I used to avoid cooking pork chops because they tend to turn out dry and kind of blah. I have a few crock-pot recipes that I like, but isn’t it nice to just have a piece of meat that isn’t covered in sauce or cooked to death in a slow-cooker?
These pork chops turned out so flavorful and I was a little skeptical because they were super thick. One of the keys with these pork chops is in the brine and the other is the sear which helps keep them nice and juicy. They would have been wonderful in a cast iron skillet, but we love to grill when we can. Particularly in mid-January:-).
The brine is quick and easy which I love. I just used the water, salt and some garlic powder but you can add some more seasonings if you like. You can brine the chops for as little as 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. You don’t need to plan ahead real far for these juicy chops.
I was so happy with these pork chops. I admit, I usually love to cover my meat with a sauce or gravy, but these were divine as-is. No extra sauce or flavors needed….and boy were they juicy!
So, next time you have some pork chops – super thick or kind of thin – try this recipe/technique out. You may not need your sauce again!
Source: The Kitchn
Tender and Juicy Pork Chops
- 3 cups cold water divided
- 3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder or they suggested using 2 smashed garlic cloves 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, or 1 bayleaf
- 2 to 4 pork chops — center cut bone-on, 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick (about 1 pound each)
- Olive oil
- Boil 1 cup of the water and add the salt and optional seasonings. Stir until dissolved and then add the additional 2 cups of cold water. Place the chops in a shallow dish and then cover completely with the brine. Add additional water and salt if it doesn't cover completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
- If you are baking the chops, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a cast iron skillet in the middle of the oven to preheat as well.
- While the oven is preheating remove the chops from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel or tea towel (wash the tea towel afterwards). Rub all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and place on the stovetop over medium high heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides about 3 minutes. They will turn a nice golden color. If they start to smoke just turn on the vent or open a door.
- Using oven mitts return the skillet with the chops to the oven and cook until the internal temp reaches 140-145 degrees using an instant read thermometer. Depending on the size of your chops this can take anywhere from 6-10 minutes.
- Remove chops to a plate and tent with foil for about 5 minutes prior to serving.
- Note: If you are grilling these chops turn the grill to medium high heat and then grill on each side and then close the grill and let them cook on indirect heat until they reach the correct internal temps as noted above.