Big Fat Pork Chops...what should I do with 'em?

I’ve got a couple pork chops that are at least 2" thick. They’re on the bone. I originally thought of stuffing them, but I’m wondering if there isn’t something even more fabulous to do with them. I normally HATE pork chops because they dry out so much, but these sure look like winners to me. Any ideas?

I think you initial plan sounds great. Otherwise I would marinate them overnight and grill

Another vote for “marinate and grill”. Stubb’s pork marinade is great if you want a bottled solution.

At 2" thick you need to be careful. Grill over medium/medium-high direct heat for 3-4 minutes a side first, then over indirect heat for another 6-8 minutes or until the meat reaches 165-170 degrees (and let the chops stand for 5 minutes or so off the grill).

You can also brush some kind of glaze or sauce on 'em after the direct heat phase is done.

Chops this thick should be less likely to dry out, but to make sure, you can brine them. You’ll need a zippy bag (quart or gallon, depending on the size of your meat.) Start with a tablespoonful of kosher salt and 1/2 cup of wine or vinegar. Slosh them around in the bag until most of the salt is dissolved. Then you can throw in (choose among) herbs, bourbon, hot sauce, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, citrus juice, honey, brown sugar, you get the idea. Stuff you mix with the brine will flavor the meat, but mildly. When in doubt, use more flavor.

Anyway, squeeze out the air and seal. Pop it in the refrigerator for an hour or two before cooking time. Turn the bag over now and then. The brine osmotically forces moisture into the meat. Even if you overcook it, it won’t be dry.

How to cook? I’d grill it, but you can bake or oven-broil it. Use a digital thermometer (with the probe right in the middle of the meat,) and remove the meat from heat at 143°-149° F and cover it or wrap in foil for 10 minutes. By that time the temp will come up another 10°.

At 140°, you’re safe from trichinosis, but it’s still really pink at that point. A lot of recipe books tell you to take it to 160°, but with a good thermometer, that’s not necessary.

We really love a fine piece of piggy on the grill. Usually, we wait 'til whole vac-packed pork loins are on sale. I slice the loin to 1¼ to 1½ inch thick, then wrap each one in wax paper and stack 'em in a plastic box for freezing.

170 degrees will dry out your chops, especially if they reach that temp before resting. Cook to about 145-150, then let rest. Carryover cooking will bring you up to 155-160 which is medium.

137 is the temperature at which trichinella spiralis dies, anyway.

Marinate and grill. Nothing better than grilled juicy pork chops.

Thanks, all. I won’t be grillin’ as the grill is out of commission at the moment. I’ll most definitely pop 'em in the oven.

I’ve already got the Stubb’s for beef and it’s awesome. Best marinade in a bottle I’ve ever tasted. But Asknott’s brine recipe looks very interesting, too. I’m SO in a quandry!

Hmmm…marinated AND stuffed. That’s a thought, too!

Osmosis, I don’t think that word means what you think it means. In osmosis the water molecules move from an area of high water concentration to an area of low water concentration. If you put pork chops into a brine solution, water will diffuse out of the pork chops to dilute the brine.

Brining may be a good way to make pork chops moist and tender, but not by osmosis.

Make this Glaze, equal parts of Balsamic vinager and brown sugar, bring to a boil the simmer till about the consistancy of honey…remove from heat and cool down.

Slow grill yopur chops painting with the glaze frequently.

For a side dish peel and wedge some granny smith apples. toss with a small amount of brown sugar and kosher salt…saute in butter till carmalized and golden brown.

Another good side is roasted garlic mashed potatos…

enjoy w/ a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir or a tall glass of Iced tea, your choice.


Damn. That sounds really good! I don’t have any balsamic vinegar. Does regular ol’ white vinegar work? (I know they’re not the same…just wondering if it is a do-able substitute).

you really need the Balsamic vinegar, you can fint it in almost all grocery stores…it ranges from reasonable to WAY frigging expensive. You only need about a cup…you can save the leftover glaze forever…works well on fish and chicken too…

Shucks. I was just trying to avoid a trip to the store. Okay…balsamic it is!

You will need

1 onion
2 green apples
vermouth or white wine


Olive oil

Rub the chops with the sage, salt and pepper slash the edges and set aside

Heat 2 tables spoons of the olive oil in the pan to a med-high head then cook the chops for about two mins on each side.

Reduce heat to med and cover and cook for about 4 to 5 mins longer. (145 degrees)

Slice the onion into thick slices and quarter and slice the apples.

Transfer chops and loosely cover with foil and pour the drippings so you have about 1 tablespoon left in the pan. Add the apples and onion and sautee till the onions are translucent (about 5 min) then add 1/2 cup of vermouth to the pan and deglaze it. (scrape the bits off the bottom) simmer till this is reduced by half and then make a bed of onions and apples on the plate, put the chop on it and then drizzle the sauce over the chops.

Okay, now I just need to marry one of you people and I’ll be in Fat City.

Here’s what we do when we have to use the oven instead of the grill for pork chops. . .

2 slices bacon, chopped
6 cups sliced red cabbage
2 tbs. apple jelly
½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 bone-in pork chops


Place a large cast-iron (or other oven-proof) skillet on the bottom rack in the oven and preheat to 500.

On the rack above, place bacon in a large roasting pan or glass baking dish and bake at 500 for 5 minutes.

Remove pan with the bacon from the oven, add cabbage and stir. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.

Meanwhile, sprinkle porkchops with the remaining salt and pepper. Place chops in the preheated skillet and bake until well-browned on the outside but still slightly pink on the inside (4-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness).

In a small dish, mix together the apple jelly, vinegar, 1/4 tsp. of the salt and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper, then stir into the roasted cabbage.


Look up brining on the food network website. Brining makes everything better. Especially 2 inch on the bone pork chops.

Don’t brine 'em too long. A few hours will do pork chops.

Bill Door, you’re right, but you’re wrong. Osmosis seeks equilibrium on both sides of the cell membrane. You start out with salty water outside and less salty water inside. The membrane opens to **let out ** water. But, there’s still a massive imbalance, so it opens up **again to let salty water in ** (also pulling in the sugar and spices.) Now, it’s puffed up with much more water than the cells originally had. In 2-3 hours, it’s pumped, seasoned, and very juicy. If you leave it there all day, it will be way too salty, and too mushy to eat.

Head over to the Food Network and see what Alton Brown has to say on the subject. I doubt you would be disappointed.

Pardon my candor but, Fuck Alton Brown :eek: and all the other show offs on TV…they neither invented the culinary arts nor are they that damn original :dubious:

Some of the best creations in the field I have seen came from ordinanry Working Chefs, including myself.

just my two cents,


Pork Tacos

2 big fat pork chops, preferably center-cut
1 can chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
olive oil
corn tortillas

Slice the pork very thin across the grain, then cut into smaller (1 inch) pieces. Put in a plastic bag or sealable bowl. Take the peppers out of the can and chop. Dump the peppers and the sauce into the bag with the pork. Let marinate for 12 hours or so.

Heat olive oil in pan. With tongs, remove the pork from the marinade and shake off excess. Fry in the pan until just done. Heat the torts in a dry pan until hot. Pile on the pork and drippings and top with raisins. Very tasty.

So the chefs on Food Network have never been working chefs? :dubious:

Why ‘fuck them’? Because they make more money than you doing something that you don’t do? Does that even make sense? I mean, I don’t say “fuck football players, they make millions and I don’t even scrape $30k a year”. Their job is more to make cooking above the level of rice-a-roni accessible and/or appealing to people who never learned how to cook. I mean, I never even knew about brining until Alton Brown sang its praises.

Pff. It’s a hijack anyway. :slight_smile: