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Grilling season is upon us and pork chops are among the favourite cuts to make. Whether it’s bone-in or boneless, loin or rib chops, the key factor to take into account is its thickness.
When grilling pork chops, it is important to look at the the thickness of the chop before we even think of marinades and the grilling process. The reason for this is because chops that are thin will dry out faster. Once you establish this, then you can start thinking about the marinade, how moisture, tender, and flavour you want them to be.
If you want pork meat to be moist and tender, you must brine it first. This process will add a great amount of water to the meat before cooking, allowing for more time to cook out, and making it more moisture. It is for this reason that brining is especially recommended for thick cuts of meat. A brine is, essentially, a saltwater mixture that the meat soaks in to add moisture.
Marinating is especially recommended for thinner pork chops. They don’t get into the meat, like a brine, but they also add a protective layer to the meat and tons of flavour. To avoid the chops getting to dry, they need to be cooked hotter. The marinade will make the meat tender while ensuring it won’t burn from the intense heat.
If you are not into marinades or brines, there’s still one more method you can apply: a dry rub. Simply put, season the meat with spices and herbs to add flavour to the meat. However, make sure to grill the pork chops to a medium or lower level of doneness.
Remember: thin pork chops need to be grilled hot and fast, over intense heat without flipping them too much. The grill should be pre-heated to a very hot temperature. Thick pork chops need more time to cook, so a slower heat is recommended without drying them out.