a bit of the barbecue sauce over the chops.
- Continue to grill another couple minutes, adding more sauce if you’d like, until the internal temp of the chops are 145 degrees F.
- Remove the chops and let rest a few minutes. Top with warmed South Carolina Barbecue Sauce and serve.
I hope you enjoy them! Let me know how yours turn out. Have fun!