Summer cookouts don’t have to be boring. Instead of making burgers and hot dogs every weekend, try grilling something a little different that incorporates summer fruit. Nectarines and peaches are finally in season, and pork chops are a popular cut that take well to an open flame. The thickness of pork chops can vary from about half an inch to two inches, but we recommend the thicker ones as they seem to be easier to keep tender on the grill.
The meat should be cooked to 145-165˚F. Use a thermometer to double check your cooking temperatures, and when the pork reaches your ideal temp, remove it from the grill and let it rest for three minutes. The cooking time and method is the same whether you opt for bone-in or boneless chops. To pick the best chops at the grocery store, the National Pork Board recommends you “choose meat that’s pale pink with a small amount of marbling and white (not yellow) fat.”
This recipe uses fresh, juicy nectarines, but peaches work equally as well. They are used in a sauce that adds some sweetness and acidity to the smoky, full-flavored rub. For more flavor and tenderness, marinate your pork longer in the rub, and make sure to grill on clean grates. You can serve the sauce under the pork, where it will meld with the juices, over the top or on the side. We recommend grilling some nectarine slices or halves to use as a garnish (or just to eat right off the grill when no one’s looking!)
- 3 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
- 6 boneless pork chops (6 oz. each)
- 2 pounds nectarines, halved, pitted and peeled
- 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- Mix brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl; rub over pork. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Add nectarines, ginger and curry to blender jar. Cover and blend until pureed. Set aside 1/2 cup for basting and remaining sauce to serve.
- Preheat grill to HIGH heat.
- Grill pork chops over HIGH heat for 10-12 minutes, turning and brushing with sauce halfway through or until the internal temperature measures at least 145°F.
- Serve pork chops with sauce.
- Peaches may be substituted for nectarines.
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