Tender and Juicy Pork Chops

Grilled Pork Chops

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, ½ teaspoon peppercorns, or 1 bayleaf
  • 2 to 4 pork chops — center cut, bone-on, ¾-inch to 1-inch thick (about 1 pound each)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Remove chops to a plate and tent with foil for about 5 minutes prior to serving.
  7. 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.


Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

We have salad 2-3 times a week with dinner and I have said for a while that I need to just start making my own salad dressings.  We really like Ken’s bottled dressings, but even with those I read the labels and wonder why I am still buying vs. making my own.

After the holidays I felt inspired.  Maybe it was my new immersion blender and food processor, but I decided there was no reason I couldn’t make my own dressings.  So, one of the first things I made with my food processor was this homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  

Ok, so I will never buy salad dressing again. It all seems so silly now, really.  The whole family loved this dressing and I was a bit skeptical that the girls would like it as much as they like their Ken’s Light Caesar dressing.  Funny thing is now they don’t want the Ken’s dressing, they want the homemade stuff.  Very nice!

Part of me wants to experiment with lots of different dressings, but the simple, practical side of me says to just make this balsamic vinaigrette over and over again.  It is honestly that flavorful and simple to make!  It gets nice and thick from the mustard and emulsification process and the flavor is just outstanding with the vinegars and mustard and garlic.  Honestly, if you want one great dressing for your salad, try this homemade balsamic vinaigrette and your search will be over.


Source:  Simply Scratch

5.0 from 1 reviews

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard, yellow or Dijon
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • ⅛ Teaspoon Dried Basil {or more to taste}
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup Olive Oil

  1. In the bowl of a food process or blender combine the vinegars, mustard, garlic, basil and salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil mixing until emulsified.
  2. This can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.


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