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Is it possible to make a delicious pork chop?

Well, I assume the answer is yes which is why I am here. I have had a few versions of pork chops simply prepared in restaurants which have been fabulous but at home they always turn out horrible and seemed to be just as bad everytime my mom insisted on having her "famous pork chops." I can make a great steak and even cook a juicy skinless chicken breast, but the center cut pork chops evades me. I have a few thick cut pork chops which I'd like to whip up into a delicious dinner. I'd love any simple preparations - simple seared or braised perhaps a recipe which makes a chop so good that you don't need a sauce. Any advice?

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  1. Two words: Brine and braise.

    Here's a link to a previous post that links to my favorite brine recipe and my go-to braise.


    8 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      If you're braising the chops, you don't need to brine them.

      Other than that, I agree with the pervious poster...the pork we see in the supermarkets these days is pretty awful. Best thing is to get some decent pork or at the very least, if you're stuck with the supermarket variety, select well marbled chops. It makes a world of difference.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          I love a good schnitzel and although we haven't made it for quite some time, we usually make it with pork loin.

          1. re: John E.

            I love schnitzel but have never made it. Do you just do a simple flour breading and pan sear? Any particular details of your prep?

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              I do a version using thick medallions of pork tenderloin that I pound thin. I was actually following a recipe for that midwest favorite, breaded pork loin sandwich, when my wife informed me I was kind of making schnitzel. She spent a few years in Germany so I guess she knows.

              I've been using the pounded very thin pork tenderloin for years in place of veal for all kinds of recipes.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                With chicken breast going for 99 cents a pound on sale, Hähnchenschnitzel makes for a frugal and versatile meal. I usually brine the breasts, sandwich them in a large ziplock bag and pound to a half inch thickness. Salt, pepper, paprika or whatever spices you like, flour, egg wash, toss in Panko bread crumbs and deep fry at 350 for 8-10 minutes. I usually put it on a cookie rack and bake another 8-10. That seems to bake a lot of the excess oil out. I like to serve with kraut, slaw, or sliced into strips and put on a bowl of ramen with a squirt of Bulldog Brand tonkatsu sauce.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  monkey pretty much described the process. I don't usually use a recipe, I just make it. Here is a Tyler Florence recipe that looks pretty good. I don't put any herbs into the pan. I also use Panko bread crumbs and pat the crumbs onto the meat so they stick. Like Tyler, I don't deep fry, but do a shallow fry. Then I put them on a rack on a sheet pan and keep them warm in the oven while making the gravy and the rest of the meal. I usually make a country gravy, much like that served with chicken fried steak (which is basically schnitzel).


                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    seasoning salt, flour, egg wash, corn flake crumbs. No better coating for schnitzel, IMHO.

            2. I agree..brine the chops, and dont overcook them. This recipe from the Side Street Inn in Honolulu makes a wonderful pork chop.


              1 Reply
              1. re: wabi

                My favorite spot in Honolulu! Their barbecued ribs are pretty good, too.

              2. The quest for a delicious pork chop has been much more difficult ever since pork became "the other white meat". If you can find a source (Wegman's for instance) and are willing to pay the price, Korobuta (see photo) or Berkshire pork will provide a chop that you won't want anything on but for a bit of s&p. Otherwise, I agree with the brining suggestion.

                3 Replies
                1. re: grampart

                  I have a large 1 1/2 inch thick Berkshire chop (unfortunately boneless) in my freezer. How would you cook this (grilling is not an option; still buried in snow)?

                  1. re: Pwmfan

                    I guess I would treat it like any other pork chop being careful to not overcook it. The times I've prepared Berkshire chops (also 1-1/2"), I've done them sous vide and finished on the grill. Twice I did Berkshire racks of pork and, after a quick sear, finished in the oven. My introduction to "Heritage" pork was a couple of years ago at The Admiral in Asheville where they did a thick Korobuta chop sous vide. I was hooked!

                    1. re: grampart

                      Thank you. Lacking access to both a grill and sous vide equipment, I will sear briefly and finish in the oven.
                      I've never cooked a thick chop before (I usually buy bone-in shoulder and country ribs) but this chop was so beautiful I couldn't resist.
                      My first taste of heritage pork (a sample at my farmers market) literally stopped me in my tracks. All I could think was "this is what I remember pork tasting like".

                2. While many CHers recommend brining, I've never brined pork chops - not motivated enough, but I have no good reason for not brining. Maybe because I've been really happy with simply sauteeing with salt, pepper and ground fennel seed, or I'll take them a bit further with a recipe I found on Serious Eats from Mario Batali,which is where I got the idea to use ground fennel. The resulting sauce (as well as the meat itself) is delicious; then there's the Cooks Illustrated very fussy sauteed pork chops in which they sprinkle one side with a tiny bit of sugar to aid browning on the second side and cook at a very low heat for the second side, resulting in an exceedingly tender and moist chop.

                  Here is the CI recipe:

                  And here's the link to the utterly delicious Pork Chops with Ground Fennel:

                  1. We brine and broil pork chops that are at least 3/4" thick. I like the chops with spicy mustard spread in which to dip the fork fulls after they broiled. Sometimes my wife and I use apricot preserves added to the broiled chops after they are done.

                    I like to play with my food. Sometimes I mix the mustard with the apricot preserves.

                    1 Reply
                    1. I am also a fan of brining and then pan-roasting chops.

                      Another very important tip is to avoid overcooking. I could swear that Ming Tsai said, on his show earlier today, that the FDA had changed the recommended internal temperature to 140 degrees, but I can’t find anything in print so I guess that they still recommend 145 degrees. In any case, I stop cooking chops when they reach an internal temp between 135 – 140 degrees. Any higher and the meat is too dried out.

                      In the article that I have linked, there is an interesting discussion with several chefs about pork temperature. Michael Ruhlman states that he cooks pork to 135.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: EM23

                        This is what I do... I'll pull them off to rest when they're at around 125-130.

                        1. re: juliejulez

                          That's a good point you make, Julie - they do need to rest, tented, for 10 minutes or more.

                          And Tim Irvine's tip below, to let the chops come to room temperature before cooking, is important as well. I take them out at least 1 hour before cooking.

                        2. First, choose the right chop: a rib chop. Not a sirloin chop or a vaguely worded "center cut" loin chop. A rib chop, which looks like this:


                          A lot of people assume, wrongly, that the "center cut" means rib chop, but it doesn't necessarily. Center cut covers a broader swath of pork that is not necessary good for pork chops.

                          So, only buy rib chops cut to order or that you can see all of them in a package (if they are overlapped, some will likely be sirloin or T-bone like chops, which are inferior).

                          And don't have any of that fat trimmed. Modern pork has such little fat, you will need it.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Karl S

                            "And don't have any of that fat trimmed. Modern pork has such little fat, you will need it."

                            I suppose you could buy some jowl fat and get yourself a larding needle.

                            1. re: Karl S

                              I guess next time as I currently have center cut chops.

                            2. Thanks for the advice -

                              The current plan is to pan sear a few minutes each side and simmer with broth then serve with a quick pan sauce and saurekraut. Would it be best to keep them double thickness or butterfly for this?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                You'll reduce the broth then for the sauce? Keep them thick if you are braising them.

                              2. My favorite treatment for a thick chop is leave out to come to room temp, flour very lightly, cook in butter/peanut oil just below smoke point, pour a bright white wine like Pinot Gris in, grind plenty of black pepper on it, add a judicious pinch of salt, and throw in shredded fresh sage. Take it off at least five degrees before you think it is done.

                                3 Replies
                                    1. I never brine, nor do I braise pork chops. I like them pan fried. I will finish the thick ones in the oven. Or we grill them. Ours turn out juicy. My husband does the grilling, and he's a stickler for timing.
                                      Not sure why some find them difficult.
                                      I will sometimes use a bit of a marinade (not really a brine) and find that soy sauce and honey is kind of nice, with a bit of ginger.
                                      But mostly, I just either simply flour and fry, or do a 3 step breading and fry if I want a "chicken fried" pork chop.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: wyogal

                                        I never brine either. I just brown in butter or coconut oil for about eight minutes total then finish in 325 oven for 5 minutes . Sometimes I make a mustard cream sauce,

                                        1. re: magiesmom

                                          Try mustard and tomato paste sauce some time.

                                        2. re: wyogal

                                          I never brine either. S & P for grilling or pan fry. Must have good chops, NO solution added.

                                        3. I reckon the secret is in the shopping. Buy a thickish (but not overly thick) chop, free range or organic (and better still if from a old fashioned rare breed) with a thick layer of fat. Pan fry.

                                          1. The one time I brined, I found them to be too salty. But, for the best chops, I either do the breading and pan fry/finish in the oven, or, something with a sauce. I know you said no sauce, but this one is super easy: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/06/po...

                                            This one is also delicious and very very easy: http://traceysculinaryadventures.blog...

                                            1. Yes, but I have to admit, cooking a delicious pork chop never came easily until I discovered what many others have already noted--heritage pork. If you can find it and are willing to pay for it, there's no trick to cooking it: season, sear, and finish in a hot oven or in a short stovetop braise. The pork will be juicy and flavorful on its own.

                                              With standard supermarket chops, I "smother" then braise: season the chops and sear; remove and set aside, and add onions, sliced thickly (2-3 for 2 chops), to the saute pan and cook those a few minutes with a little wine or chicken stock, deglazing the pan while the onions start to soften and brown. Return chops to pan and spoon the onions over them. (I always add a generous amount of chopped garlic and some fresh thyme at this point). Add a little stock (or even water). Cover the pan, leaving it slightly askew, and let the chops cook over low heat, adding liquid as necessary, until the onions are completely cooked down and the chops are done (anywhere from 15-30 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. (You can use different herbs, of course, and even add some sliced apple or pear to the braise. Or add sliced mushrooms when you're deglazing with the onions.)

                                              Sometimes I do a decadent variation, based on a Marcella Hazan recipe. I use sage instead of thyme and add some crushed whole tomatoes to the braising liquid. After the first 10 minutes or so of braising, I add cream and finish with lots of crushed black pepper. This makes a delicious sauce; my husband goes crazy for it.

                                              19 Replies
                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                I too braise pork chops until they're fall-off-the-bone tender. One of my favorites is onions, apples and Calvados, with a little cream at the end.

                                                1. re: escondido123

                                                  That sounds delicious; I'm going to try that one!

                                                2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  This looks great. I have chops which are about an inch to a little more than an inch thick and plan to use a prep like this with sherry and stock with garlic and shallots instead of onions. Do I just let it simmer for the 15-30 minutes? It seems a long time but they don't turn out tough?

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    Start checking them after 10-15 minutes and go from there. The chops will be done, but the braising keeps them moist and seems to tenderize them a bit. As long as there's a good bit of moisture, they don't really get tougher. Those flavors sound delicious, btw. Let us know how they turn out.

                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                      I must just not get along with pork chops because I get along fine with other cuts of pork. The chops were another experience in hockey puck chewing. However, the sauce was fantastic - I did sherry wine with garlic, shallots, thyme and oregano. The chops were a let down thanks to be overcooked again I think, but the new sauce combination was a nice cooking win! Thanks for the help.

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        Your only problem is that you appear to be cooking them for too long. There is nothing wrong with a pork chop with a pink center. Bloody center? No, but pink is ok.

                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                          Yea, I usually cook pork to pink center and it's moist and tender, it never works with chops for some reason. Tenderloin roast always perfect, chops hockey pucks.

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            Like anything else, starting off with a good quality chop is key as is not overcooking it. I also finish them to hot pink but not bloody rare like a beef steak. Leaving the bureaucratic slow to change FDA out of it, are there reasons supported by numerical data for not finishing modern pork rare or is it just a long standing notion in my head?

                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                              I don't know for sure. The FDA did come out with a 145° recommendation instead of 160°. I don't know if eating rare or even medium rare pork will ever become common. It does not sound appetizing to me.

                                                              I do know that getting trichinosis from undercooked pork is almost impossible in the U.S.

                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                I prepared a couple of 2" thick brined Berkshire pork chops in my crockpot/sous vide just this week. A bit over 4 hours at 131 degrees and then a quick sear in butter (less than 90 seconds per side and the same on the edges) that probably brought the temp up a little more. They were still pink, about a medium-rare+, and were juicy and delicious. p.s. no ill effects

                                                                1. re: grampart

                                                                  To me, pink is medium. Red to pink is medium rare.

                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                    I agree....with beef. Most folks would call 135 pork "rare".

                                                                        1. re: grampart

                                                                          Pulling at 135 and letting it finish to 140 - 145 works for me, especially boneless.

                                                                2. re: John E.

                                                                  Rare to medium rare pork is very common in restaurants and in homes, IME, these days. Especially important for those eating feedlot pork with all the fat bred out of it.

                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                    "Trichinosis" .....Thats what I thought but I wasn't sure about other issues. Years ago I remember any food left on plates in restaurants was scraped off and went into a slop dumpster and then was fed to the pigs. I "think" I read somewhere that food scraps now have to be heated to a certain temp before the pigs get it.

                                                                    My concern is the meat right along the bone on a nice thick chop. Even though I always put the bone over the hottest part of the fire that 1/2 inch or so right on the bone can sometimes be a little rarer. Haven't gotten sick yet though so I guess its more of a mental thing.

                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                Sorry you got hockey pucks. But I know the frustration. While I always braise supermarket pork chops, I can't say they ever get truly tender, but they're always tasty and seem more tender when cooked longer and smothered in onions or pan sauce. Outside of heritage pork, which is fattier, I've never had success quickly frying, grilling, or sauteing pork chops.

                                                        2. you want simple?? It couldn't get any easier than this: thick cut boneless chops, shake and bake (kicked up a few notches). Superb!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: mucho gordo

                                                            I actually agree.

                                                            I grew up with horrible pork chops. My mother is a fabulous cook. However, the pan fried pork chops were always inches thick and dry.

                                                            My husband dreams pork.

                                                            He would agree with the other posters here. Supermarket pork chops are terrible. There is not much you can do with them. He likes those shake and bake. And trust me, he would eat nothing other than pork everyday if he could.

                                                            However, we went to a fabulous restaurant in Manhattan (Hearth) and ordered the pork chop, not expecting much. iT was amazing! It really does come down to the quality of the meat.

                                                            I once went to a Japanese restaurant in midtown NYC, quite famous for their pork katsu....Katshama. The use Berkshire pork only. It is mind boggling! The quality does matter.

                                                            But if you can't get a good source of meat...
                                                            shake and bake is delicious
                                                            or pan fry brown, bake a bit in the oven...and cover with onions and some sort of jus...

                                                            I made a Thai/Vietnamese style pork chop with lemongrass and stuff and it was pretty noteworthy. "Your best" I was told. :-)

                                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                                              Oh, I am so glad you said that Mucho! I have followed this entire thread thinking that I just love the (organic) chops that I buy, dress in my own version of S&B and bake in the oven...I had no idea until |I read this thread that a simple pork chop could create so much cooking angst!

                                                            2. I would recommend lemon pepper and garlic,salt and pepper. Let them marinate in the spice mixture while you prepare the rest of dinner. The grill them. I used to dislike pork very much. This type of simple recipe made me understand how some one could enjoy them.

                                                              1. Personally, I do not like brining pork, so that process doesn't work for me. The perfect pork chop for me could either be grilled or pan seared with a crust cooked Medium-Rare to Medium doneness, depending on thickness....which should be double or triple thickness...Rib Chop, not Loin chop. If I were doing Italian inspired, it would probably be served with a brown or wine sauce....but simply cooked, it would have a sweet condiment on the side ....apples or cranberries.....the latter with jalapenos to give it some bite.

                                                                While I do like pork chops....I think a nice slow roasted rack of pork is even better





                                                                12 Replies
                                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                                  I don't get the brining either. Thats one of the biggest problems with lean solution injected supermarket pork. Yes its moist, but also tough & no pork flavor.

                                                                  Agree, double thick rib , 145 degree max finish temp, either grilled / pan seared / pan fried.

                                                                  Leidy's (PA Dutch) are pretty good.

                                                                  The rib end roast is a pain to work with but its cheap and fatty.

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    I hope you're not equating enhanced supermarket chops that may have been injected with a solution of water and other ingredients such as salt, phosphates, antioxidants, and artificial flavorings with good-quality chops that have been home brined. I refuse to eat the former, but have discovered after much experimentation both without a brine and with different brine formulas that I prefer the latter. Just a personal preference, but the two are worlds apart.

                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                      Yes. I brine pork chops that have not been processed and the salt/sugar solution makes them moist and tender.

                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                        No Joan, my point is that a good quality pork chop needs neither be commercially injected nor home brined. I have found that both reduce the intensity of the pork flavor.

                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                          Agree. I'm not taking brine/no-brine sides, but the "enhanced" grocery store pork is not where you want to start. Sure it's moist, but also flavorless and the texture is way off. You have to start with a quality product; if you make red sauce with supermarket tomatoes in December, don't blame your cooking! I'm trying to lead a revolt against "enhanced" pork, but when I wave my flag, no one follows.

                                                                          1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                            I bought some 'enhanced' pork sirloin roasts at Costco a while back. There was an offputting flavor that I did not like.

                                                                            1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                              I think part of the problem is that pork has been so lean and flavorless for so long that people old enough to have eaten good pork forgot what it tastes like and the younger folks were raised on the lean stuff and never had good pork. To many people who fall into these categories the enhanced stuff is at least moist and relatively cheap @ about $2.50 lb.

                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                I wish everyone could eat a pork chop from a Berkshire/Korobuta pig just one time. The older folks would have their memories jogged and the young would probably think they were eating meat from some previously unknown animal. If moisture was what the OP was after, there have been many fine suggestions supplied here. However, dryness was never mentioned specifically; great taste is the quest. I, too, have had wonderful pork chops on occasion in restaurants and, as far as I know, they were of the "other white meat" variety. Exceptional chefs can work miracles, but with "red meat" pork a home cook can turn out an unadorned chop that is out of this world.

                                                                              2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                If you have a friend in the food business they can get you Berkshire double thick pork chops for between $4.50 - $5.50 Lb. The only down side is that the purveyors usually only sell by the case....(probably 20 lb case)....then you just find another foodie and split the case.

                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                  As my father used to say, "IF my Aunt Millie had balls, she'd be my Uncle Billy", but I sure would like to have a friend like that!

                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                    heritage foods USA often has had what they've called "recession specials" on Berkshire porterhouse chops, with very good pricing on a package of five or six. Get on their mailing list.

                                                                                    1. re: grampart

                                                                                      I feel your pain. I would think (Guess) that a good independent butcher could get just about anything from his wholesalers. Try getting a case price (pay in advance) from an independent butcher as 10% to 20% profit for making a phone call to his wholesaler is pretty easy money.

                                                                                      A good relationship with a good independent butcher can yield a lot of fine dining products. A good vacuum sealer & a group of fellow foodies can make short work out of a case of just about anything.

                                                                        2. I replied to a similar post a few years ago.

                                                                          I don't generally read Cook's Illustrated, but about 5 years ago I rec'd a subscription as a gift.

                                                                          Their consensus (and I have tested and agreed with them is:

                                                                          Start with a room temperature chop, and season to taste (I only use a little salt and pepper) place in skillet or frying pan, put the pan on the stove and turn on to medium heat. Never place a lean modern pork chop in a preheated pan or it wioll dry out, be tough as leather and tasteless. By letting the pan and meat come up to temp together, you retain moisute and flavor. I cook to a medium doneness, turning after the down side has a golden brown almost crust.

                                                                          This method wors avery time. It also works well with blade cut (shoulder) veal or lamb chops.

                                                                          And a warninng fom the Cook's Magazine articel. NEVER under any circumstances buy pork sirloin chops. They are terrible.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                            I am a convert to Cook's Illustrated/America's test kitchen. Their tried-and-true methods are truly tried-and-true! I fully agree with chops at room temperature. It makes all the difference in the world.

                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                              I'm glad to see you eat and enjoy pork.

                                                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                actually, you read that I have cooked pork, I volunteer and cook supper three nights a month at a local lafway house for mentaly challenged adults.
                                                                                I cook many a meal and Item that I would not eat

                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                  I confused, if you did not eat the pork you cooked, how would you really know it retained it's moisture and flavor?

                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                    <<Their consensus (and I have tested and agreed with them is:>>
                                                                                    Did I misinterpret that?

                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                      Mrs G was raised in a kosher home and we started married life that way until she realized we couldn't afford the expense. Prices were so much higher for meats (and other things) that really were, in most cases, not as good as regular meats. She had never tasted certain things until I led her into temptation. Now, she can't get enough of it.

                                                                                2. Lots of talk here about brining or not brining. Count me in among the briners. Living in southern New England we have the Azorean brine/marinade called vinha d'alhos and I use it often: 2 cups water, 1 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tsp salt, 2 or 3 crushed cloves of garlic, some grinds of fresh black pepper, a crushed bay leaf. The longer your thick cut pork chop (bone in or not) bathes in this, the better it gets, though by day 2 it starts to pickle instead of brine.

                                                                                  Remove chop from brine and wipe dry. Set in a non-reactive skillet (due to the acid in the brine), insert probe thermometer, and put in 200 degree oven until internal temp rises to 155 degrees. Move skillet (use your oven mitts for this, please) from oven onto burner on high, quickly color each side, then remove to plate, cover and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. And there ya go!

                                                                                  1. I don't brine pork chops...I use all cuts of pork chops; center, end, rib - I never have a problem with them coming out dry. My favorite ways to cook them (when not grilling) are either smothered (pan sear or dust in flour and brown then simmer in gravy or other sauce) OR dust in seasoned flour, brown in a little oil; drain the oil and spread the chops on both sides with condensed tomato soup, place in a oven proof pan and top with onions and bell peppers. Cover and bake for 45 minutes to an hour on 350F. degrees. The recipe is from the 60's (or earlier?) that my mom made all the time when I was growing up. They come out fork tender and recipe was from the Campbell's tomato soup can.... brings back memories...so so good!

                                                                                    1. a) Any pork chop over charcoal.

                                                                                      b) Any pork chop breaded and fried in lard or bacon drippings. Or Baked which is how we now do it... Sometimes.

                                                                                      c) Forget moist for this., A chop cut thin, with a good fatty edge, fried till crunchy.

                                                                                      d) Sautee onions for about 5 minutes, brown your chops and then remove, add paprika to the onions, stir, add water and return the chops along with green pepper and tomato. Bake till done and and incorporate sour cream.

                                                                                      You need't understand Hungarian to see what's happening here. If you have the arterial condition for it, you may wish to try:
                                                                                      The host uses only lard, onions, garlic, s&p and chops.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: DockPotato

                                                                                        (a) Absolutely, but I'll use some cherry of apple wood too.

                                                                                        (b) Yes to breaded and fried. I'm even good with peanut oil.

                                                                                        (c) I'd try it.

                                                                                        (d) I'm not a braised chop guy, but that sounds pretty tasty.

                                                                                        At bottom, I'm with you. Nevertheless, I think that a good piece of pork, salted and peppered and cooked on a grill or in a frying pan to 140 degrees is the key. Brining makes the meat a bit funny to me so I stopped doin' it years ago.

                                                                                        1. re: DockPotato

                                                                                          c) is my all time favorite! Finding really thin cut bone in chops is getting more and more difficult.

                                                                                        2. Again, find yourself a source that sells pork that isn't the color of a chicken breast and you'll discover what a pork chop is supposed to taste like.

                                                                                          17 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: grampart

                                                                                            Any more details about what you look for in terms of color?

                                                                                              1. re: grampart

                                                                                                Oh wow, thanks! I'm not sure I've ever seen a pork chop with this lovely color which actually makes it seem quite appealing and likely delicious even in raw form. I imagine the quality of product is likely a contributing factor to my poor pork chop experiences. Thanks for the information, I will be on the hunt.

                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                  If you are willing to pay the price, Marx Foods is a good source for all things extravagant. All their prices include shipping and even at a local butcher(if you can find one) the price for "heritage" pork will run about $15 per pound. Check it out.


                                                                                                  1. re: grampart

                                                                                                    As a serious carnivore, I am known for spending most of my meager earnings on meat and seafood so it's probably right up my alley. I'll check it out, thanks for the recommendation.

                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                      I've heard things about this place also. Never used it myself and I'm not sure about shipping costs.


                                                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                                                        Thanks, I have had their truffle butter but nothing other than that.

                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                          D'artagnan products are wonderful, but I see you're in Baltimore so you probably don't need to go that route. Look for heritage pork in upscale grocery stores, like Whole Foods or Wegmann's: it may be listed as Berkshire, kurobato, or some others; ask someone in the meat department what they have in the way of heritage pork. It won't be cheap, but it will be a good bit less expensive than ordering from D'artagnan. (You can find other great D'artagnan products at Wegmann's though, like the truffle butter, pates, duck confit,etc.)

                                                                                                          The difference betweeen this and regular supermarket pork is amazing. I had at my Easter table last two six- year-olds , who couldn't stop eating the Berkshire crown roast I'd splurged on. We had told them they were eating pork chops, which they already loved--tough, dry, whatever. Both told their mothers that these pork chops "were the best." My mom couldn't believe the difference (though I did not tell her how much that pork roast cost; she might have had a heart attack on the spot--as I almost did when I got the tab at the butcher!)

                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                            This Berkshire rack was purchased in Decatur GA and the price was around $65. Sounds like a lot, but it fed 4 generously. It was so good, I swear, it brought a tear (or two) to my eyes.

                                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                                              DeKalb Farmers Market by any chance? I get there a couple times a year (when I have a car) and stock up. They have the best prices I've ever seen on heritage pork--about half what I have to pay here. That market is an amazing place.

                                                                                                        2. re: grampart

                                                                                                          I've hated every meat product I've ever bought from D'Artagnan. You can get much better prices on heritage pork in general here, and get a variety pack to introduce you to breeds/varieties: http://store.heritagefoodsusa.com/pop...

                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                            Wow! Very impressive site. What have you ordered from them?

                                                                                                            1. re: grampart

                                                                                                              I've ordered the (HYOOGE) Berkshire porterhouse chops and the spare ribs and St. Louis style ribs often. I ordered the worst beef steak of my life from them, too (grass fed, but thin, more blood than meat in the package due to poor processing, tough and miserable. They refunded, and gave me a discount for future purchases, no questions asked). Of all the above so far the incredibly good, meaty and well fatted spare ribs are my favorite. But all the pork cuts have been delicious. Once you've ordered, you start getting regular discount offers.

                                                                                                            2. re: mcf

                                                                                                              That looks like a wondeful site.

                                                                                                              I've never ordered pork or beef from D'Artagnan, so that's a bummer to hear--but I've been very happy with various poultry and specialty products,

                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                I haven't bought their pork or beef, I've bought their bacon, their poultry (mucho dinero!), and their bison ribeye. And their prepared stuff, like hot dogs, YECCHH, awful.

                                                                                                                Not everyone dislikes their stuff as much as I have, and I have not tried everything, but at their prices, stuff should be higher quality than it is.

                                                                                                        3. re: grampart

                                                                                                          I love Marx foods! I am in SEA, and Marx is one of the stops on one of my Gourmet food tours I give.

                                                                                                          Their products are awesome, and customer service is flawless. Prices are reasonable. They supply places like Alinea in Chicago.....

                                                                                                      2. re: grampart

                                                                                                        That is one good looking piece of pork!!!!

                                                                                                  2. Short version: I braise the chops on the stovetop, in apple juice & onion (or shallot).

                                                                                                    If that sounds good & you want to know exactly how I do it, I'll be glad to share (later when I have time to type a long post).

                                                                                                    1. Thick cut isn't necessarily the best starting point. Thin cut, fried with a sweetish sauce. Served up with rice or fries. That is the way the Vietnamese Chicken Chop Shop man does them. He is Chinese and he fries in Sarawak, Malaysia and he charges $2.50. He fries in The Best Corner who charge $3 for 1 litre of Chinese (very good) beer.
                                                                                                      I hope that you become the greatest pork chop wizard ever known.

                                                                                                      1. The best pork chops I've ever had were thick cut, with a half-inch-thick rind of fat and gristle around the edge, dredged in seasoned flour, and deepfried. They're served as is or smothered in onion gravy. Sinful.

                                                                                                        1. I marinated some thin ones in buttermilk with Moroccan grilling spices the other day, lightly breaded and then quickly pan fried. They were heritage pork, not dried out supermarket ones, and I don't cook above 150F.

                                                                                                          1. Thick cut pork chops are one of my grilling specialties. I have made pork chops for many a person who has only had them cooked tough and dry, and in nearly every case, they were stunned by how good my pork chops were. Here are my cooking notes for grilling thick cut boneless pork chops.

                                                                                                            - Brine for an hour first, and thoroughly rinse the chop off after brining.

                                                                                                            - You need med-hi heat on your grill. To measure this, hold your hand about three inches from the grate and count "MIssissippi". You want a 3-5 second count. I also use a two level fire, with the coals on one side and the other side "cool".

                                                                                                            - REMEMBER TO SCORE THE STRIP OF FAT ON THE SIDE TO PREVENT THE CHOP FROM CURLING ON THE GRILL. To do this, take a knife and cut a couple of lines in the fat strip from top to bottom. The fat shrinks when cooked at a greater rate than the meat, and the result is a curled chop. Another bad side effect is that, to a small degree, that curling is in effect wringing the chop (like a sponge) and squeezing out some of the moisture. The ideal is right to, but not through the actual flesh, however it's not the end-of-the-world if you cut through the strip and a bit into the chop.

                                                                                                            - Cook 4 min. on one side, over the coals, uncovered, turning a quarter of the way around after about ninety seconds if you want to try for some diamond grill marks.

                                                                                                            - Flip the chop, place on the cool side, and cook 4 min. , covered, with the vents open.

                                                                                                            - Take off the grill and let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing into thin slices. Arrange butterfly fashion on a plate for effect.

                                                                                                            - Using a quick read thermometer is also a good idea. Remember that 135 is a fine temp for pork...155 is FDA recommended but also tends to be over-cooked. I'm not advocating eating raw pork, but a little pink in the middle is NOT a bad thing for a pork chop, and certainly not for a tenderloin, which is another cut of pork that I love to do on a grill.

                                                                                                            One thing to note about this is that I've found that on smaller grills, these times aren't always as effective as when used on a 22.5 in. grill. I suppose the smaller grills may run hotter when covered?

                                                                                                            I like to just use a simple rub, like the Memphis or Cajun rubs in Steve Reichlen's BBQ Bible. I'll also soak a small handful of hickory or apple wood chips for an hour and toss them on to the coals after I flip the chops and cook them covered, on the non coal side of the grill.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: The Big Crunch

                                                                                                              The Big Crunch has it just right for thick chops.

                                                                                                              For very thin ones I like to dredge in flour, curry powder, paprika, salt & pepper and then pan fry at medium heat in oil & butter (almost like a chicken fried steak).

                                                                                                              1. re: Shann

                                                                                                                My neighbors are of Mexican descent, and every so often they'll cook those thin-sliced pork chops on their grill, perfuming the area wonderfully. They cook them hot and fast, so they actually come out crisp, but I've had them like that in a Mexican restaurant and they were delicious. Even Mrs. O, who would no longer eat a pork chop, rolls her eyes and moans when Mrs. Morales is grilling …

                                                                                                                My best-tasting and tenderest chops have always been ones I just didn't fuss over. Have the meat seasoned well in advance, get the pan hot, pour in some oil, then when it's ready lay them in. Turning them only once lets them cook into the center faster, just the opposite of producing a well-seared but rare steak or burger. I also like to coat them with something - wasabi mayonnaise, mayo mixed with harissa paste, Dijon mustard and olive oil beaten together 50/50 - and cook them on a wire rack in a pan for about 25 minutes at 350º. That works best with bone-in chops, or alternatively very thick shoulder steaks if you can find those.

                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                WAY more expensive than heritagefoodsusa.com!

                                                                                                              2. You obviously don't have a shortage of advice but I'll add on. Brine or not makes less of a difference to me than temperature--keep a close eye and as EM23 said, pull it before it hits 140 (I do it about 135) and let it sit. It gets there pretty quickly. I sear but not on as high heat as I would a steak, 3 mins per side (thick cut), remove and let sit on warmer. Last night's variation, I sauteed an onion, deglazed w/ wine, added fig preserves and red wine vinegar. Added pork chops back in (flipped a couple of times to get the glaze on it) and let simmer on low for about 5 minutes and then added shredded cabbage around it. Pulled pork chops at 135, finished sauteeing the cabbage in the sauce, about 5 minutes. If I had had bacon in the house, I would have added that, too.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                  Thanks, love cabbage and cooking with wine so this sounds great. How long do you rest? The usual 5-10 minutes?

                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                    Yes, about 5 mins, about the time it took for the cabbage to cook down.

                                                                                                                2. I am at a loss as to why anyone would ever have a dry pork chop just because it was purchased at a local or chain supermarket. My daughter has stated many times over the many years that I cook the best tasting pork chops.

                                                                                                                  I put a little olive oil in a skillet that has been heated to medium heat. When the oil has heated, I place the frozen pork chops in the skillet, then salt the up side. Let the chops cook for awhile until a light golden color, turn, salt this side, then cook until just beginning to get a bit golden. Turn down the heat to low and continue cooking for about 10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chops. Remove chops from the skillet and serve.

                                                                                                                  This may not be the Chowhound way, but it has worked for me for many, many years.

                                                                                                                  1. I soak mine in mojo criollo for 2 days, sprinkle with a little adobo, black pepper, rub with olive oil and roast them in a cast iron skillet at 425 for about 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness). Crispy outside, juicy and tasty inside. In the summer, they go on the grill.

                                                                                                                    1. For something like a thick "t-bone" pork chop, I cook it like a steak... kinda hot/quick till just barely cooked thru... mo medium RARE, of course.

                                                                                                                      Other times, I go low/slow. Will brown well, add a messa onions, carrots, a little liquid (water?) and just let it simmer away till falling off the bone. During process, will try to let the pan get as close to totally DRY as possible... makes for nice brown GUNK on bottom. Sometimes potatoes will go in at end to soak up a lot of that color and flavor.

                                                                                                                      1. I liked this recipe from America's Test Kitchen that just came in an email yesterday. The crust is unique -- made of egg whites whisked with flour and mustard that grip the bread crumbs so they don't fall off. Thought this crust technique could be applied widely to other foods.

                                                                                                                        Chops are brined one half-hour. Add or vary spices to suit your flavor preferences: hot, spicy, Indian, Italian, etc. Directions are paraphrased.

                                                                                                                        Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

                                                                                                                        • Table salt
                                                                                                                        • 4 center-cut boneless pork chops, 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
                                                                                                                        • 4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
                                                                                                                        • 1 small minced shallot (about 2 tablespoons)
                                                                                                                        • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
                                                                                                                        • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
                                                                                                                        • Ground black pepper
                                                                                                                        • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
                                                                                                                        • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
                                                                                                                        • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
                                                                                                                        • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus 6 tablespoons
                                                                                                                        • 3 large egg whites
                                                                                                                        • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                        • Lemon wedges

                                                                                                                        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rack in middle of oven. Make brine of 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart water -- I like the large ziploc bag. Put chops into brine, and refrigerate half-hour. Rinse and dry chops.
                                                                                                                        2. Make bread crumbs with bread in food processor, about 3.5 cups. Bake bread crumbs on rimmed baking sheet with shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss till well-combined and bake till golden about 15 min. Stir twice during baking. Remove and let cool. Do not turn off oven. Combine crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.
                                                                                                                        3. Place 1/4 cup flour in plate. In shallow bowl or other plate, whisk together egg whites and mustard, then add 6 T. remaining flour till almost smooth, small lumps OK.
                                                                                                                        4. Turn up oven temp to 425 degrees. Non-stick spray on wire rack placed on rimmed baking sheet. Dredge pork chop in flour and pat off extra flour. Hold each chop with fork or tongs and dip into egg white mixture. Let extra drop off. Then dip chop into bread crumb mixture, press each chop down to coat with crumbs. Place each chop on wire rack.
                                                                                                                        5. Bake in oven till internal temp registers your preferred level of doneness. I like my pork chops juicy. Figure out what temp that is for you, and do not overcook. Serve with lemon wedges.

                                                                                                                        1. Lately been very happy with center cut chops (1 1/2 inch thick) from Costco. Simple recipe .... Coat chops with olive oil - dredge in pure Guajillo Chile Powder. Place chops on a plate-cover and into the frig for a couple of hours-or longer - Bring chops to room temp then grill like a steak 4 mins per side - then a couple more mins off to the side (not over the coals) .. Take off the grill-let them rest for 5 mins and enjoy. Like to have applesauce on the side..the trio of applesauce - Guajillo powder - and pork is a nice combo.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Maggie19

                                                                                                                            I like pork/apple combinations, too. I will sometimes deglaze the pan and saute chopped apples, after removing the pork.

                                                                                                                          2. I keep it simple, just some sea salt and ground black pepper, some coarsely chopped fresh parsley, and some garlic infused olive oil.

                                                                                                                            I like the garlic infused oil because fresh garlic tends to get all burnt in the oil before the pork chops finish cooking. Also, some brands have a stronger garlic flavor than others - I go for one with a strong flavor.

                                                                                                                            Most of the time I just simply pan fry them in the oil. It's really just about learning what the right feel of the meat is when you press down on it - to avoid over/under cooked chops.

                                                                                                                            1. I use a high heat (I don't brine) but I do like to use a thick chop. Here is the last one I did. Moist and juicy. You can do them on the grill or use a grill pan indoors.

                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                  It looks like the same pork chop I saw in the window of a restaurant in Tokyo back in 1967.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                    That is beautiful. Is that regular supermarket pork, boyzoma, and if so, what is the secret to your success? I've tried grilling really thick chops on high heat many times but never had good results (except with Berkshire or some other heritage breed).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                      I won't answer for Boyzoma or anybody else but my experience with run of the mill pork chops from supermarkets is that they are from extremely lean Midwestern animals and rarely come out juicy and full of flavor. Because of this, many are now offering pumped chops which will remain moist, but I found the texture to be just as tough and the pumping all but eliminated any pork flavor.

                                                                                                                                      Some markets offer "Premium" pork products such as Sterling Silver at a premium price but I have not tried them as I have a different source. I do know that their beef products are similar quality as Certified Angus Beef, both of which are extremely popular with purveyors supplying fine dining restaurants.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                        Just regular supermarket (Safeway) pork chop. But I do ask the butcher to cut them thicker. I also glazed with a little teriyaki sauce. I was pretty impressed with the result myself.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                          Yeah, I always get the double thick. I ran out of my PA Dutch good ones and my wife got double thick chops at Shoprite. She did not realize it but they were pumped. Plates filled with water when we cut into them. Moist but tough & flavorless.

                                                                                                                                      2. Crosspost from another thread. Rib chop with sautéed hominy & asparagus parmigiano. Don't overccok it & let it rest and juicy porkchops can be yours. Even better if you brine first.

                                                                                                                                        1. Braised pork chop is my all time Favorite and i it also saves lots of my money as thinly slide pork chops are direct bargains and always on sale.

                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: alex252

                                                                                                                                            Can you comment on your approach? I tried the braise and it failed miserably.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                              My mother made a pork chop recipe that my widowed father makes for himself and it is actually pretty good even though it uses the ubiquitous cream of mushroom soup. There isn't really even a recipe, you just make it. Start by seasoning and browning pork chops (not center cut boneless pork loin). After the chops are browned, put them in a slow cooker. Deglaze the frying pan with maybe a cup of milk. Add a can of cream of mushroom soup and whisk it with the milk until it is bubbly and hot. Add the soup mixture to the crockpot and cook on high until the pork is tender. Or, cook on low or even warm until the pork is tender. (I subscribe to theory that modern slow cookers are too hot, meaning warm is low, low is high, and high is really high.)

                                                                                                                                              I serve the pork and mushroom gravy over egg noodles or baking powder biscuits (Grands from the cardboard can).

                                                                                                                                              My mother actually made this in her electric skillet, but I never got the hang of getting a low simmer so the chops and gravy didn't dry out and stick to the pan. She also put in a can of mushroom stems and pieces. I usually brown some fresh mushrooms in the pan before the deglazing instead of using canned mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                About how long do you cook on low?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                  I think it takes two or three hours. This is not one of those 'all day at low' slow cooker meals.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                    I was just wondering. I tried this method yesterday on low for 3-4 hours so I guess that was about the right timing. I won't enjoy the chops until tomorrow but the slow cooker method was super easy.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                      Like most braised meats, it is even better the second day. Last fall a local store that resells expired food or near expired food had 8 ounce sliced button mushrooms at 3/$1. I certainly would not serve them on a salad, but I bought a case and made mushroom soup. We have about ten quarts of mushroom soup in the freezer so the last time I made this pork chop recipe I skipped the canned mushroom soup.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                        I didn't use the canned soup either but used the method with stock instead. Wow do you have a recipe for the soup you made?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                          I don't really use a recipe. I sauté a mirepoix until it is quite brown, deglaise with white wine, remove the mirepoix, sauté the mushrooms, deglaze again, add the mirepoix back to the kettle, add chicken stock and simmer for an hour or so, and then I use an immersion blender to make a smooth soup. When it's time to serve, I heat up the soup and add some 1/2 & 1/2 and sour cream. Sautéd sliced mushrooms mushrooms and a dollop of sour cream and maybe croutons for garnish.

                                                                                                                                                          I make a white sauce to mix with the mushroom soup for the pork chop recipe.

                                                                                                                                          2. Three words: Brine/braise/ and get your butcher to cut 'double bone in' chops. Very tricky to get a tender moist single bone-in chop. Pork must be cooked at under 200F. The moment the surface temperature of any cut of meat rises above 212F you've got rubber bands on the surface and that high heat moves inward to the center of the meat. By the time the center temp is say 160F most of the meat closer to the surface is not fit to eat. Hence the SV method. A lot more than 'three words'.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                              Update: If you don't want to braise use HB's method for cooking the 'perfect steak' The principle of repeated turning is the key to perfect;y cooked beef steaks or pork chops.
                                                                                                                                              And definitely use 'rib chops' only as a previous poster has suggested.
                                                                                                                                              The aging part of the video is something pork chops really benefit from but it's not critical. The rest of HB's advice definitely is. This is the only way I ever cook steaks or chops now with perfect results. Had a choice rib eye last night.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-9NgO...
                                                                                                                                              The critical thing with rib chops is never to over-cook them. Better to undercook and rest and allow the carry-over to finish the cooking.

                                                                                                                                            2. Deep Fried is by far the best, but if you don't wanna deep fry at home... season your chops with oregano, salt and pepper, olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice. add them to a baking dish and surround with peeled potatoes. cover with foil and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. uncover and bake until golden brown and delicious, about another 30 minutes...

                                                                                                                                              other seasonings include coriander and/or cumin, sliced fresh tomatoes and sliced/chunked onions as options.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                Wouldn't the baking time depend on the cut of chop and the thickness of the chop?
                                                                                                                                                An hour and fifteen minutes at 350 F seems like a long time for a pork chop. Never tried it though.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                  We have breaded & pretty quickly pan fried "double" thick loin & rib chops golden brown followed by 10 minutes in the oven at 350 with a nice light pink finish inside.

                                                                                                                                                  On the BGE over lump charcoal about 4 minutes each side with the same chops finishes light pink inside.

                                                                                                                                                  I have never done it but I would think 75 minutes at 350 in the oven would bring the chops pretty far into the well done category.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                    yes. it depends on the thickness and cut. and how well done you like your pork. I am not a huge fan of thin chops. I usually will buy thick or double cut, giving something to bite into.
                                                                                                                                                    this method, as long as the variable cooking time is, usually leaves a moist and juicy chop at a fully cooked through temp. YMMV...

                                                                                                                                                    and for the fried, which is always the best way with pork... here is one of many links:

                                                                                                                                                2. Organic, organic, organic. Easiest way is salt & pepper. Sear it fast. If it won't get done, throw it in a hot oven. Mine are always juicy and tender.