Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oven Grilled Bone-In Pork Chops

I'm becoming more and more enamored of my enameled cast iron grill pan. It's great for quickly cooking chops and as described in a previous post, hamburgers. A lightly oiled, pre-heated grill pan allows you to cook meat without much preparation work.

To oven grill bone-in pork chops:
  • Preheat a grill pan in a 450°F oven.
  • Wash the chop to remove any "bone saw dust" and pat dry.
  • Season the pork chops on both sides. Simply salt & freshly ground pepper work wonders.
  • Lightly brush the hot pan with olive oil.
  • Put the chops on the hot grill pan and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes.
  • Turn the chops over and return for another 5-8 minutes.
At 5 minutes per side the pork may not be fully cooked near the bone. At 8 minutes a side, it may be ever-so-slightly over cooked. The thickness of the chops affects the time needed. Testing the chop with an instant read thermometer can help you decide how long to cook the chops.

The National Pork Board tells us that trichinosis is not the problem it was when my mother learned to cook pork. Trichina is killed at 137°F. Both they and the USDA recommend cooking pork chops to an internal temperature of 160°F to kill the other nasties that might be lurking. On the other hand, the FDA's HACCP (Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point) for pork is 145°F for 10 seconds.

This is where individual choice comes in. The lower temperature is juicier, the higher temperature is safer. Only you can determine your "RBCP" (risk-benefit comfort point).

Pork Chop on Foodista

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.