Pork chops are one of the easiest meals to prepare, but many people avoid making the simple dish because they have trouble cooking the perfect pork chop. Why? For various reasons, the pork chops often turn out under-cooked, overcooked or tough. If you want to make a delicious pork chop, these simple cooking tips can help you create a perfect pork chop every time.
First, choose the right pork chop.
Here at Circle B Ranch we have a delicious full 10 ounce bone-in chop. Since it is thicker it takes a longer to cook. The bone gives the meat a richer flavor.
TIP: Pork chops—such as Circle B Ranch Berkshire Pork Chops—that come from pasture-fed heritage-breeds contain a more full-bodied essence.
Brine the pork chops to deliver more flavor.
Brining the pork chops improves the taste and texture of the meat. Brining seasons both the exterior and the interior and changes the structure of the meat to result in a juicier chop. It takes as little as 30 minutes, but you can brine the chops for up to 4 hours.
TIP: You can also dry brine the chops by rubbing them thoroughly with salt and pepper.
Do not cook pork chops cold.
Cooking the chops straight from the refrigerator results in overcooking. If the pork chop is too cold, the outside will cook before the inside of the meat reaches the correct temperature.
TIP: Before cooking the chops, set them out for 15-30 minutes, just enough time to let the meat get to room temperature.
Sear pork chops before baking.
Searing your chops before baking helps avoid overcooking and develops more flavor by sealing in the meat’s juices. This cooking method causes a chemical reaction, called the “Maillard effect,” which boosts the depth of flavor. Searing also improves the overall presentation of the pork chop, because it caramelizes sugars and creates a golden-brown crust.
To sear, begin with a hot pan at high heat. The high heat will create caramelization and a quick seal to keep in the juices. If finishing the chop in the skillet, bring the heat down to medium to prevent overcooking of the outside and undercooking of the inside.
Start by searing the “presentation” side of the chop—the side your dinner guests will see on their plate—first. Cook from 1 ½ to 3 minutes per side to obtain a perfect golden-brown crust.
Don’t trim the fat from the chops before searing; the fat will brown and crisp, giving you pork chop even more flavor.
Grill chops to perfection by varying heat.
Grilling a pork chop is comparative to cooking it in a pan on the stove top. Start with a hot grill; properly preheating the grill aids in searing the meat and helps with caramelization. Place the chops over direct heat (directly over the heat source) to give it a quick sear and seal in juices. Then move the chops into indirect heat to cook them properly—the process is slower, allowing the inside of the meat to thoroughly cook without burning the outside.
If you have marinated or wet brined your meat, pat off excess moisture. The idea is to give the chops flavor yet get them to sear instead of steam.
Do not use sharp utensils to turn the chops. Keep moistness and flavor by using a spatula or tongs that will not pierce the meat and release juices.
For a juicier chop, rest the meat before indulging.
Resting the chops allows the fiber of the meat to relax; this means the juices redistribute through the meat. It only takes a few minutes of rest to obtain a tender juicier chop.
TIP: Rest the chop after cooking for 5-10 minutes. You can finish last-minute meal preparations while the meat rests.
Follow these cooking tips to get a perfectly cooked pork chop every time. You can say goodbye to raw or tough pork chops, and your family will love indulging in a simple but delightful meal. [ ... ]