Nothing adds flavour to a pork chop like a good marinade! These Lemon Garlic Marinated Grilled Pork Chops are infused with bright lemon flavours and plenty of garlic. Pan fry or bake these if it’s not grilling season!
We are well and truly intro grilling season here in Australia, though ironically I’m sitting here on Monday afternoon looking out at an ominous blanket of dark stormy clouds headed right towards us.
Oh crap! My washing is outside!! **She dashes outside in a mad panic to rip the laundry off the clothesline, flops back down on the couch then realises with dread that it’s true what they say – we all turn out like our mothers.**
Honestly, I kid you not, even if we are miles from her home, if there’s a tiniest lightest spit of rain, she will gasp dramatically, stop walking (never mind the avalanche of people coming up behind her, risking a 20 person pile-up) and cry “Oh no! My washing!!” (Imagine that in a mild Japanese accent). Then half turn towards the car park, contemplating whether to dash home to take her washing in.
Although actually, what she says is “Oh no!! My Sentaku!” which means “laundry” in Japanese. But her dramatic gestures and loud gasps of disappointment are a universal language that no one can misunderstand.
I like to think I’m not quite there yet with my laundry.
However, there is every possibility I would dash home in a mad panic to get the marinade time right for pork chops! 😂
This lemon garlic marinade. SO GOOD with pork – though also excellent with chicken and lamb and I have notes for marinating times for those too.
This marinade is a little different to most that I share in that there’s a very high ratio of lemon juice in it. Which means if you leave it for too long, it starts to “cook” the pork – in the same way citrus juices (lemon and lime) is used to “cook” raw fish to make ceviche without going near the stove.
On the plus side, the super marinating strength of lemon juice means that unlike most marinades, you don’t need to leave it overnight for it to work its magic! Even 1 hour is fantastic. 3 hours is ideal. Up to 12 hours is the absolute max. Beyond that and the surface texture of the pork turns a bit strange and doesn’t get a nice crust like you see in these photos.
I cooked half of these Lemon Garlic Marinated Pork Chops on the stove (in the photo above) and half on the BBQ (see photo below). You can see the difference in the crust, simply because I get a higher heat on the BBQ. I’ve also provided directions for how to bake these in the oven – the only way you’ll get a nice browning is to use the grill/broiler for a good 5 – 7 minutes to brown the top side only. So the baking time is considerably reduced to cater for this. It takes longer for these chops to brown under the grill/broiler because there’s no sugar in the marinade. In comparison, there is sugar in these ever popular country-style Baked Pork Chops with Potatoes so they caramelise relatively quickly.
You don’t get bright lemon flavours in the pork chops because the sharpness of the lemon is tempered with the cooking, leaving you with tasty earthy lemon flavours and of course, you can’t miss all that garlic!!! – Nagi xx
PS I’ve fallen behind with my message response time again, sorry! 😩I blame the heat. I kid you not, when it’s 40C/105F like it has been these past few days, my computer simply can’t cope. The fan is constantly going, I practically get 3rd degree burns when I pick it up. So I haven’t been bashing away on the keyboard as much as I usually do. Back on it tomorrow!
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tbsp dried oregano (or other herbs, Note 1)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup / 85 ml lemon juice (1 large or 2 medium lemons)
- 1/4 cup / 65 ml olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 pork chops bone in , 2cm / 4/5" thick about 280g/9 oz each (Note 2)
- Oil , for cooking
Whisk Marinade ingredients in a bowl (or ziplock bag). Add pork. Marinade for 1 hr minimum, 3 hours ideal, 12 hours max (Note 3).
Take the pork out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking.
Shake excess marinade off (but don't wipe dry) and cook using preferred method. Pictured in post served with Minted Yoghurt - see notes!
Brush grills / plate with oil and heat on high until smoking.
Place pork on grills and cook the first side for 4 minutes until it is nicely charred. Turn and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Turn the porks on their side to briefly sear the fat side (see video). Transfer to plate, rest for 3 - 5 minutes then serve.
Heat skillet with about 1 tbsp oil over high heat. Add pork and cook for 1 minute, then turn DOWN slightly to medium high. Cook for another 3 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Turn the porks on their side to briefly sear the fat side (see video).
Transfer to plate, rest for 3 - 5 minutes then serve.
Preheat oven to 200C / 390F (fan forced / convection) or 220C / 430F (standard oven).
Place oven shelf in top 1/3 of oven.
Place pork on tray. Bake for 15 minutes, then flick to grill/broiler and grill on high for 5 minutes until the surface is nicely browned.
Transfer to plate, rest for 3 - 5 minutes then serve.
1. Herbs: I love the combination of oregano and lemon and loads of garlic, very Greek. Feel free to swap this with other herbs - I'd reduce to 2 tsp for thyme, 1 tsp for rosemary, tarragon, sage, but keep the same amount for mild dried herbs like parsley, basil, chives.
2. For thinner chops, cook on high heat for less time and wait until the pan is smoking hot. You want to get a nice crust on the chops!
CHICKEN - this is such a great marinade for chicken too! Use either boneless thigh or cut breast in half horizontally to create 2 thin steaks, then marinade for just 30 minutes, no longer than 1 hour otherwise the lemon will start cooking the chicken. Maximum 2 - 3 hours!!
3. The marinading time for this recipe is less than the usual because it has lemon juice in it which can "cook" proteins and cause them to go beyond tenderised to either a weird too-soft texture / toughen up. 3 hours is ideal. 12 hours is the absolute max but the pork won't get as nice a crust as you see in the photos / video.
See Note 2 above for chicken marinade times. I don't recommend using this marinade for fish (it will cook it, turning it into ceviche!). Prawns / shrimp would be 5 - 10 minutes max. Lamb - probably same as pork. Beef can probably handle a bit longer but I'd still do the same time as pork.
4. Minted Yoghurt - optional (because the chops are juicy juicy as they are!!). Yoghurt + finely chopped mint + minced garlic + squeeze of lemon juice + salt and pepper + drizzle of olive oil. Mix, set aside for 20 minutes!
5. Nutrition: It's difficult to do nutrition for a marinade like this where there's a decent amount of oil in the marinade but it doesn't get sucked up by the pork, it's more for diluting the lemon juice so it's not too strong, as well as coating with oil to help with searing. Same with the salt - the entire 3/4 tsp will not get absorbed by the pork. So I've done the nutrition using 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, using boneless chops (ie the bone is excluded from the Servings weight shown below), assuming this is cooked on the BBQ.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
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