Pork chops are pretty much the filet mignon of the white meat world, and we’re not afraid to say that we might just enjoy them as much as a top-shelf steak – and that’s saying a lot!
However, people aren’t cooking pork chops as much as they used to, and this is probably because they’re notoriously easy to mess up. Therefore, because we don’t think that you should settle for dry and tasteless chops, we have a compiled 7 foolproof steps that you should take before, during, and after cooking your chops.
You need to know exactly what you have purchased before you start cooking. There are actually 5 different kinds of pork chop – the boneless chop, the loin chop, the rib chop, the sirloin chop, and the shoulder chop. Traditionally, the center-cut loin is the most tender, so when in doubt, ask for this cut by name.
2. Pay Attention to Color and Thickness
Butchers will tell you that the thicker the pork cut chop, the better. It may require some extra cooking time, but the juicier meat is well worth the wait. To add to this, make sure to take a close look at the color of the pork – the best pieces will be marbleized and pink.
3. Opt for Brine
We all know a marinade makes pork taste great, but this won’t stop it from drying out when heated. For this reason, you should always brine your pork chops for at least 8 hours before cooking. Not only will this infuse moisture into the meat, but it will also give it a kick of earthy flavor.
For delicious and succulent chops, roast them up in your slow cooker. This gadget works extremely well for pork because it provides consistent heat without scorching the meat.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Brown
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can always brown the pork chops on the stove. While it’s a method that can go wrong if the pan gets too hot, we guarantee you’ll get mouth-watering results if you use butter while browning.
6. Know When to Take Them off the Heat
For safe consumption, pork needs to be cooked until it reaches a minimum of 145F, but that doesn’t mean that you need to keep it on the heat till it reaches that temperature. Instead, wait until the thermometer hits 135F, then take the meat off the heat and monitor until it reaches 145. This will ensure you pork is safe to eat and never dry and tough.
7. Give the Pork a Rest
Now it’s time to make sure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste. After taking the pork chops off the heat, wait about 10 minutes before serving – or else the juices will be lost along with the temperature.