Preparing the perfect pork chop is a culinary art that begins long before the grilling process. Thankfully, your local farmer takes care of most of the hard work for you. Once you have this delectable chop in your kitchen, cooking it to perfection becomes gloriously simple.
The Art of a Perfect Chop
For this recipe, we recommend using a thick-cut pork chop from a heritage breed porker, raised in a pastured program. The secret ingredient is that it should also be dry aged. The result is an unparalleled flavor and tenderness that will leave your taste buds in awe.
Simplicity at Its Best
Unlike other recipes, a good pastured chop does not require marination. We strongly advise against using any sauces or dressings with this recipe. The natural flavor is so exceptional that adding a dressing or marinade might actually diminish, rather than enhance, the taste.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
- 1 ½-inch thick pastured pork chop
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
To begin, pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill following your usual procedure. Make sure to clean the grill grate thoroughly. On the grill, turn at least one burner to high heat. For a charcoal grill, position the coals under the grill on one side of the pit.
Allow the pork chops to reach room temperature for 30 minutes. Liberally brush both sides of the chops with extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste just before placing them on the grill.
Place the pork chops over direct heat on the grill with the lid open for up to 2 minutes on each side. This initial searing process locks in the juices and begins the internal cooking process. The grill temperature should rise to 600 or 700 degrees during this period, ideally causing the fire to flame up as the olive oil burns off and sears the chops.
Next, move the chops to indirect heat and close the grill lid. Allow the pork chops to continue cooking for another 20 minutes. Maintain the grill temperature at around 400 degrees during this time. Once a meat thermometer inserted into the chop reveals a temperature of 140 degrees, remove them from the grill. Let the chops rest at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before serving.
A Nutritional Delight
- Serving size (4 oz, or about 1/2 of our thick-cut chops):
- Calories: 220 kcal
- Fat: 12 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 80 mg
- Protein: 28 grams
Beyond its incredible taste, pastured pork is an excellent source of protein, thiamin, niacin, selenium, vitamin B6, and phosphorus.
More about Pork Chops
Cooking the chops over high direct heat is intended to sear them and initiate the internal cooking process. The addition of olive oil helps to achieve that delectable browning effect, and don’t worry if the flames dance around the chops momentarily.
Never underestimate the importance of allowing the chop to rest after cooking. This resting period allows the internal juices to redistribute, resulting in exceptionally tender and juicy chops.
While our preferred accompaniment for these chops is a grill-full of fresh vegetables such as squash, corn, eggplant, or tomatoes straight from our garden, this pork chop recipe pairs well with a variety of side dishes.
For more mouthwatering recipes and to indulge in the delightful taste of our Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ, visit our website here.