Any techniques for getting really tender pork loin chops
I brine the boneless pork loin chops from Costco for at least 2 days. Pull out of brine and let set at room temp. for an hour before cooking. Brush chops with olive oil then sear both sides on a hot grill and finish in oven to slightly pink. Any other techniques for tender chops.
I have read through all of the recipes and techniques here and I can honestly say I'm not sure how some of these techniques have yielded tender chops. Most pork available in the average supermarket is very lean. It just doesn't have the marbling for some of these techniques. The two best options for chops are very high heat (REALLY high) and quick cooking times (some people leave the chop on too long thinking it can't be done in such a short time, but that's why very high heat, like broiling, is so important), with the other option being a medium high direct heat temperature to seal in juices and brown the outside, then get that temp down very low and add liquid and cook for 45 minutes. I, personally, do not like breaded chops from the oven. I also want to taste the meat without adding fruit, fruit juice or the like because I want the MEAT taste...so I use water to braise. I do use a lot of good herbs and spices on the chops, but stick with water for the braising liquid. My mother was a typical Southern cook and she used to sear the breaded chops (breaded by first dipping in evaporated milk, then dredging in flour, with salt and pepper added) in shortening and then added water and slow cooked them for 45 minutes. No one could make chops quite like hers and they were fork-tender. I do not use shortening; I use a small amount of oil, but I braise the same (without the breading) and they are fantastic, tender and not dry at all.
First, choose the right chops, which is very hard these days, especially boneless chops.
The "center cut" or "loin" in mass market labelling covers a lot of different types of chops, from blade end to sirloin end, with rib chops in between. The rib chops (which form the shape of the number 7) are the best; blade chops next best, though with odd bits of tissue/bone to deal with. The sirloin and T-bone-type chops tend to be less flavorful and drier. In my experience, boneless chops tend to be from that end of the loin.
re: Karl S
I find that the sirloin chops, either bone-in or b/l, are best braised or breaded and pan fried, and the rib chops, bone-in, are great for brining or dry rubs and grilling. When I purchase a boneless chop, it normally comes from the loin, or I purchase a whole loin and cut my own.
Well, you got the grilling technique for tender chops down, although you don't have to brine them for quite that long. I'm a firm believer in brining but I don't even brine a 20 lb turkey for that length of time. A dry rub would add great flavor before grilling, as well. I like jerk paste as a rub on pork but there's lots of other rub choices. The other methods include braising in your choice of stock or sauce or browned first and baked in a sauce, like a bbq. Depending on how thick your chops are, braising could be as short a time as 45 minutes-1 hour to fork tender. I prefer at least a two-inch chop for any kind of cooking, although I use thinner 1-inch chops for breading and pan frying.
Bread in flour/egg/bread crumbs of your choice and pan fry or bake; the breading keeps the moisture in the chop.
Then there's the slow-cooker...
Commercially available pork has been bred to be quite lean in the US and the best way to get tender chops is either a hot, fast cooking method (grilling and finish in a hot oven) or a slow braise or bake for longer amounts of time. If you're getting your pork from a local farmer you may find the pork has more marbling/fat with less opportunity for dry chops.