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How to Tell When Grilled Pork Chops Are Done

It’s grilling season and I’m excited to share my top 3 methods for how to tell when grilled pork chops are done.

These tips are easy peasy and will help you cook up perfectly juicy pork chops every time. Let’s get started!

Grilled pork chops on a white plate with mustard sauce.

3 Simple Techniques To Tell If Pork Chops Are Done

Pork is a versatile meat that can be cooked in a variety of ways. When grilling pork chops, it’s important to cook them until they are done but not overcooked.

Here are three simple techniques to tell if pork chops are done.

The Temperature Test

Using a thermometer is the best way to determine if your pork chops are done cooking. The thermometer should be inserted into the thickest portion of the pork chop and should read at least 145°F.

This temperature will provide the pork chop with a springy, firm texture and the juices should run clear when you cut into it.

To ensure accurate temperature readings, use a digital meat thermometer as analog thermometers are less accurate. Additionally, make sure to measure away from the bone and if the cut is thinner than ¾”, test through the side.

Before serving, let the pork chops rest for at least 3 minutes as this allows the juices time to distribute for maximum flavor.

When testing pork chops, keep in mind that they should be cooked according to the following guidelines:

  • Medium Rare: 145-150° F
  • Medium: 150-155° F
  • Medium Well: 155-160° F
  • Well: 165° F

By using these guidelines and a thermometer, you can easily test your pork chops for the correct temperature and determine if it is done.

The Touch Test

When grilling pork chops, it is important to cook them to the desired doneness. The touch test can help determine if pork chops are done cooking.

To do this, you can use heat-resistant kitchen tongs or a spatula to press down on the meat. If the meat feels firm, it’s done.

The Nick-and-Peek Test

The Nick-and-Peek Test is a simple method of determining if pork chops are done. It involves cutting into the pork chop and inspecting it for signs of doneness.

To do the test insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the pork chop. If the juices that run out are clear, the pork chops are done. If the juices are still pink, the pork chops need to be cooked further.

What Internal Temp Should I Use for Grilled Pork Chops?

According to the USDA, the internal temperature you should use when grilling pork chops is 145° Fahrenheit. This temperature is safe for consumption and will ensure that your pork chops are cooked to perfection.

If you cook pork at a higher temperature, it will become tough and dry. To check if your pork chops have reached the correct temperature, use a digital instant-read meat thermometer.

Insert the thermometer probe into the center of the pork chop, taking care to avoid any bone, and hold it in place for a few seconds.

When the numbers hold steady at 145° Fahrenheit, the chops are ready to come off the grill.

How To Tell If Grilled Pork Is Done Without a Thermometer

Cooking pork without a thermometer can be tricky, but with a few tips and tricks, you can be sure that your chops will be cooked to perfection.

To tell if grilled pork is done without a thermometer, you can use the skewer test, touch test, juices test, and color test.

For the skewer test, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat and if it goes in with no resistance then the pork is done.

The touch test involves lightly pressing the surface of the meat and if it feels firm, then it is ready.

For the juices test, pierce the thickest part of the pork with a knife and if the juices run clear then it is cooked through.

Finally, the color test involves checking the color of the pork, which should be whitish with a very light pink color with no traces of red.

By using these four tests, you will be able to tell if your grilled pork is done without a thermometer.

You can also find out how to tell when grilled sausage is done if you are looking to grill other pork meats.

What color should pork chops be when they are done?

When it comes to determining if pork chops are done, color is not always the best indicator. A perfectly cooked pork chop should have a white interior with a hint of pink and a golden brown exterior.

When you grill pork chops, they should be white on the outside with grill marks. The juices should run clear when you cut into the meat, and if you make a small incision in the center, the meat should be white all the way through.

Keep in mind that some pork will remain slightly pink even when it is cooked to the correct internal temperature.

Lastly, it is important to use a thermometer to ensure that pork chops are cooked to 145°F.

How Long To Grill Pork Chops

How long to grill pork chops will vary depending on the thickness of the cut, whether you are grilling on a charcoal grill or gas grill, and what temperature you are grilling at.

The most important thing to remember when you grill pork chops are that you let them cook to an internal temperature of at least 145°F before you remove them from the grill.

For boneless pork chops that are 1 inch thick, you should expect to grill them for 7 to 12 minutes total on the grill.

Move the pork chops to the medium heat zone and grill until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F on an instant-read thermometer

Tips On Grilling Perfect Pork Chops

Grilling is an easy way to achieve flavorful pork chops. Here are a few tips and tricks to get juicy, succulent pork chops each time.

First, for thicker chops, sear the meat first on the grill. This adds flavor and helps to lock in the juices.

Next, lower the temperature and continue grilling until the pork reaches the internal temperature of 145°F.

To achieve juicy chops without drying them out, try adding spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary. These will help to dial up the flavor of the meat.

By keeping the above tips in mind, you can guarantee the perfect grilled pork chop every time. Enjoy!

Interested in knowing how to tell when grilled lobster is done, check out my post that will tell you how!

7 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Grilling Pork Chops

What are the biggest mistakes to avoid when grilling pork chops?

  1. Grilling pork chops over direct, high heat.
  2. Not patting the meat dry with paper towels before adding them to the grill.
  3. Not using thick-cut pork chops.
  4. Not allowing the grill to preheat before adding the pork chops.
  5. Cooking the pork chops for too long.
  6. Not using indirect heat to better control the cook.
  7. Not allowing the pork chops to rest and reabsorb their juices before serving.


Grilled pork chops are a delicious and popular dish, but they can be tough to cook perfectly. Now that you know the three easy tests you can use to determine when your pork chops are ready you can enjoy perfectly grilled pork chops for your next meal.


When grilling pork chops, the best option is to use indirect heat. This will give you better control of the cook, preventing the chops from drying out or becoming too tough.

The grill temperature should be between 350° to 450°F and the grill should remain closed to keep the heat in. This will ensure the pork chops are cooked through and remain juicy.

To help ensure that your pork chops are cooked through and juicy on the inside, try using indirect heat and closing the grill when cooking.

This will trap the heat, preventing the exterior from burning before the pork chops have had a chance to cook through.

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