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A grilled pork chop on a plate with sauteed spinach, and a glass of Knob Creek bourbon

Grilled Pork Chops with Knob Creek Lemon Glaze

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 chops 1x


Grilled Pork Chops with Knob Creek Lemon Glaze. The flavors of a whiskey sour make a great grilled pork chop.


  • 4 thick cut ( inch thick) bone-in pork loin chops (each about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup of wood chips, soaked in water for 1 hour (oak chips are best, if you can find them; hickory, apple, cherry, or pecan also work)


  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup Knob Creek bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt (or 1½ tablespoons kosher salt)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  1. Marinate the chops: Put the pork chops in baking dish in a single layer. Make the marinade: whisk the lemon juice and zest, bourbon, salt, and sugar until the salt and sugar dissolve, about 1 minute. Whisk in the oil in a slow stream. Pour the marinade over the chops, and turn to coat. Put the dish in the refrigerator and let the chops marinate, turning occasionally. Marinate for at least an hour, preferably four hours.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high: Set the grill up for two zone cooking; one side should be medium-high heat, the other side no heat. In my kettle grill, I light a chimney full of charcoal, wait for it to be covered with gray ash, then pour the charcoal in a tight, single layer over half the charcoal grate. In my gas grill, I preheat with all the burners on high for 15 minutes, then turn two of the burners down to medium-high and turn off all the other burners. After the grill is preheated, I brush the grates clean with my grill brush.
  3. Prepare the glaze: If you have a grill-safe basting pot, put the glaze ingredients in the pot and give them a stir. Put the pot on the grill over direct heat until it starts boiling, then slide it just off the heat, and let it simmer while grilling the pork chops, thickening it into a glaze. Move it closer or farther from the heat as needed to maintain a simmer.
    My “grill safe pot” is an enameled steel coffee mug, intended for camping. If you don’t have a grill safe pot, simmer on the stovetop while the grill preheats, reducing it to a thick glaze.
  4. Grill the chops:
    Quick summary: Sear the chops over medium-high heat for 6 minutes. Finish over indirect heat with the lid closed, until the chops reach 135°F internal temperature, about 8 more minutes.
    Details: Take the chops out of the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Put the chops on the grill over the medium-high heat and grill until they are starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the chops and grill the other side until it starts to brown, about 2 more minutes. Flip the chops, rotating 90 degrees to get a diamond pattern in the grill marks, and cook until they are well browned on the bottom, about 2 more minutes.
    Brush the chops on both sides with the lemon bourbon glaze, watching out for flareups as the glaze drips onto the fire. Move the chops over to the unlit side of the grill, put the drained wood chips on the charcoal, and close the lid and cook the chops with indirect heat. The chops are done when they reach 140°F internal temperature (cooked to medium doneness), about 8 minutes. Brush the chops again with the glaze and remove to a platter. Let the chops rest for ten minutes before serving.


  • 1 1/2 inch thick chops will serve two people, unless they’re big eaters (like me). Or, if each person needs their own bone to gnaw on (again, like me.)
  • Because of the lemon juice, this is a very acidic marinade. It will cook the pork chops like ceviche if they marinate too long. Don’t let the chops sit for more than eight hours, or they’ll start to get tough.
  • Smoking wood is easy to use in a charcoal grill; just toss it on the coals. Gas grills are trickier. If your gas grill comes with a smoker box, use it for the wood chips. If not, wrap the drained chips in a layer of aluminum foil, and (carefully!) lift the grate and put them directly on the burner cover over a lit burner after you move the chops to indirect heat.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American