Pork chops can be a daunting ingredient to prepare. Many of us have overcooked a pork chop and the memory of that unsatisfying meal left an impression. We want you to feel confident cooking Firsthand Foods products so we have put together these guidelines for delicious pork chops every time.
- Lay It Out. A room temperature pork chop is how the pros do it and the starting point for most recipes. Lay out your pork chops about 1 hour before prepping.
- Thick or Thin. The cut will determine your cooking time and sometimes determines the best cooking method. A 1-inch thick pork chop is a great start for grilling or baking. Keep in mind that the thicker the chop, the more time you will need for cooking. If you want a thin crunchy schnitzel or tenderloin sandwich, butterfly that boneless pork chop for quicker cooking times.
- Seasoning, Maybe Brining. Pork chops can be difficult to season because the meat is quite dense. Brining is one way to ensure a perfectly seasoned, juice chop. Brining consists of using a salt solution and time to impart tenderness and flavor. Do not be afraid to add aromatics, herbs, and spices to your brine.This is where you can get creative. Whether you are brining or simply adding a great rub to your pork chops, be sure to give this step some time. It will pay off!
- Bones or No Bones. Pork chops may be bone-in or boneless. Bone-in are great for grilling and baking. Boneless also work well for those cooking methods, but if you need a thinner chop, they are the perfect choice. You can cut them in half lengthwise (butterfly) and also pound them thinner with a mallet.
- Trim the Fat, or Not. Fat will not only provide flavor to your pork chop but will also help keep the meat tender and juicy as it cooks. So, keeping the fat is recommended unless the recipe calls for removing it.
- Are We There Yet? The only way to truly know if a pork chop is done is a meat thermometer. We love our instant read digital thermometers. Pork chops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145℉. Keep in mind that the pork chops will continue cooking once removed from the heating source, so it is okay if you remove it a few degrees before the desired final temperature. Let it rest 15 minutes and do a final check to be certain.