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HELP! My pork chops all come out dry and tasteless!

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PSue Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-06-09 11:51 PM
Original message
HELP! My pork chops all come out dry and tasteless!
Edited on Wed May-06-09 11:54 PM by PSue
What can I do to remedy this situation? I'm cooking dinner for my Mom on Mother's Day, and she LOVES pork chops! Unfortunately, mine always seem to be so dray as to be nearly inedible. HELP!!!!! :shrug:
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. Probably less time
My favorite pork chops are still rolled in egg & cracker crumbs and fried. But I can't have that anymore. :cry:

I try to marinate them and bake them covered. It seems to me they're a lot finickier than when I was just frying them up in a bunch of grease. For the thinly sliced ones, 10 minutes can get them done sometimes. For a thick one, maybe 20-25 minutes is all.

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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 01:05 AM
Response to Original message
2. how about a pork tenderloin instead?
The ones I've had lately are very tender.

OR.....how about asking your mom for a hint on how to cook them to a tender state?

(In my experience, you either have to cook them really fast or reallllly long in a braise in order to get them tender.)
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. Try brining them first
one suggested recipe here. Pork today is so lean that is usually needs some added moisture.

I haven't tried this with pork chops, but it works well for lean ribs: oven-braise them first.

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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
4. I grew up with the message that pork had to be cooked a lot. Not true anymore.
Now, that *they* have taken care of trichomonas, pork can be cooked rare or medium rare.

I like shake and bake for pork; :hide:

:hi:
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Please be careful!
While it appears to be true that American farm-raised pork is
basically trichina-free, free-range pork that comes from the
natural condition definitely isn't.

The key change that occurred is that people agreed on
lower cooking temperatures for pork. Trichina checks out
at 137 Farenheit so 160 is now the acceptable pork
minimum temperature as read by your meat thermometer.
That's still cool enough not to turn the chips into shoe
leather.

Tesha

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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 01:57 AM
Response to Original message
5. Thickness and time cooking are very important.
Test them. If thin, as someone's said, 10 minutes (total) OR LESS, I'd say. For thick, I'd try to bake instead of fry.

Happy Mother's Day!
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 06:30 AM
Response to Original message
6. Smothered Pork Chops from Cook's Illustrated
Edited on Thu May-07-09 07:05 AM by Phoebe Loosinhouse
I've made this - people love it, it's pretty simple to make and it's the opposite of dry and tasteless. In the book, they stress NOT to buy overly thick chops for this recipe.

Serves 4.

3 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
vegetable oil
4 bone-in, rib-end pork chops , 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
Ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions , halved pole-to-pole and sliced thin (about 3 1/2 cups)
table salt
2 tablespoons water
2 medium cloves garlic , pressed through garlic press or minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

Instructions
1. Fry bacon in small saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bacon, leaving fat in saucepan (you should have 2 tablespoons bacon fat; if not, supplement with vegetable oil). Reduce heat to medium-low and gradually whisk flour into fat until smooth. Cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is light brown, about the color of peanut butter, about 5 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth in slow, steady stream; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally; cover and set aside off heat.

2. Heat 1-tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until smoking, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, dry pork chops with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2-teaspoon pepper. Brown chops in single layer until deep golden on first side, about 3 minutes. Flip chops and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chops to large plate and set aside.

3. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon oil, onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and water to now-empty skillet. Using wooden spoon, scrape browned bits on pan bottom and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Return chops to skillet in single layer, covering chops with onions. Pour in warm sauce and any juices collected from pork; add bay leaves. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until pork is tender and paring knife inserted into chops meets very little resistance, about 30 minutes.

4. Transfer chops to warmed serving platter and tent with foil. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce rapidly, stirring frequently, until thickened to gravy-like consistency, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves, stir in parsley, and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Cover chops with sauce, sprinkle with reserved bacon, and serve immediately over egg noodles, rice, mashed, whatever.


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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
7. Brine them ..... then do whatever you want with them.. But for all that is good and holy, BRINE them
For one chop, in a zip lock bag: 1 Tbsp salt, 1 Tbsp brown sugar. Water to cover. Dissolve, add chop, seal, wait one hour, pat dry, proceed. Add to the salt and sugar for each chop you have.

I most often do those ultra super elan center cut chops that are about an inch or more thick. I coat them in olive oil and apply a rub, then grill them. 5 minutes on the first side, 3 minutes on the second side. They have a hint of pink left. Your mom may not like that, so add a minute to the second side.

You could also bread and pan fry them.

Or bake them.

But doing them on high heat, like a pan fry or grill, is best; they lose less water.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. The one true secret about cooking pork.....


drum roll please....


If you want it moist - cook it slowly at a low temp, with moisture.

That's it, simple! but it's taken me years to figure it out.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
9. Fool proof method
Sear porkchops in an oiled skillet, add a can of chicken broth and cover. Simmer until the chicken broth is cooked down to nearly nothing.

What's left in the pan will make a nice gravy.
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
11. I don't know what it's called.. but they are never dry
Buy a box of Stove Top stuffing.. make it.

Salt and pepper up your chops.

Make a layer of chops in baking dish with 1/2 what you got

Cover with stuffing

cover with other half of chops

If I'm not already on the beer and want some yummy juice, I'll open a can of fruit (pears, peaches, pineapples). Put the fruit on top of each chop and drink the juice from the can :P

cover with foil

Bake at 350 until meat is 160 degrees

Yummy!! I must have some now :P

:9
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-08-09 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. That sounds really good!
It reminds me of a stuffed pork chop recipe out of the old New York Times Cookbook I used to fix. Only mine used double-cut loin chops, with a pocket, and in went the stuffing. Then, browned, put into the casserole, a bit of white wine, cover, and bake. They were truly yummy.

But I like yours a whole lot better. I LOVE Stove Top Stuffing!

Thanks!
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-07-09 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
12. What I usually do

(and it may vary depending on what mood I'm in) but I usually at least coat them in applesauce. Sometimes I mix cinnamon in with the applesauce, sometimes I mix in Italian bread crumbs. The applesauce keeps it moist. Also, let them sit out for a bit first, so they're closer to room temperature. If you put them in the oven straight from the fridge, they'll cook unevenly and you may have to overcook them to get them to a decent temp all around. I usually let mine sit anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, then wash them and pat them dry with a paper towel, then put them in dish and cover them with the applesauce.

Don't overcook them! And it depends on whether you've got really thin ones or thicker ones. I find the boneless ones no thicker than an inch to be best. The very thin ones you can just put some bbq sauce on them. Ultra-thick chops (those 1 1/2 to 2-inch monsters) are annoying to cook, and I don't think they taste as good anyways. Use an instant-read thermometer to get them to the right temp if you're not comfortable judging by looks/feel alone.

The internal temp should be 160, so I usually pull mine about 155 and let them sit for a few minutes, and the internal temp will continue to rise, so after a few minutes they'll be perfect at 160. If you're going to pull them at 180 or more, they'll be overcooked.

I usually cook mine in a pyrex long dish, in my convection at 350. Actually I cook nearly everything at 350. If you don't have a convection, I'd go for a longer cooking time rather than a higher oven temp.

Let an instant thermometer be your guide - forget the instructions on the pack. They're always skewed higher in terms of time or temperature lest they give the "right" way and someone's oven isn't up to snuff or something and they get undercooked and the company gets sued. The same thing with those turkeys and chickens with the little pop-up things. They're made to pop up around 180 or 185, and after you notice it it's probably higher internally and after you pull it and let it sit for a few minutes your bird is probably north of 200 degrees and terribly dry and overcooked. However, from the company's point of view, it's better to err on the side of overcooking and not get sued. Same with the instructions on your package of pork chops.

It took me a long time to learn to properly cook them. That's because the pork chops I had growing up were the thin ones and usually just short of being charcoal. My dad got introduced to pork chops in the army and they were always burned, and that's how he learned to have them, and at home that's how he grilled them. My mother recalls one of her first times with him at a restaurant/diner (where he was a regular) and he ordered pork chops and the waitress turned around and yelled at the kitchen "Burn two for Mort!".

I grew up with so many overcooked meats it was a learning process to get to know what the stuff was REALLY made to taste like when properly cooked.

- Tab

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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-08-09 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
13. Oven fried chops...
Dip in egg or the egg in a container and coat with Italian bread crumbs.

Coat the bottom of a pan with some olive oil and add the chops in one layer.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Flip the chops to the other side and continue cooking for another 20 minutes.

Serve hot and sizzling.

If you don't like Italian bread crumbs, the plain ones work just fine.

I use this recipe for chicken, too, but adjust the cooking time to a little longer.
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PSue Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-09-09 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Thanks, everybody!!!!!
Thank you very much, everybody!!!! I've been studying everyone's suggestions, and I have learned A LOT!!! I'm still deciding what to do, but at least I feel a bit more confident now that I have a chance at juicy chops. I bought a couple of thick-cut chops this time -- we usually have the thin ones, but, hey, it's Mother's Day, so why not go whole hog (pun intended)? Thanks again, guys!

:grouphug: :pals:
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PSue Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-09-09 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Me again....
I'll let you know haw they came out, OK?

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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-09-09 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Good luck!
For thicker chops, using a fry pan that can go in the oven - you can also brown them in the fry pan on the stove top and then finish them in the oven like the chefs do on cooking shows. It works great for thick pork chops since you can check the temp with a meat thermometer.

Have a great day with your mom! She'll love your dinner.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-12-09 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Ok, we're waiting. I hope you had success. nt.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-11-09 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
18. I grew up with pork chops fried until they resembled shoe leather.
Mom did the same thing to hamburgers, too. As a grown up I figured out that pork chops are nicest for me when braised until melting, lol, then a milk-based gravy made with the pan stuff.
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PSue Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 01:47 AM
Response to Original message
20. THANK YOU, EVERYBODY!!!!
Sorry it's taken me so long to get back in touch with everybody! No excuses! Anyway, thankyou one and all for your suggestions. The pork chops were fairly thick, so I seasoned them with a generous sprinkle of seasoned salt, lightly dusted them in flour, browned them on both sides in an oven-proof frying pan, added a bit of water, then lightly covered them with foil, and popped them in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes. They came out nice and juicy. Over the liquid in the pan, I sprinkled on some Wondra flour, which made an au jus sauce. Mom enjoyed it very much, I'm proud to say! Anyway, thank you all for your suggestions and tips. I will keep them in mind the next time I cook pork (or any other) chops.

:grouphug: :pals: :yourock: :woohoo:
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