What can be easier than baking pork chops or preparing them in a slow cooker? However, the task frequently turns out to be much trickier than it seems – pork chops can frequently be overcooked and remind of shoe leather instead of a tender delicacy. Don’t worry, though – we have a couple of tips that will help you avoid the worst pork chop cooking mistakes and teach you to make them a hit of your dinner!
Pork Chops in the Oven
There are a few steps to deliciously baked pork chops:
• Purchase bone-in pork chops. It will take just a couple of minutes more to cook them but they’re sure to be tenderer than their boneless counterparts.
• Don’t neglect a quick brine. There is no need to marinate your pork chops overnight but even a simple and quick 30-minute brine will make a big difference. Changing the structure of meat, it will make the chops a lot juicier and perfectly well-seasoned.
That’s the easiest brine recipe we’ve got for you:
- Add ¼ cup salt to 4 cups of water
- Prepare a shallow dish, lay the pork chops in it in one layer, and add the brine.
- Leave if for half an hour to 2 hours before cooking
- If you like to, add star anise, lemongrass, orange peels, or black peppercorn to help the brine smell irresistible.
• Use sharp knives to deal with your pork chops.
• Use one pan to avoid overcooking. Not to let this fine meat be overcooked, start preparing it on the stovetop to sear it and then transfer to the oven to prevent the pork chops from getting dry and tough. When the pork chops are golden on one side, turn them over, put the pan into the oven – and wait a bit to enjoy yummy meat, crusted on the outside and juicy in the middle!
• Serve the pork chops with roasted veggies or a simple vegetable salad.
Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker
This method of cooking has several advantages:
• You can prepare the ingredients beforehand and cook them quickly just pressing one button on your slow cooker.
• It’s a big dish for a big company.
• It’s the main dish and a side dish at the same time as it’s cooked on a bed of veggies or fruit.
How to Prepare Delicious Slow Cooker Pork Chops?
• Buy bone-in chops, just like in case with pork chops for baking. Choose between sirloin chops, shoulder chops, or rib chops. Be careful – loin meat is very lean and can taste too dry in the end, so purchase such chops only if you want your pork well-done and not medium rare. Stay away from boneless chops, as they’ll turn out to be too chewy.
• Use the same brine as the one for baking. For four pork chops, it’s better to take ½ cup of salt and 8 cups of water and keep chops in the fridge for up to 4 hours. Don’t forget to pat them dry before you start cooking!
• If you cook pork chops for 2 hours, they remind of chicken breasts and become tender but firm. If you cook them for 3 to 6 hours, the texture is more like pulled pork and the meat becomes more chewy and dry.
• Prepare a vegetable of fruit layer of anything you want – apples, cranberries, onions, celery, carrots, etc. Place the pork chops on this bed and be sure these extra ingredients, basted in juices, will make the meat even tenderer.