Grilled Pork Chop Marinade

4 mins read

This Mediterranean-inspired pork chop marinade with lemon, garlic, oregano, and rosemary adds a tangy flavor to tender and moist bone-in or boneless grilled pork chops.


The Best Pork Chop Marinade Recipe

If my husband had his druthers, we’d be eating bone-in pork chops every single night of the week. Next to a ribeye steak, it’s his favorite protein. And when they’re marinated in this quick and flavorful marinade recipe, who could blame him? Not me. I’m just happy to follow his lead on this grilling ride.

This pork chop marinade makes tender, juicy, and delicious grilled pork chops every time. Even if you don’t have a grill it’s the one to use. The recipe is a riff on my Pork Souvlaki recipe and Greek Chicken Marinade, and follows the cooking technique in my Best Juicy Grilled Pork Chops. The Mediterranean-flavored marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dried oregano, and rosemary with kosher salt and pepper takes mere minutes to make. Marinate the pork for up to two hours in the fridge, or let it sit for 2-3 days before grilling because the longer it sits the better the flavor gets.


Mediterranean Pork Chop Marinade Ingredients

  • Pork chops—My husband and I like thick-cut, bone-in pork chops where the bone lends extra flavor. This marinade is excellent with pork tenderloin or boneless pork chops too.
  • Lemon—I like Meyer lemons best because they’re extra juicy and a little sweeter than regular lemons. Use the zest of one lemon and the juice of three for this recipe.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic—Choose plump cloves to infuse the best flavor
  • Dried oregano—Dried oregano imparts more flavor for half the amount of fresh herbs. If using fresh, chop it or smash it and double the amount
  • Dried rosemary—Same philosophy as dried oregano. Before adding, crush dried or fresh rosemary between your fingers to release its oils for more flavor
  • Kosher salt—The salt tenderizes the pork so don’t skimp.
  • Freshly ground black pepper—Or use crushed peppercorns or a healthy pinch of crushed red pepper flakes instead

How to Marinate Pork Chops

Marinades require three things: Acid, oil and flavorings. For this marinade, the acid comes lemon juice and zest. The oil is a good quality olive oil, with dried oregano, rosemary and garlic, and freshly ground black pepper rounding out the flavor builders. Kosher salt is a classic tenderizer and keeps the meat juicy.

Use a fork to tenderize the meat. I use a dinner fork to poke a few holes in the meat for the mariade to seep into. You don’t have to go crazy but it does help it infuse.

Never marinade meat in a metal container. The metal can react with the acid so always use glass or take the easy route and place pork chops and marinade in a freezer bag. And ALWAYS marinate in the refrigerator.

How Long to Marinate Pork Chops

I marinate the pork in a glass baking dish or gallon freezer bag for at least two hours but preferably overnight. Sometimes they sit in the fridge for 2-3 days as long as the pork is marinated well before its expiration date.


How to Grill Pork Chops

Pork chops cook relatively quickly on the grill. Depending on how thick the cut, the pork chop grill time will be anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.

Whether grilling with gas or over charcoal, make sure your grill grates are hot. The pork chop grill temp should be between 350° to 450°F. Hot grill grates ensure food doesn’t stick, and with lean pork chops, the sticking factor can be higher.

If you don’t have an outdoor grill, use a grill pan on the stove.

How Long Do You Cook Pork Chops

According to recent changes in the USDA guidelines, it is safe to eat pork cooked medium rareCook the pork chops to an internal temperature of 140°F and still barely pink inside, then rest for about 5 minutes for the residual heat will continue to cook and raise the internal temperature.

For 1-inch thick boneless pork chops, cook for 8-12 minutes over direct heat turning every 3-4 minutes or until well grill marked with the lid closed. Add another 5 minutes resting time for the juices to set in the meat.


What to Do With Leftover Marinade

Discard this leftover marinade or boil it before using as a baste. Since this is an oil-based marinade, you can cook it after its mingled with the pork and use as a baste. Add it to a small saucepan and bring to a boil for a minute or two to cook out any bacteria before using. Discard once you’re done.

Does Marinated Pork Last Longer?

Pork has a shelf life of 2-3 days and marinating doesn’t extend it’s expiration date. Although, I have found the longer I can marinate it, in my opinion the better it tastes. But don’t chance anything if you’re unsure.

Other Cuts of Pork to Marinate

This marinade doesn’t have to be limited only to pork chops. No way! Infuse the love! Use bone-in or boneless pork chops, try it on pork tenderloin, or cut pork into 1-inch chunks and skewer like souvlaki.


What to Serve With Marinated Pork Chops

More Pork Recipe Ideas

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