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Old 01-01-2010, 03:56 PM   #1
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Question How to Make Tender Pork Chops

I never buy pork chops anymore because they always turn out tough. I would love to make some that are tender. Any suggestions?

On the back of the sauerkraut bag there was a recipe for pork chops and sauerkraut. You brown the chops and put them in a casserole with the kraut on top, cover and bake. I'm tempted to try them.

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Old 01-01-2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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Two things:
  1. Buy the thickest chops you can find
  2. Cook by temperature
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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Pork chops don't have much fat anymore because pigs are bred to be leaner now. Less fat equates to a higher temp and shorter cooking time, as posssed to the "low and slow" method for fattier cuts like the shoulder/butt. For 1 1/2 inch bone in chops I will brown on both sides (maybe 4 - 5 minutes or so on each side) then I put in the oven for about 7 minutes (probably 375 degrees). Additional fat is nice...I make a topping when mine bake of butter, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and horseradish. A bit of pink in the center is ok.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:01 PM   #4
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What does "cook by temperature mean"? Does that make them tender?
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:19 PM   #5
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I make pork chops all the time for my family...and I like to keep it simple.

6 thin pork chops, bone-in
egg wash
breadcrumbs
2 cups beef broth


Double bread the pork chops, brown in olive oil. Pour in the beef broth, cover, simmer for 45 minutes.


They've never been dry. I usually serve with mashed potatoes and red cabbage. YUM!
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron View Post
What does "cook by temperature mean"? Does that make them tender?
Use a meat thermometer to check doneness, as opposed to cooking for a fixed length of time. This will prevent overcooking.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:25 PM   #7
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I think "cook by temperature" means to use a meat thermometer and take the chops out just before they have reached the suggested temp. The thickness of the chop is also important, thin ones will cook more quickly.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron View Post
I never buy pork chops anymore because they always turn out tough. I would love to make some that are tender. Any suggestions?

On the back of the sauerkraut bag there was a recipe for pork chops and sauerkraut. You brown the chops and put them in a casserole with the kraut on top, cover and bake. I'm tempted to try them.

You have two basic choices for cooking pork chops, low and slow or hot and fast.

For low and slow, you would quickly brown the chops then slowly simmer them with sauerkraut (or brown gravy, etc.) for an extended period. This is similar to what you do for a stew or pot roast. The long slow cooking process tenderizes the meat.

Alternatively, cook the chops over high heat until done. Do not overcook. Overcooked pork chops will be tough and dry.

Pork chops are safely done when they reach an internal temperature of 137 F. Most people like them a little more done, so go to 145 to 150 F internal temperature. If you stop there, they will be moist and tender. If you cook them to a higher internal temperature, they will be dry and tough.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:25 PM   #9
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Try brining the chops for an hour or so, then do hot and fast. Works well here. Make 'em thick chops though.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:32 PM   #10
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blueheron...you can brine in something as simple as buttermilk...you can then add chopped garlic and rosemary for added flavor if you do it for a bit longer than an hour. A basic brine solution consists of 1 gallon of water and 1 cup kosher salt. You can then reduce accordingly. I like to add some brown sugar to mine too...about 1 cup also. You can also substitute apple juice for the water when it comes to pork or poultry.

With a basic brine you can never go wrong.
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