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Hey there, welcome back to NoRecipeRequired.com. I’m Dave, and let me tell you, pork chops are the epitome of a fabulous meal. They’re easy to make once you know the techniques, and today I’m going to show you how to cook the perfect pork chop. I recently got my hands on a massive pork chop from a fantastic local butcher, and believe me, it’s going to be super tasty. The techniques I’ll be sharing with you today can be used with any type of pork chop, whether it’s thin or thick. So let’s get started!
Rule #1: Buy Quality Pork Chops
The first rule of achieving pork chop perfection is to start with a good quality chop. Look for meat from a reputable store or butcher. Personally, I prefer double-cut or thick-cut pork chops. They may not need to be as gigantic as the one I have here, but I tend to steer clear of really thin chops. Thin ones tend to dry out quickly and are more challenging to keep moist and tender. So remember, always opt for good quality pork.
Rule #2: Brine for Tender and Juicy Chops
Brining is the second rule for achieving the perfect pork chop. It’s as simple as a mixture of water, salt, and sugar. Of course, you can add additional flavors like spices and herbs, but they’re not necessary. The brine works wonders in making the pork chop tender, juicy, and absolutely delicious. So, take the time to brine your chop before cooking.
Rule #3: Seasoning is Key
Even though we’ve brined the chop, seasoning is still essential. Once you’ve taken the chop out of the brine, let it come up to room temperature before seasoning it. Sprinkle salt and pepper liberally on both sides, ensuring that the seasoning reaches every corner, especially if it’s a thick cut like this brontosaurus chop I have with me. Don’t forget to season the edges as well since they will be cooked alongside the main surface. Let the seasoning sit on the chop for about 15-20 minutes, and then we’re ready to move on.
Rule #4: Sear for Flavorful Crust
For a chop this thick, it’s best to start by searing it on the stovetop before finishing in the oven. This will give us that mouthwatering golden brown crust that adds so much flavor. Heat a good quality pan over medium heat and let the chop cook without any interference for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once you start seeing that beautiful crust forming, it’s time to flip it over. Keep the heat high for a great sear.
Rule #5: Cook to Perfection
After searing both sides, it’s time to transfer the chop to the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For a chop this size, we’re aiming for an internal temperature of around 145 degrees. This will give us a perfectly cooked, juicy chop. Let it roast in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature.
Rule #6: Let it Rest
Now that the chop is cooked to perfection, resist the temptation to dig in right away. Instead, remove it from the oven and cover it loosely with foil. Let the chop rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into it. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a moist and flavorful chop.
Enjoy the Divinity of the Perfect Pork Chop
Congratulations! You’ve accomplished the art of cooking the perfect pork chop. At this point, you can serve the chop as is, and it will be absolutely divine. However, since this chop is so enormous, I’m actually going to slice it off the bone before serving. Remember to cut nice, thick slices to fully appreciate the tenderness and juiciness of the meat. I’m pairing mine with some fried polenta cake and sautéed apples, but feel free to get creative with your sides.
So there you have it, folks – the secrets to achieving pork chop mastery. The perfect pork chop is within your grasp. Until next time, happy cooking!