Easy recipes for grilled pork
Grilled Pork: A Kinder, Gentler Bacon
In the last decade or so, bacon has gone beyond the definition of food, it has become the definition of a generation. We feast on bacon day and night, we cover it in chocolate and give it to one another on Valentine’s Day. We put it on donuts and maple bars. There are bacon bubble gum and bacon ice cream. It seems that there is no place that bacon doesn’t belong, except that is the grill. While there may be ways of grilling bacon without causing a fat explosion, the grilled pork chop is a safer and healthier bet.
If bacon is meat candy, the grilled pork chop is the beef steak. It’s the priciest part of the animal – you might think of it as bacon’s more refined cousin. The pork chop comes from the loin of the animal (the loin is part that runs from the hip to the shoulder and contains the tenderloin). It is less fatty and contains more protein than bacon Many are calling it “the new white meat.” Others are calling it dinner. Let’s have a closer look at this barbecue favorite.
Are Grilled Pork Chops Healthy?
You bet your sweet rump they are! They don’t call bacon “meat candy” for nothing. Part of the reason that bacon is so unhealthy is because of the way it’s prepared. It’s taken from the fattiest part of the pig and cured with tons of salt. That makes it one of the best preserved and most flavorful meats on the planet. Unfortunately, that also makes it one of the worst for your health.
Pork chops, on the other hand, are cut from the loin of the pig and are actually leaner than skinless chicken thighs. How much protein is in a grilled pork chop? One large eight oz. chop is 425 calories. Roughly 52 percent of that is protein. That means that an 8 oz pork chop has 55 grams of protein. That’s more than half, if math isn’t your strong suit. But enough of the health lesson, let’s move on to the grilling.
Properly Grilling Pork Chops
When you’re looking to keep your grilled pork chops healthy and juicy, you’re going to have a lot of questions. Inquiring minds want to know: at what temperature you grill pork, how long does it take to grill pork, and how to cook it using a gas grill and a charcoal grill. Hopefully, the following will clear a few things up for you.
Cut Selection: Do You Have the Chops?
Even though there are many cuts of pork to choose from, not all of them are well suited for flames. Rib cuts make the best choice for the grilled pork chops because they have enough fat to stand up to the flame. When you select your rib cut, try and find a center cut; these have the largest piece of loin. Size also matters. The ideal rib cut is about 1 to 1 ½ inches thick. This size will endure the flame well while giving you enough control to grill like a master.
Brining the Pork Chops: Your Brining Moment
After the pork chops are picked, it’s time for your brining moment. Brine adds water to your chop which helps it retain moisture when cooking- that means your pork chop won’t end up tasting like shoe leather.
All you need for a basic brine is a cup of water and a tablespoon of salt, but many choose to add seasoning. The most basic brine seasoning is a sweetener. These can include:
- Brown or white sugar
- Maple syrup
Other seasonings can be derived from the recipe you are using as well as your own preferences. Herbs, spices, garlic, and onions are some of the most commonly used.
Cooking Pork Chops on a Gas Grill
- Set up the grill to use indirect heating on one side and direct heating on the other. In gas grill speak, this translates to turning up the burners to high on one side and leaving the other side on very low heat or none at all.
- Place brined chops on the grill on high heat for five minutes a side.
- Move chops to the cooler side of the grill. Close the lid and allow them to reach the desired degree of doneness. Check your instant-read thermometer to ensure you have safely cooked your pork chops.
- If you wish to add BBQ sauce, so it in the last minutes of cooking once they are completely done by your standards. Let cool five minutes before serving.
Cooking Pork Chops on a Charcoal Grill:
- Start with a two-zone indirect fire. In charcoal grill speak, this translates into piling all the coals onto one side of the grill to allow for cool and hot zones.
- Sear over high heat until they develop that beautifully brown crust or until your mouth starts to water. If flare-ups occur, move chops to the cooler side of the grill until the flare-up has ceased.
- Move the chops to the cool side of the grill, bone side to the grill and cover them.
- Use a probe thermometer to check the temperature. One thirty-five Fahrenheit (57 degrees C) is the high end of medium rare.
- Take the chop off the grill for ten minutes and let rest. This will allow it to come to a rosy juicy 145-degree perfect medium.
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Succulent Pork Chop Recipes:
One of the best things about pork is its versatility. It can go Hawaiian faster than tropical punch, get smokin’ in a hot minute and get stuffed in the next. Here are some of our favorites:
Get Really Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops:
Think of this one as something a Jewish mother might serve if she ate pork.
- 4 double-thick bone-in loin end pork chops
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 lb. ice cubes
- 2 cups heated cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups crumbled corn bread
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup halved dried cherries
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh sage.
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Put salt, mustard powder, sugar and peppercorns aside in a plastic container. Add hot vinegar and let swirl to dissolve. Let sit for 5 – 10 mins to develop flavor.
- Add ice cubes and shake to until most of them melt.
- Put in chops and cover with brine, let sit for 2 hours.
- Remove chops from container and rinse. Cut pockets horizontally for stuffing.
- Combine the remainder of the ingredients in a piping bag without a fitted tip. Pipe each chop with the mixture.
- Grill each side for 6 minutes on medium high heat, turning each one 45 degrees after 3 minutes to mark.
Hawaiian Pineapple Grilled Pork:
Unless you’re hosting an extreme cooking show, it’s unlikely that you’re going to conduct a pig roast at your barbecue just to capture the feel of a luau. You don’t have to go whole hog when you can do it just as well with a few grilled pork chops and some pineapple rings. Here’s a recipe that brings the luau without the lava and uses a lot less dry rub.
6 – 1-inch thick pork chops
1 can pineapple slices in juice
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup Italian dressing
3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Drain pineapple, leaving one cup of juice to add to marinade
- Combine marinade ingredients. Use 2/3 of the mixture to marinate pork, reserve the rest for basting
- Let meat marinate for at least 3 hours.
- Grill pork chops on medium heat for 8 minutes on each side.
- Grill pineapple for five minutes total
- Baste pork and pineapple with reserved mayonnaise
- Place one or two pineapple slices on each chop.
- Go Hawaiian!