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Pork chops... why

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  • IowaGirl
    Club Member
    • Dec 2018
    • 685
    • Northeast Iowa, USA

    #16
    Pork loin is fairly bland and extra lean, especially from today's hogs, so using a flavorful seasoning is critical for a tasty chop. A slightly sweet spice blend (my dad swore by Lowry's seasoned salt) is nice or an herby blend (like Simon and Garfunkel rub) again maybe with a touch of sweet. Also consider topping the chops with a pan sauce or seasoned butter.

    Thicker chops are easier to cook without drying out. Prepare thicker pork chops exactly like you would a nice steak -- dry brine, appropriate seasoning, 135-140 F internal temp (yes, I cook chops to 135). Whatever cooking method you prefer for steak will work for chops.

    Thin chops need careful handling to not dry out, but it can be done. We like "breakfast chops" that are cut a mere 1/2" thick and I know they can be moist and flavorful.

    One way to cook thinner chops is to start with a room-temperature cast iron fry pan. Coat the bottom of the pan with a tablespoon or two of oil.

    Season the refrigerator cold thin chops as you like. Very lightly sprinkle one side of each chop with a bare pinch of sugar (I promise you won't taste it!), and put the sugared side face down in the pan. The sugar will aid in browning considering you aren't cooking the meat long enough and hot enough to get a "normal" browning process going.

    Turn heat to medium-high. Cook the chop without flipping until it gets some golden brown bits -- maybe about 4 minutes. Flip to the other side, reduce heat to medium low, and cook briefly to temp, maybe another 1-2 minutes.

    The second side will not brown, so keep that side facing down for service. Serve immediately.

    If chops still don't work for you, consider cooking pork steaks cut from the shoulder (butt) -- they often have more flavorful meat and more fat.

    Comment


    • FireMan
      FireMan commented
      Editing a comment
      👍👍👍. Nuff said.
      Thanks mom.

    • Richard Chrz
      Richard Chrz commented
      Editing a comment
      “ If chops still don't work for you, consider cooking pork steaks cut from the shoulder (butt) -- they often have more flavorful meat and more fat.” - This is probably the answer.

    • N227GB
      N227GB commented
      Editing a comment
      A little pinch of sugar for browning is a great idea!👍
  • Attjack
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    • Aug 2017
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    #17
    Are you buying thick cut chops?

    Comment

    • Richard Chrz
      Club Member
      • Mar 2019
      • 1471
      • La Crosse, Wi

      #18
      I had two 1.5 bone in chops, reverse seared, took almost 90 minutes or so, to bring it up to 120, then reverse seared. Treated it like I do any nice cut of meat. I’m thinking I just do not like pork chops. Don’t remember ever liking one. I thought maybe, I never had one cooked properly. Maybe I still have not.

      Comment

      • wrgilb
        Club Member
        • Jan 2018
        • 244
        • Santa Cruz, Ca. area

        #19
        Here's one from my wife's cousins in Tyler, Tx. Very simple, but these were some of the best pork chops we've had. Dry brine with kosher salt, at least 2 hours or over night. Rub with Worcestershire sauce and then a liberal coating of Accent, Lawry's Seasoning Salt and Lemond Pepper. Pull at 135 and sear both sides at high heat. Give it a try, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Click image for larger version

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        Comment

        • Jfrosty27
          Club Member
          • Mar 2020
          • 1331
          • Muskego, WI
          • Current cookers:
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          #20
          Many ways to cook delicious pork chops. Two keys:
          -Get them thick. At LEAST 1”. 2” is better!
          -Don’t overcook them! 145* IT max in my book.

          Comment


          • Richard Chrz
            Richard Chrz commented
            Editing a comment
            Did all of that. I realized, I just don’t like them. I’d rather eat licorice for supper then pork chops.

          • ofelles
            ofelles commented
            Editing a comment
            Richard Chrz Hey, I like licorice! 😎

          • willxfmr
            willxfmr commented
            Editing a comment
            "I’d rather eat licorice for supper then pork chops."...
            Me too! But the GF insists on "grown up" meals.
        • rickgregory
          Founding Member
          • Aug 2014
          • 1173
          • Seattle, WA

          #21
          So I don't agree that they need to be thick. A 1" chop is plenty, but you have less margin for error. Going 2" thick is often just a crutch for not being careful with the temp (unless you're smoking them). High heat pushes a lot of energy into the chop very fast and it's pretty easy to overshoot the temp that way on a chop that really doesn't have that much mass to heat up.

          Because it's easy to overshoot, I often I cook at medium heat, not high and will sometimes cook for only something like 3 mins/side, then finish with a few minutes in the oven at 350.

          Finally, you can't compare a supermarket, industrial raised chop with, say, a prime or wagyu steak. If you want a flavorful chop, buy premium pork, the same way as you buy premium beef.
          Last edited by rickgregory; January 4, 2021, 11:08 AM.

          Comment

          • glitchy
            Club Member
            • Jul 2019
            • 1113
            • Central IA
            • MAK 2 Star General
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            #22
            Richard, I'm with you on all accounts. I'm just not a huge pork fan in general. I'll take beef or turkey any day over most pork. I still make ribs, butts, etc and have grown to like pulled pork better, mostly because I eat the leftovers as BBQ 'tacos' now. I will say once I got over cooking chops to 160 plus, they got better, but still prefer beef any day. I'm even with you on the bacon, I like bacon on a burger, especially extra crispy bacon, but other than that, I'll take sausage any day for breakfast. Various sausages and Pepperoni are the only pork I really love.

            Family likes chops and sometimes they are super cheap at the store, so I make them maybe 3-4 times a year to make them happy. Sometimes I eat them, sometimes I grill me a steak instead.

            The best pork I've ever smoked though is 3 Little Pigs - KCBS banned pork tenderloin, but there's a lot going on there.

            Comment

            • Rod
              Rod
              Club Member
              • Dec 2015
              • 700
              • Phoenix, AZ
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              #23
              For me it seems to always be a crap shoot. I've done the thick ones using the reverse sear method and nailed it. The next time doing it the exact same way would be a total fail. There seems to be million different names/cuts, but I have more success with bone in chops. They seem to be a little less lean. At the same token, I have on occasion made good thick boneless loin chops, but they usually end up dry.

              Comment

              • Troutman
                Club Member
                • Aug 2017
                • 7841
                • 1521

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                #24
                Here's another hack you may want to try. Even moist pork tends to be a little bland. It's kind of like that "other white meat" chicken, especially breast meat. Brining, thickness, cooking to medium rare are all good recommendations but I like to take it a step further by paring with something sweet. Sweetness and pork were made for each other. Even something as simple as a quick apple sauce makes a world of difference.

                If you want something quick and commercially available, you can get into a lot of the sweet heat products as well. I recommend and use on a regular basis products by Fischer & Weiser and Roberts Reserve. Both are available in most large grocery stores. Try using them as a final glaze, kicks pork chops up to the next level.

                Here's one I grilled and finished with a Charred Peach & Bourbon sauce by F&W. Bottom line, pork does not have to be a boring old shoe leather, pan fried disaster.

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                Or try going savory with a mushroom wine sauce....

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                ...or go big with a rolled and stuffed pork loin keeping it medium rare between 135-140*...

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                Hate to sound like a Pork Counsel advertisement but pork is also "that other white meat" and it's awesome if it's prepared properly !!!

                Comment


                • TripleB
                  TripleB commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Man....... I wanna be you when I grow up. That is some tasty looking pork. Yum!

                • Whiskeyman53
                  Whiskeyman53 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Looks great, your pork cooks are perfectly seared and removed at the right temp.

                • Sweaty Paul
                  Sweaty Paul commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'd eat all three and the leftovers before they could become leftovers.
              • ssandy_561
                Charter Member
                • Apr 2015
                • 1404
                • Central OHIO

                #25
                Pork Chops usually get cooked one of three ways in our house.

                Mix panko bread crumbs and finely chopped rosemary into Shake n Bake for pork. Brush Dijon Mustard onto the chops, Coat with mixture and bake at 400 for 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness.

                OR

                Place about 1/2 inch of sauerkraut in the bottom of a baking dish. Dust pork chops with a combination of salt, pepper, sage, rosemary and thyme. Sear off chops in a pan for about a minute each side with olive oil. Place on sauerkraut bed. Cover with about 1/2 inch of sauerkraut. Bake at 350 until done.

                OR

                Pound thin boneless pork chops. Salt and pepper the chop. Get my Blackstone super hot. Plop down some garlic butter. Sear each side about 3 to 4 minutes. Enjoy.

                Comment

                • FishTalesNC
                  Club Member
                  • Dec 2017
                  • 1252
                  • Durham, NC

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                  #26
                  When SWMBO gets a hankerin' for pork chops I get center cut bone in ones at least 2" thick from The Fresh Market. These were probably the best ones I ever made, and sadly the company that made the mop/marinade seems to have gone out of business!

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Comment


                  • DavidNorcross
                    DavidNorcross commented
                    Editing a comment
                    What is that side on the plank?

                  • Sweaty Paul
                    Sweaty Paul commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Gorgeous. When's. supper?

                  • FishTalesNC
                    FishTalesNC commented
                    Editing a comment
                    DavidNorcross it’s twice baked potatoes.
                • BFlynn
                  Charter Member
                  • Oct 2014
                  • 950
                  • Third Coast

                  #27
                  For thin chops - season with SPG and cayenne, bread, and fry. Top with gravy.

                  If you want to get real fancy - pound the chops thin before hand and make schnitzel.

                  Either way, serve with mashed taters, and green beans.

                  Comment


                  • jfmorris
                    jfmorris commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Schnitzel is my favorite way to eat pork chops!
                • Potkettleblack
                  Club Member
                  • Jun 2016
                  • 1970
                  • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
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                  #28
                  First, the quality of commodity pork, combined with the leaning of the animals for the last 30+ years, to make pork "the other white meat" have been disastrous for the loin muscle, which is what you're getting in most pork chops. So, I try to get good ones from either Illinois pork farmers, or Crowd Cow or HeritageFoods, or other internet sources. That's really the first step.

                  I have two recipes that I use. One is the 5 S method. Select a good chop, Salt it (blonder brine from the free site, maybe 1-3 hours), Season it (maybe MMD... your choice), Smoke it (to 135-140 IT), and Sauce it (I make a simple glaze of even parts maple syrup and sherry vinegar, with a dash or three of tabasco, but whatever sauce you like)... Wife calls this the miracle chop.

                  The other is sous vide and sear. Blonder brine for an hour or three, seal it up, Sous Vide at 135 for whatever time the thickness demands, and then a quick pan sear for color. Season and sauce at table side with a pan sauce or a board sauce, or whatever.

                  This is with the good pork chops that I get. It works with commodity pork that I get at Costco or the grocery (skip brining or shorten it, if "enhanced" with saline), but it's better with better pork.

                  Being lean, it is very easy to overcook pork chops... And being very lean, their quality degrades massively with overcooking, like boneless skinless chicken breast. The higher quality pork is less lean, so comes out better.

                  Comment


                  • Troutman
                    Troutman commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Point well made on quality. All the chops I buy are Berkshire. On butts I go with a Berkshire/Duroc blend from Porter Road. It does make a difference, commodity pork sucks.

                  • Potkettleblack
                    Potkettleblack commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Troutman As you know, quality ingredients in improve your results, no matter what you do.
                • Red Man
                  Club Member
                  • May 2018
                  • 1295
                  • Western Washington

                  #29
                  Quality chops is the most important part. My favorite way to prepare is a salt and pepper rub and get a nice golden sear on it. Then glaze with a good bbq sauce. I like Black Swan Beso del Feugo.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  Comment

                  • willxfmr
                    Club Member
                    • Apr 2017
                    • 541
                    • Fondy

                    #30
                    Skip and Potkettleblack hit it on the head. Once producers decided to breed lean hogs and make pork "The other white meat" The difficulty of cooking a moist and tasty pork chop went way up. You can get around this by buying heritage breed chops like Duroc or Berkshire, but you pay a pretty good premium for those. If you want to stick with what is at the local grocery store, then the above advice is spot on. Buy them thick, sous vide or low and slow, finish with a quick sear. Personally, I like to grab a whole loin when it is on sale, and cut it up at home.
                    Last edited by willxfmr; January 5, 2021, 12:22 AM.

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                    We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info coming soon! For now click here for more info.
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