Za’atar Crusted Grilled Pork Chops

Porterhouse Pork Chops are brushed with olive oil and za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend, then grilled to juicy perfection.

Za'atar Crusted Grilled Pork Chop - The Lemon Bowl

In this Post: Everything you need for Za'atar Crusted Grilled Pork Chops

When the Ohio Pork Board invited me to help promote their #PinkPork campaign, I was immediately on board. This might sound a little silly but one of my biggest culinary pet peeves is over cooked meat. It’s my mother’s fault. Let me explain…

You see, I come from a long line of incredible cooks on both sides of my family. Early on, I learned the difference between perfectly cooked meat and dry, lifeless protein. In fact, my mom prides herself on juicy chicken breasts, medium-rare steaks and tender pork tenderloin. She always says, “You can continue cooking meat but you can never bring it back to life once you’ve gone too far.” Amen.

The best way to avoid grey, overcooked pork is to remove it from the heat once it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. A meat thermometer is your best friend when it comes to properly cooking meat. The Pork Board has created this handy guide on How to Use a Meat Thermometer Properly if you’re unfamiliar.

New Names - Pork Chops - The Lemon Bowl

If you’ve shopped for pork recently, you may have noticed that your favorite cuts have had a name change. This graphic is a helpful visual to make it easier the next time you’re in the meat aisle. For this particular recipe, I used Porterhouse Pork Chops. While you can certainly use a different chop, the bone-in cut will help lock in juices and flavor during the cooking process.

Za'atar - The Lemon Bowl

Za’atar is one of my favorite Middle Eastern spice blends that you can find it major grocery stores, international markets or online. The smoky, toasted flavor of za’atar takes pork to the next level, especially when grilled.

What is your favorite way to prepare #pinkpork? If you’re looking for a little more inspiration, The Ohio Hog Farmers are running a fun Pinterest promotion that is sure to get your creative juices flowing.

Your fork is waiting.

Za'atar Crusted Grilled Pork Chop - The Lemon Bowl

Za’atar Crusted Grilled Pork Chops

4.72 stars average
Center cut bone-in pork chops are brushed with olive oil and za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend, then grilled to juicy perfection.
PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 25 minutes
Servings: 4



  • Pre-heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • While grill is pre-heating, let pork chops sit out at room temperature. Brush each side of the pork chops with olive oil then sprinkle with equal amounts of za’atar, kosher salt and pepper.
  • Place pork on the grill and let sit until a nice crust forms. (Note: Once the pork hits the grill, do not move for at least 6-7 minutes.)
  • Flip pork to the other side and continue cooking until it reaches an internal cooking temperature of 145-160 degrees. The total time will depend on the thickness and type of pork chop you use. (See notes.)
  • Remove pork from the pan and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Let rest at least 3 minutes before slicing to ensure juicy pork.


Letting pork (or any meat) come to room temperature before cooking is the key to avoid excess shrinkage. If you place cold meat directly on a hot grill or pan it will immediately shrink up.
Check out this helpful guide on pork cooking temperatures and cook times based on the type of cut.


Calories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 29gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14.1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1592mgFiber: 0gSugar: 1g

36 thoughts on “Za’atar Crusted Grilled Pork Chops”

  1. Looks lekker, thanks for sharing. Don’t know so much regarding these “new” cuts though. They all seem to be missing their healthy bits, i.e. the fat, much like during the 80’s and 90’s…

  2. Perfect timing for having this recipe as part of your healthy barbecue meals post. I just happen to be wanting to grill pork chops tonight, and I love having an excuse to use za’atar. :-)

      1. So did the recipe work well for me. I don’t know if most za’atar has oregano in it – mine does, and the flavor was a bit strong. But za’atar is always a winner. (I’m hoping be able to buy some Israeli za’atar when we get to Israel next year – the stuff I bought in Old Jerusalem 10 years ago lives on in memory.) I ended up serving the pork chops with a side dish I created – poblano peppers stuffed with white sweet potato, goat cheese and chopped cashews – and Mexican squash. Yum!

    1. It was my absolute pleasure Jennifer!! Thank you for including me in the campaign! And please give za’atar a shot – you will love it sprinkled on salads or even with olive oil for dipping crusty bread. :-)

  3. That is the second time this week I have run across Za’ater spice. I think the Universe is telling me to get some of it. Nice illustrated explanation of the different types of port chops. Thank you. The chops look delicious. It’s a little hard to fantasize about the flavor since I am unfamiliar with the spice, On the other hand its been a long winter without having any grilled food. Now that got my fantasy reels rolling.

  4. I understand how to cook pork but a friend does not so this is getting sent to her. She will surely thank you!!

    Question tho…………I think the cuts of pork in my grocers case are a bit different than what you have posted maybe my grocer hasn’t caught up yet.

    1. Hmm.. that’s a great question. I’ve seen the new names throughout my stores but perhaps they are being rolled out in stages! Either way let me know if you have any questions!

  5. This recipes looks so yummy. Have never used that spices and am looking forward to trying it out. Also, the explanation about the different cuts was helpful. It is sometimes hard to find the porterhouse cut. I usually have to ask for them to cut it as a special order. They told me the reason they don’t normally carry that cut is because so many people want the pork tenderloin.

    Thanks for sharing,


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