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Old 05-23-2010, 04:06 AM   #1
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Pork chops: Am I doing this right?

So I just got a grill pan to eat healthier.

The first thing I tried to do, was grill pork chops. I have a recipe that tells me to cook the chops 4-5 minutes on each side. The recipe calls for 1 inch chops.

The chops I have are a bit thicker. Probably an inch and a quarter, but it's also uneven. It's not an inch and a quarter all around.

Anyway, I tried grilling the chops 4-5 minutes on each side, and I stuck a meat thermometer into the center, and it was around 106 degrees.

According to what I've read, pork chops need to be 160. Not even close.

By the time I was done, I had stuck the meat thermometer so many times, it lost a ton of moisture.

Overall cooking time was around 20 minutes. Not sure if this is right.

Either I don't know how to use a meat thermometer, or the meat thermometer is inaccurate, or the grill pan wasn't hot enough. Whatever it is, the meat was extremely dry. I tried to force it down my gut, but I threw it out.

The next time, I made sure the grill pan heated up for a bit longer. But according to instructions, the pan is hot when you sprinkle some drops of water and it evaporates on contact. So I don't think it's an issue with heat.

However, the chops took another 20 minutes to reach 160. Actually, it wasn't even 160 at the center. It was still 140, but I decided to just pull it out, because it seemed overcooked at that point.

Again, the pork chops tasted like extra lean chicken breasts. Is this what pork chops are supposed to taste like? Am I doing something wrong?

PS: This was my first time eating pork chops, so I really don't have a measuring stick.

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Old 05-23-2010, 09:47 AM   #2
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You might want to double-check your thermometer to make sure it's accurate. Stick the end of it into a pan of boiling water - it should go to 212 degrees.

Are you resting the pork chops after taking them off the heat? Put them on a plate, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes before cutting into them. The temp will rise another 5-10 degrees with carryover cooking.

Pork and chicken taste different to me, but I also like to season them with S&P and usually some other herbs, spices or a sauce, to bring out more flavor.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:45 PM   #3
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Grill pans take a lot longer to cook things because so little of the pan surface touches the meat.

Next time, cook the chops for a couple of minutes on each side to get the pretty grill marks then pop the pan and the chops into a 400F oven for 10 minutes. Check the internal temperature and either back into the oven a little longer or remove to a plate and tent with foil for 10 minutes before serving.

Pork chops should be cooked to about 145F-150F then allowed to rest. The internal temperature will rise a little more as it rests.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:11 PM   #4
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Hi Rush, and welcome to DC....

Andy is spot on with those instructions, but the next time you do pork chops..."brine them". It makes all the difference in the world with the skinny pigs of today. It's very easy to do......You can do this in the morning before going to work.
In a small pan combine 1 cup of apple juice (plain water works just fine though), with 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup Kosher salt. You can add some spices if you want to, but the important thing is what's mentioned. Heat till the mix is dissolved, and throw in a handful of ice cubes to cool it down. Put the mix in a zip lock plastic bag along with the chops, and refrigerate. You can brine it for as little as four hrs, but they can be done up to 12 hrs or so.
Dry off the chops with a paper towel, and season with whatever you want, minus the salt, and rub with a little olive oil. Proceed with Andy's instructions, and you'll have the best chops you've ever eaten.......moist, flavorful and delicious. And no, they are not too "salty".
Let us know, ok?
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:50 AM   #5
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Ah jaysis, that's quite a lot of instructions LOL

I'm very new to cooking, and at this point, I get discouraged when I need to use more than one pan or pot to cook a dish. I'm a fast food junkie. Been that way for a while, because I just don't have the patience to cook, when I can just drive some place and grab a bite.

That said, I'll take these instructions into consideration.

Question: What does brining do? I'm assuming it breaks down the tendons and tough infrastructure of the pork chops, but does it also affect the flavor?
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:39 AM   #6
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When I can't figure out something by myself, I sometimes watch videos in YouTube for an idea. :) But yes, meat thermometer is the best option to go since you are new to cooking. I also found this Internal Temperature Chart which I think is helpful when using meat thermometer.
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:25 AM   #7
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i'm with k-l on the brining if you grill pork chops.

along with the juice/salt/sugar combo, add a few crushed black peppercorns, allspice berries, a clove (the spikey little spice), some chopped garlic, bay leaves, and sherry.

best grilled chops you'll ever eat.

and nevermind the meat thermometer on chops. learn how to poke your meat to determine done-ness. grill on 5 minutes a side, and start poking after the first flip to see how soft they are. as soon as they firm throughout, they're done. a tiny bit of pink next to the bone will be ok.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:28 AM   #8
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I have to agree with Kayelle and BT... Brining is the only way to go, you will never again have a dry porkchop... I make a maple syrup brine that is fantabulous, and yes Bucky learning the touch method is wonderful and really not that difficult... Never again will you loose all your yummy juices to poke holes...
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimizkitchen View Post
I have to agree with Kayelle and BT... Brining is the only way to go, you will never again have a dry porkchop... I make a maple syrup brine that is fantabulous, and yes Bucky learning the touch method is wonderful and really not that difficult... Never again will you loose all your yummy juices to poke holes...
Isn't it dangerous, though?

I don't like poking holes either, but it feels risky to gauge the doneness of meat by pushing it. Sorta like bartenders who don't use measuring shot glasses and such. The cocktails are not always consistent.

Likewise, when you try to feel the meat, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to tell whether the pork chops are 130 or 140 degrees. It's a gamble.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenstar View Post
When I can't figure out something by myself, I sometimes watch videos in YouTube for an idea. :) But yes, meat thermometer is the best option to go since you are new to cooking. I also found this Internal Temperature Chart which I think is helpful when using meat thermometer.
Thanks a lot!
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