How to Cook Thick Pork Chops on Kamado Joe

You’ve got a Kamado Joe and some thick pork chops, but you’re not sure how to marry the two? Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. We’ll guide you through selecting the perfect chops, preparing your grill, and mastering the art of grilling.

In no time, you’ll be serving up juicy, tender pork chops that’ll have everyone begging for seconds. Let’s get that grill fired up and start cooking!

Understanding the Kamado Joe Grill

You’ve gotta understand how your Kamado Joe Grill works before you can start grilling those thick pork chops. It’s not your standard grill; it’s a versatile outdoor cooker that’s a grill, smoker, and oven all in one.

First, you’ve got to get the hang of controlling the temperature. The Kamado Joe uses a system of vents—there’s one on the top and another at the bottom. Opening them allows more air in, which raises the temperature. Closing them does the opposite. You’ll need to fine-tune these adjustments to maintain your desired temperature.

Then, there’s the divide and conquer flexible cooking system. This unique setup allows you to cook on different levels at different temperatures simultaneously. It’s a game-changer when you want to grill and sear at the same time.

Lastly, the Kamado Joe Grill is known for its ability to maintain heat for extended periods. That’s because it’s made from thick ceramic walls that retain heat and moisture better than metal grills.

Selection of the Perfect Thick Pork Chops

It’s crucial that you pick the right cut of meat for your grill-out. Not just any pork chop will do when you’re cooking on a Kamado Joe. You’re looking for thick cuts, at least 1.5 to 2 inches. This thickness ensures that your chops won’t dry out during cooking and will stay juicy and tender.

Don’t overlook the importance of bone-in chops either. The bone helps to retain moisture and imparts a deeper, richer flavor to the meat. You’ll also want a cut with a decent amount of marbling. That’s the little white streaks of fat you see in the meat. This fat will melt during cooking, helping to keep your pork chops moist and flavorful.

Remember, quality matters. Whenever possible, opt for organic, free-range pork. It might be a bit pricier, but the difference in taste is worth it.

Preparing Your Kamado Joe for Cooking

Before you fire up your Kamado Joe for those thick pork chops, there’s a bit of prep work you’ll need to tackle.

Let’s delve into how to properly clean your Kamado Joe, master the art of temperature control, and set up your charcoal for optimal cooking.

These techniques aren’t just handy–they’re essential for ensuring that your grill game is top-notch every time.

Cleaning the Kamado Joe"

Cleaning the Kamado Joe isn’t as difficult as you’d think. The process can be broken down into three simple steps that’ll leave your grill looking spotless and ready for your next cooking adventure.

  1. Empty the Ashes: After every cook, make sure to empty the ashes. It’s a simple task that ensures your Kamado Joe remains in top condition, and it’s satisfying to see the remnants of your previous cooking endeavors swept away.

  2. Clean the Grates: This might seem like a chore, but it’s crucial for maintaining the quality of your food. Plus, there’s something cathartic about scrubbing away the grime and seeing the grates gleam anew.

  3. Wipe it Down: A quick wipe down of the outer surface keeps your Kamado Joe looking pristine. It’s a small act of care that’ll make you feel proud of your grill.

Temperature Control Techniques"

Mastering temperature control techniques isn’t just about achieving the perfect sear or roast. It’s also about understanding how your Kamado Joe grill responds to different settings and adjustments. You’ve got to remember, it’s a well-insulated ceramic oven that retains heat incredibly well.

This means minor adjustments can have a significant impact on the temperature. When cooking thick pork chops, aim for a medium-high heat, around 375-400°F. You’ll want to establish this temperature well before the meat goes on and maintain it throughout the cooking process.

If you’re seeing too much smoke, you’re probably too hot, and if it’s not sizzling, you’re likely too cool. So, keep a close eye and make small adjustments as needed. It’s a bit of an art, but with practice, you’ll nail it.

Setting Up Charcoal

Setting up your charcoal correctly is essential for controlling heat and achieving the ideal cooking conditions on your grill. You want a balance between high heat for searing and lower heat for slow cooking. Here’s a simple guide to get it right:

  • Step 1: Start Your Charcoal

  • Light it up: Use a chimney starter and newspaper for an easy, chemical-free start.

  • Let it burn: Wait until the coals are white-hot for an even heat source.

  • Step 2: Arrange Your Charcoal

  • For high heat: Pile your coals in the center of the grill.

  • For lower heat: Spread the coals out evenly.

Marinating the Thick Pork Chops

You’re up next for an essential step: marinating your thick pork chops.

Choosing the right marinade can make a huge difference in flavor and tenderness.

Choosing Right Marinade"

Choosing the right marinade for your pork chops isn’t just about flavor. It’s about ensuring the meat stays tender and juicy during the high heat cooking process on the Kamado Joe.

You’ll want to look for marinades that contain some sort of acid, like vinegar or citrus juice. This acid helps to break down the meat’s tough fibers, resulting in a more tender chop.

Adding a bit of oil to the marinade can also help to keep the meat moist. The oil helps to seal in the juices and prevent the chops from drying out.

Marination Time Length

It’s important to marinate your meat for the right amount of time, as too long can lead to it becoming mushy and too short won’t allow the flavors to fully penetrate. When preparing thick pork chops on your Kamado Joe, you have to consider the size and thickness of your meat.

Here are some pointers to guide you:

  • Always ensure your marinade is evenly spread over the chops.
  • A good rule of thumb is to marinate for 12-24 hours.
  • Don’t exceed 24 hours, it can ruin the texture of your meat.
  • Flip your chops halfway through the marinating process to ensure equal flavor distribution.
  • Lastly, always refrigerate your meat while marinating to keep it safe.

Grilling Techniques for Thick Pork Chops on Kamado Joe

Mastering the right grilling techniques will ensure your thick pork chops on Kamado Joe turn out juicy and flavorful every time. You’ve got to control your heat, manage your grill space, and monitor your cooking time.

First things first, establish a two-zone cooking area in your Kamado Joe. This means setting up one side of your grill for direct, high-heat grilling, and the other side for indirect, low-heat cooking. This’ll give you the flexibility you need to sear your chops and then let them finish cooking gently.

Next, you’ve got to sear your chops. Preheat your grill to high heat, about 450-500°F. Sear your chops on each side for about 2 minutes. You’re looking for a nice, golden-brown crust.

Once you’ve got that crust, move your chops to the cooler, indirect side of the grill. Close the lid and let them cook for another 10-12 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.

Checking the Doneness of Your Pork Chops

You’ll want to confirm the doneness of your meat to ensure they’re not undercooked or overdone. Now, don’t be tempted to cut into those chops right away to check. That’ll just let all the juicy goodness escape. Instead, you’ll need a reliable meat thermometer.

Slide the thermometer into the thickest part of the pork chop. But be careful not to hit the bone, as that can give you a false reading. You’re aiming for an internal temperature of 145°F. That’s the sweet spot where the pork is juicy and tender, but not pink.

Now, remember, the temperature will continue to rise a few degrees after you remove the meat from the grill. This is called carryover cooking. So, you might want to pull your chops off the grill when they hit 140°F. Then, let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, preventing them from running out when you cut into the chop.

That’s it! You’ve just checked the doneness of your pork chops like a pro. Now, get ready to enjoy your perfectly grilled chops.

Serving Suggestions for Grilled Pork Chops

Let’s discuss some perfect pairings for your grilled masterpiece, shall we? After you’ve grilled those thick, juicy pork chops on your Kamado Joe, you’ll want some complimentary sides to round out your meal.

Consider these options:

  1. Grilled vegetables: You’ve already got the grill fired up, why not toss on some veggies? Asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, or corn on the cob all pair wonderfully with pork. They’ll pick up that smoky flavor from the grill, complementing your pork chop’s char.

  2. Potato dish: Whether you prefer mashed, baked, or roasted, potatoes are a classic side for pork chops. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a sweet potato instead for a sweeter contrast to your savory meat.

  3. Apple sauce: This might sound a bit traditional, but there’s a reason this combo has stood the test of time. The sweetness and slight tartness of apple sauce cuts through the richness of the pork, providing a refreshing palate cleanser.

Remember, it’s all about balance. You’ve put a lot of effort into these chops, so make sure your sides are up to par. That’s the key to a truly memorable meal.

Now go enjoy your culinary creation!

Tips for Maintenance and Cleaning of Your Kamado Joe After Cooking

After all the grilling’s done, it’s crucial to give your barbecue a good clean to keep it in top condition. Your Kamado Joe, just like any other grill, demands regular maintenance to ensure its longevity. Don’t stress out, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

Here’s a simple maintenance table to guide you:

Steps Tools Needed Tips
1. Brush the grates Grill brush Wait until the grill cools down, but it’s easier to clean when still slightly warm.
2. Clean the interior Soft cloth, warm soapy water Wipe down the inside of the lid and the bowl.
3. Check the vents Toothpick Remove any ash or debris from the top and bottom vents to ensure proper airflow.


So, you’ve nailed cooking thick pork chops on your Kamado Joe! With the right selection, marination, grilling techniques, and checking for doneness, you’re set for success.

Remember, serving is an art, too. And don’t forget to keep your Kamado Joe clean – it’s as important as the cooking itself.

Now, go ahead and impress your friends with your grilling prowess.

Happy grilling!