Sure, they’ve caught your eye. But if you haven’t bought those 2-inch-thick pork chops at your favorite store because you fear they present too tall of a challenge, then it’s time to readjust your thinking. In actuality, many people are prone to overcook thin pork chops, and you know how chewy, flavorless meat tastes. Once you learn a few basic techniques, you’ll confidently scoop up those 2-inch-thick pork chops and enjoy a tastier and more robust pork chop experience.
1 Brine your pork chops in water, kosher salt and a little cider vinegar. Add some thyme, black pepper and brown sugar, if you like. Brining will tenderize the pork chops, so the longer they can sit in your refrigerator, the better. Shoot for at least several hours or, better yet, 24 hours.
2 Set your oven to broil, or your grill to a medium-high flame. Remove the chops from the brine, rinse them under the faucet and set them on a plate.
3 Baste both sides of the chops with olive oil, then sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Elevate this basic rub to a zestier level with some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, if you wish.
4 Sear the pork chops over a high flame for 2 minutes on each side. After browning the chops at this high temperature, reduce your oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or your grill to a medium flame.
5 Cook the chops for between 15 and 20 minutes, turning once. Since the heat that emanates from every oven and grill can be slightly different, err on the side of removing the chops closer to the 15-minute mark since you don’t want to overcook them. Remember that the pork will continue to cook even after it is removed from the heat.
6 Check the internal temperature of the pork chops. It should register 145 degrees. Let the pork chops rest for three minutes before serving.
Items you will need
- Kosher salt
- Cider vinegar
- Thyme, black pepper, brown sugar (optional)
- Olive oil
- Brown sugar or cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)
- Meat thermometer
- Thick pork chops deserve equally “tall” side dishes. Consider pairing them with Parmesan-tomato pasta and a crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing.
- National Pork Board: Pork Be Inspired: Pork Cooking Time and Temperature Chart
- United States Department of Agriculture: Basics for Handling Food Safely
- Food Safety.gov: Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
- The Stay-at-Home Chef: Thick Grilled Pork Chops
- Williams-Sonoma: How to Grill Perfect Pork Chops
- Epicurious: Grilled Spiced Double-Thick Pork Chops
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images