Jerk Sauce Grilled Pork Chops are the spicy, smoky, tropical grilled meat of your dreams! You’ll love the homemade jerk sauce, spiked with habanero peppers, allspice, garlic, ginger, and lime.
Juicy Grilled Pork Chops with Jamaican Jerk Sauce
Sometimes you just need to spice things up. Break away from the same-old, same-old. You know? When I feel that way, I like to make recipes like this, full of bold tropical flavor and lots of heat. 🔥
Although you can definitely dial down the heat if you need to. More on that later.
But, right now, go grab some pork chops, some peppers, and some spices, and fire up that grill! It’s time to make jerk sauce grilled pork chops! These are absolutely mouthwatering, you guys, and guaranteed to wake up your tastebuds.
What Is Jerk Spice?
Jamaican cooking is famous for many delicious dishes, but “jerk” chicken and pork might just be the most well-known. And for good reason! Jerk dishes use a super-flavorful and spicy combination of hot peppers and allspice, along with various other ingredients, like garlic and scallions.
Jerk pork and jerk chicken recipes are usually smoked in some way, whether in pits, special half-barrels, wood-burning stoves, or on a grill.
Oh! OH! If you’re ever in need of 👉 Jamaican Jerk Seasoning 👈 grab my amazing recipe!
This dish gets its special kick from the homemade sauce, which is complex and layered with lots of fragrant, savory, and spicy ingredients.
- Hot Peppers: You will need two Habanero peppers, coarsely chopped. You can also use Scotch bonnet peppers. Either way, wear gloves so that you don’t burn your hands.
- Green Onions: Chop up ¼ cup of green onions, both the green and white parts.
- Fresh Garlic: Chop about 3 cloves of garlic.
- Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice adds a fresh, vibrant note to this spicy recipe.
- Brown Sugar: Two tablespoons of brown sugar add a touch of sweetness.
- Thyme: The earthy flavor of dried thyme goes perfectly with pork.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin or regular is fine.
- Vinegar: I use a splash of white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar would be great as well.
- Soy Sauce: This packs a punch of salty umami flavor. Low sodium soy sauce is my go-to!
- Fresh Ginger: Peel and mince enough ginger to make 1 teaspoon.
- Allspice: This robust, clove-like spice really adds a ton of character to the dish and gives it its distinctive “jerk” flavor.
- Nutmeg: Like allspice, this is part of what makes the recipe spicy and “sweet.”
- Pork Chops: You’ll need four bone-in pork loin or rib chops, each about ¾-inch thick.
How to Make Jerk Sauce Grilled Pork Chops
Grilling brings out the natural sweetness of the pork, as well as the brown sugar. It also adds excellent smoky note and helps the chops cook quickly for maximum tenderness.
- Make the Jerk Sauce. Using a food processor or a blender, combine chopped peppers, green onions, garlic, lime juice, brown sugar, dried thyme, olive oil, white vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Process until smooth.
- Marinate the Pork Chops. Remove half of the sauce, put it in a container, and refrigerate it for serving. Place the four pork chops in a large, resealable bag. Pour or spoon the remaining sauce in with the pork chops, seal the bag, and massage the sauce all around the pork chops to coat. Refrigerate the chops for 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.
- Prepare to Grill. When it’s time to cook, remove the pork chops from the fridge and let them sit on the counter while the grill preheats. Preheat an outdoor grill to 400˚F (about medium to medium-high heat). Rub the grill grates with oil. Remove the pork chops from the marinade, and discard the marinade.
- Cook the Pork Chops on the Grill. Grill the pork chops, covered, for 7 to 10 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches 145˚F. Check the internal temperature and avoid overcooking. Pork chops get tough if overcooked. Please use an instant read meat thermometer to check for doneness. Thicker pork chops will need longer time to cook through.
- Enjoy! Let the cooked pork chops stand for about 5 to 8 minutes before cutting. Serve with the reserved sauce and lime wedges.
Tips for Success
Keep reading for my best tips and tricks for grilling these pork chops right! I’m sure you’re going to adore this easy and mouthwatering main course!
- Safety First: When working with hot peppers and chilies, it’s important to remember that the oil can be irritating to the skin and especially to the eyes. Even for jalapeños, it’s a good idea to use kitchen gloves. When you’re done, wash your hands gently in cool soapy water. Discard the gloves, and be sure not to touch your face or eyes. It burns. Don’t ask me how I know. 👀
- Mild Option: Want the flavor without the heat? You’re not alone! 😄 I recommend using green chilies or diced fresh bell peppers to get a “peppery” flavor without burning your mouth.
- Which Chop? Honestly, any pork chop will do as long as it’s thick cut (thin chops tend to dry out faster). However, a good rule of thumb to remember is that bone in is typically more flavorful, and rib meat is typically more tender than loin.
Here are some easy and delicious side dishes to complement your jerk sauce pork chops! Inspired by classic Jamaican cuisine, but easy enough for a beginner, these are sure to please!
- Coleslaw: This cabbage-based salad is a refreshing side to go with jerk sauce and pork chops. Classic Southern Coleslaw is bright and easy!
- Red Beans and Rice: “Rice and Peas” is the classic Jamaican side to go with jerk pork, and those in the know say that Louisiana Red Beans and Rice is an easy American option with a similar vibe.
- Fruit Salad: To contrast the spicy heat of this dish, a cool and colorful Melon Pineapple Fruit Salad with Berries is just the thing.
How To Grill Pork Chops in a Grill Pan
- Preheat a stovetop grill pan over medium heat. Lightly brush the pan with olive oil.
- Add the pork chops to the hot grill pan and cook until the pork is a nice golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers at 145°F, about 13 to 15 minutes. Turn the pork chops over halfway through the cooking time.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store your leftover pork chops, place them in food storage bags or shallow containers, and refrigerate for up to three days.
- To reheat, place the chops in a covered skillet over low heat, and cook until they reach a safe internal temperature of 145˚F.
JERK SAUCE GRILLED PORK CHOPS
- 2 habanero peppers or scotch bonnet peppers, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped green onions, green and white parts
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 bone-in pork loin or rib chops, about ¾-inch thick
- lime wedges, for serving
- In a food processor combine chopped peppers, green onions, garlic, lime juice, brown sugar, dried thyme, olive oil, white vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt.
- Process until smooth.
- Remove half of the sauce and put in a container; refrigerate.
- Put the pork chops in a large resealable bag.
- Add the remaining sauce to the pork chops; seal the bag and massage the sauce all around the pork chops.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours. You can marinade them for up to 8 hours.
- When ready to cook, remove pork chops from the fridge and let sit on counter while the grill preheats.
- Preheat an outdoor grill to 400˚F; about medium to medium-high heat.
- Rub the grill grates with oil.
- Remove pork chops from marinade; discard marinade.
- Grill the pork chops, covered, for 7 to 10 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches 145˚F. Check the internal temperature and DO NOT overcook. Use an instant read meat thermometer to check for doneness. Thicker pork chops will need longer to cook through.
- Remove pork chops from grill and let stand for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Serve pork chops with the reserved sauce and lime wedges.