When you think tailgate, you probably think beer and grilling burgers and dogs, not usually pork chops. Your tailgate meal can be so much more. Here are a few fun, delicious pork chop recipes to change up your tailgate menu and satisfy everyone at the game. These aren’t just for Sunday dinner at home recipes.
These pork chop recipes pair well with traditional tailgate sides, like coleslaw or potato salad. You may want to try grilled peaches or pineapple to serve with the grilled meat. Whether you’re looking for ideas for the guys at the game or something for the whole family, we have the tailgate pork chop recipes for you.
Tailgating with Pork Chops
Mike Ditka’s Official Tailgater’s Grilled Chops
You will need:
- 8 pork chops, roughly 1 in thick
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup soy sauce
- ½ cup of Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 cups orange juice
- 2 to 3 Tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
- ½ cup of honey
First, you need to make your marinade. To do so, whisk together the garlic, Dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, honey, orange juice, and soy sauce.
Then you’ll coat your chops with the marinade and leave refrigerated overnight. The meat should marinate at least 12 hours, but 24 hours is even better if you have the time.
On game day, season the marinated pork with salt and pepper. Then grill for 5 to 6 minutes each side.
Red Chimichurri Grilled Chops
This chimichurri sauce from Grilling Outdoor Recipes is a perfect marinade for preparing your chops at the tailgate.
What you will need:
- 2 cups Italian parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped oregano leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
- 2 ½ Tbsp sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¾ extra virgin olive oil
How to make:
Combine all chimichurri ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor. Finely chop ingredients, then slowly add the olive oil with the food processor running.
Set aside ½ cup of the chimichurri sauce for serving with the grilled meat and use the remainder to coat the pork meat thoroughly, on all sides. Let the chops marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours minimum or overnight.
Remove the meat from the marinade and remove excess. Allow the marinated meat to sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
Grill the meat 2 minutes each side on high heat to sear, then cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes each side on medium heat, so the chops are cooked through. Let the cooked meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Grilled with Balsamic Marinade
Ingredients for Balsamic Chops:
- 4 chops about 1 in thick
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsps Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup rosemary leaves, loosely packed
- 2 green onions, chopped
First, sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper. Combine the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, brown sugar, pepper, garlic, rosemary and green onions in a blender until smooth.
Next, allow the meat to marinate in a Ziploc bag, making sure it’s fully coated with marinade. Refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
After the meat has marinated, grill over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side to sear the chops. Then move the chops to indirect heat and continue cooking for about 15 minutes until the meat is properly cooked through.
Hoppin Habanero and Honey Pork Chops
Here’s what you’ll need for your Habanero and Honey Chops:
New York chops about 1 in thick
- 12 oz beer
- 3 Tbsp honey
- habanero hot sauce – 1 Tbsp
- cloves garlic, minced – 1 ½
- bay leaf (1)
To make the marinade, add the beer, honey, pepper sauce, garlic, and bay leaf to a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Then allow mixture to cool. Add the meat and marinade to a one-gallon plastic bag and refrigerate for two hours.
Remove the chops from the marinade and grill four to five minutes each side over medium-hot heat. Let the grilled meat rest for 3 minutes before serving.
Savory Grilled Chops
If you’re looking for something a little less sweet, this simple, savory recipe from Spark Recipes is right for you. These flavorful, savory chops are convenient and sure to please at your next tailgate.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 boneless pork chops
- 4 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder or Goya adobo
- 2 tsp Mrs. Dash or other seasoned salts
- Instructions to make Savory Grilled Chops:
Combine the Worcestershire sauce, Adobo spices, and Mrs. Dash into a Ziploc bag with the chops. Shake to coat the meat completely in the bag and allow for 15 minutes of marinating.
After the meat has been marinated, save the marinating liquid to use for basting while the chops are grilling.
Grill the meat for about 10 minutes per side. Flip the chops frequently and baste each time you turn.
Ultimate Grilled Pork Chops
This recipe from Taste of Home is made with a dry rub instead of a marinade. A different method, but still juicy and flavorful. This recipe also offers many varieties on the dry rub for your tailgate. You can even prepare individualized chops for everyone’s unique tastes.
What you will need for the Ultimate Grilled Chops:
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups ice water
- 4 chops – about 8oz and 1in thickness
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
Ingredients for the basic rub:
- 3 Tbsp paprika
- garlic powder – 1 tsp
- onion powder – 1 tsp
- cumin must be ground – 1 tsp
- mustard should be ground – 1 tsp
- pepper must be ground – 1 tsp
- ½ tsp ground chipotle pepper
How to prepare your Ultimate Grilled Chops:
You’ll start by cooking the 2 cups of water with sugar and salt over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove the brine from heat and add the 2 cups of ice water to cool to room temperature.
Add the pieces of meat and the cooled brine to a large Ziploc bag. Seal the bag with as little air as possible. Then make sure the meat is coated thoroughly and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.
After marinating the chops in the brine, rinse them and pat them dry. Brush both sides of the dry meat with oil before applying the dry rub.
Prepare the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub the mixture over the brined chops.
Allow the rubbed chops to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling. Then grill the meat, covered, over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Let the grilled meat rest for 5 minutes before serving.
variations on the basic rub you can replace or add dry ingredients.
Smoky Pork Rub: Use smoked paprika instead of regular paprika.
Spicy Pork Rub: Add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper to basic rub mixture.
Sweet Pork Rub: Add 3 tbsp brown sugar to basic rub mixture.
Grilled Garlic Chops
If you like garlic, this recipe is for you. These Garlic Chops come from Best Recipe Box. The recipe is a grilled variation on a roasted pork recipe using the same marinade. The grilled version is quite a success and worth try at your next tailgate.
What you will need:
- 4 pork chops, 8 oz and ¾ in thick
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tbsp ketchup
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Minced parsley (optional for garnish)
Instructions to make Grilled Garlic Chops:
Combine 3 Tbsp of olive oil, the soy sauce, Worcestershire, ketchup, onion powder, brown sugar and garlic in a Ziploc bag. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
Add the meat to marinade inside the bag. Be sure the meat has been fully coated and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes. If you have time, marinating overnight is ideal for best flavor.
When it’s time, you’ll grill the chops over medium to medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes each side. Brush the meat with the remaining marinade while grilling. It helps to turn the chops several times during grilling, brushing with the marinade on each turn.