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How long is pork cooked to the grill?

Quick Answer

Pork should be cooked on the grill until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F with a 3 minute rest time afterwards. This will result in pork that is juicy and safe to eat. The amount of time needed to reach this temperature will vary depending on the thickness and cut of the pork, but a general guide is about 4-8 minutes per side for chops and 15-20 minutes per pound for larger roasts. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness rather than relying on cook time alone.

What is the minimum internal temperature for cooked pork?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends cooking pork to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F with a 3 minute rest time afterwards. At this temperature, any bacteria or parasites that may be present will be destroyed, making the pork safe to eat.

Pork needs to reach an internal temperature of 145°F regardless of whether it is cooked in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or any other cooking method. Color and texture are not reliable indicators that pork is fully cooked. The only way to accurately determine if pork is cooked to a safe internal temperature is to use a food thermometer.

Why is it important to cook pork thoroughly?

Cooking pork thoroughly to the proper internal temperature kills any potentially harmful bacteria that may be present such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Trichinella.

Undercooked pork poses a health risk because it can contain the following pathogens:


Salmonella infection causes symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. It can be life-threatening in certain groups including older adults, infants, and those with weakened immune systems.

E. coli

A type of Escherichia coli known as E. coli O157:H7 can contaminate pork. An infection causes severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, it leads to a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

Trichinella spiralis

This parasite causes a disease called trichinosis. When humans ingest infected pork, the parasite can travel from the intestines to the muscles and cause symptoms like diarrhea, muscle soreness, fever, and abdominal pain. It can be a serious illness and may even cause death in severe cases.

Thorough cooking destroys these pathogens, making pork safe to eat. The USDA therefore recommends cooking pork to 145°F and allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes after removing it from the heat source. This ensures any bacteria are killed throughout the meat.

How long does it take to grill pork based on thickness and cut?

The amount of time it takes to grill pork to a safe internal temperature of 145°F depends on the thickness and cut of the meat:

Pork chops

– 1/2 inch thick – About 4-5 minutes per side
– 3/4 to 1 inch thick – About 6-8 minutes per side

Pork tenderloin

– 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick – About 8-12 minutes total
– 1 inch thick – About 15-18 minutes total

Boneless pork loin roast

– 2-3 lbs – About 30-40 minutes total
– 4-5 lbs – About 45-60 minutes total

Bone-in pork shoulder

– 5 lbs – About 1 1/2 to 2 hours total
– 8 lbs – About 2 1/4 to 3 hours total

The times above are general estimates. Use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature when grilling to determine when the pork has reached 145°F. Focus on the temperature rather than cooking time.

Tips for grilling juicy pork

Follow these tips for grilling flavorful, juicy pork that is cooked to a safe internal temperature:

Use the right cut – Choose cuts like pork chops, tenderloin, or shoulder for grilling. These cook quickly and stay moist.

Trim excess fat – This prevents flare ups on the grill. Leave about 1/4 inch of fat intact for flavor.

Use indirect heat – Set up the grill for indirect cooking by having the heat on one side only. Place the pork on the unheated side to promote slow, even cooking.

Apply a dry rub – Coat the pork with a dry seasoning blend before grilling. This adds flavorful crust.

Flip once – Resist the urge to flip the pork too often. Just make one flip halfway through grilling for even cooking.

Brush on sauce at the end – Apply any glazes, marinades, or barbecue sauces in the last 5-10 minutes of grilling to avoid charring.

Let it rest – Allow the grilled pork to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

Visual Guide to Grilling Times for Pork

This table provides a visual summary of approximate grilling times for different cuts and thicknesses of pork:

Cut and Thickness Grill Time Per Side Total Grill Time
Pork chop, 1/2 inch thick 4-5 minutes 8-10 minutes
Pork chop, 3/4 to 1 inch 6-8 minutes 12-16 minutes
Pork tenderloin, 1/2 to 3/4 inch 4-6 minutes 8-12 minutes
Pork tenderloin, 1 inch 8-9 minutes 15-18 minutes
Boneless pork loin roast, 2-3 lbs 15-20 minutes 30-40 minutes
Boneless pork loin roast, 4-5 lbs 23-30 minutes 45-60 minutes
Bone-in pork shoulder, 5 lbs 45-60 minutes 1 1/2 – 2 hours
Bone-in pork shoulder, 8 lbs 1 – 1 1/2 hours 2 1/4 – 3 hours

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork when grilling to determine when it has reached 145°F and is fully cooked.

Tips for Checking Pork’s Temperature on the Grill

Having an accurate reading of the pork’s internal temperature ensures it cooks long enough to kill any harmful bacteria but not so long that it dries out. Follow these tips for the most effective temperature checks when grilling pork:

Use an instant read thermometer – This type of digital thermometer gives the fastest and most reliable readings. The tip of the probe needs to be inserted into the thickest part of the meat.

Check in multiple spots – Don’t just go by one reading. Take the temperature towards the end of grilling in 2-3 different spots to confirm the meat is evenly heated.

Avoid bone – If grilling bone-in pork, aim for the meatiest part and avoid hitting the bone which can give an inaccurate high reading.

Clean the thermometer – Make sure to clean the thermometer probe thoroughly between readings for the most accurate temperatures.

Don’t rely on color – It’s impossible to judge doneness by visual color alone. Always rely on the thermometer for precision.

Compare to grill temp – Estimate doneness based on the thermometer and how long the meat has been on the grill. The readings should align with expected cook times.

Check thicker cuts early – Start checking larger pork roasts and thick chops sooner to monitor the rise in temperature.

By following these tips and using your food thermometer diligently, you can ensure your grilled pork reaches the safe internal temperature of 145°F – no more, no less. This prevents both foodborne illness as well as overly dry pork.

Food Safety Tips for Grilled Pork

In addition to cooking pork fully to destroy any potential pathogens, follow other food safety guidelines when cooking pork on the grill:

Preheat grill properly -Allow the grill to preheat for 15-20 minutes before placing pork on the grates. This prevents sticking and promotes even cooking.

Use separate plates and utensils for raw pork – Designate specific plates and cooking tools only for the raw meat to avoid cross contamination.

Wash hands correctly – Wash hands and all surfaces with hot soapy water after working with raw pork.

Don’t reuse marinades – Make a separate batch of sauce or marinade to brush on towards the end. Don’t reuse a marinade that touched raw pork which could carry bacteria.

Cook thoroughly – Use a food thermometer to verify the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Let the pork rest for 3 minutes before serving.

Refrigerate leftovers promptly – within 2 hours of cooking. Store leftovers in shallow airtight containers and consume within 3-5 days.

Following basic food safety guidelines reduces the risk of food poisoning when grilling pork. Be diligent about temperature control, hygiene, storage, and prevention of cross-contamination.


Cooking pork on the grill allows you to add delicious smoky flavor. Pork should cook to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F as measured by a food thermometer to be safe to eat. Use the guidelines provided to determine approximate grilling times for different cuts and thicknesses of pork. Monitor the temperature closely as pork cooks quickly, especially thinner pieces. Let pork rest before slicing into it. Follow food safety best practices when handling, cooking, and storing pork from the grill. Mastering the art of grilling pork helps you gain confidence cooking this versatile meat to perfection.