Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How To Grill Thick Pork Chops

One of my favorite shopping extravaganzas is a trip to the butcher shop. This is my “candy store” to which I can do some serious damage to my check book or credit card. I must always exercise serious restraint when perusing steaks, stuffed chicken breasts and spare ribs. Needless to say these trips are very infrequent (especially in this economy), but I look forward to them anyway. One of the marquee items at this meat market is the Iowa Pork Chop. This chop is super thick and is usually in excess of one inch thick. The chop lends itself to be a perfect candidate for stuffing or any other baked type of chop.

Baking a pork chop is simply not an option for me when the weather is still conducive to grilling. My ideal grilling weather range is probably anywhere from one hundred degrees down to twenty degrees Fahrenheit. Placing thick cuts of meat such as pork chops or wide chicken breasts requires careful and adequate heating to prevent dryness or under cooking.

Learning how to grill thick cuts of meat requires following the appropriate steps. Step one is getting your grill at a very hot preheated temperature. If this is gas or propane grill, crank that knob all the way to max. If you are using coals focus most of the coals to one side of the grill and get them glowing.

Once the grill is hot, place the meat directly on to the hot side of the grill for about a minute covered. After one minute is up, flip chop and grill the other side. This process is known as searing and will lock in juices of the meat. At this point if you are using a gas or propane grill you will want to turn off one side of the grill, keeping the other side at medium to high setting. Now place the pork chops to the side that has been turned off and grill for four minutes with the lid down. If you are using a charcoal weber grill then place the chops to the side of the kettle that does not have too many briquettes below the grate. This stage of the heating process is known as indirect grilling. Flip the chops after the four minutes are up, and cook another three to four minutes covered.

Now pull the chops of the grill and place on platter and cover with aluminum foil. The meat will rest and kind of ”sweat” or disperse juices throughout. After the meat has rested, take a peek at a sample of one of the chops and check for doneness. If meat is done, you are ready to serve. If the meat is too pink for your liking, return the chops to the indirect side of the grill for a few more minutes.
This technique should be used for thick cuts such as chops, chicken, and ribs. Those super thick types of meat such as whole chicken, turkeys, and roasts are probably best served to be initially pre-baked in an oven prior to grilling completion.

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