Just like buying quality, buying quality pork is imperative to have a delicious and tender product. Everybody is familiar with black angus when talking about superior beef, it's one of the main breeds of cattle that is associated with quality. So, what breed of hog should you be buying given the opportunity? Duroc Pork is your answer! Black Angus to cattle is what Duroc is to pork...it's the bee's knees!
Durocs have become a sire of choice to the American farmer. The climb of the breed has been accelerated by many distinguished accomplishments in longevity, lean gain efficiency, carcass yield and product quality as a terminal sire. Durocs are identified as a superior genetic source for improving eating qualities of pork in the recent National Pork Producers Council Terminal Sire Line Evaluation. Their advantage in muscle quality combined with their well-established ability to grow fast has positioned the Duroc breed as an outstanding terminal sire choice.
Now that we have established what breed of pork you should be buying. Lets talk about cooking that beautiful piece of pork! Now you can most definitely just season and cook. But, I like to marinate my pork chops. The other extremely important factor is cooking temperature. People tend to over cook their pork, like A LOT. But, plleeaasseee stop doing this. You can cook your pork to a 145F or medium rare and be absolutely fine! Trichinosis hasn't existed in pork in like 30 years, so for the love of God. STOP OVER COOKING YOUR PORK!! :)
Grilled Pork Chops
Prep time: 5m | Cook time: 10min | Total time: 2h 15min | Yield: 4 servings
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 4 Bone-in pork chops, around 12 oz
- Mix water, soy sauce, vegetable oil, lemon pepper seasoning, and minced garlic in a deep bowl; add pork chops and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2hours.
- Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
- Remove pork chops from the marinade and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.
- Cook the pork chops on the grill for 2-3 min and then rotate 90 degrees. Cook another 2-3 min and then flip to other side and repeat. Cook until Thermapen MK4 reaches a temperature of 135F. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 min.
Cooking your meats to the perfect temperature is crucial not only from a food safety stand point, but from flavor and tenderness stand point as well. Make sure you cook your pork, like in this recipe to 135F. The best way to accurately monitor the internal temperature of your meats is by using a Thermapen MK4. They are the most durable, accurate, fast, and reliable thermometer on the market. These are a kitchen MUST HAVE! Go buy yourself a Thermapen MK4 today!
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I tell you what, I think I have settled on my most favorite way to cook a cheeseburger. I've tried it all, grilled, sous vide, fried, forming patties by press, forming patties by hand...But, the one that I feel trumps it all, is the smash burger. Why?
- I get a fantastic crust (maillard reaction) on the outside of the burger. Grilling, while not a bad cooking method, tends to flare up and sometimes you get overcooked/burnt spots if you aren't extremely careful. "But, Eric, I want to cook my burgers on my grill!" Look at my picture! I used my Baking Steel as a griddle on my grill (Baking Steel even has a griddle version), added a few chunks of cherry wood to give it a smokey flavor, and I got a fantastic grill flavor. What a lot of people don't realize about grilling is the reason why you get the char flavor from grilling is because fat drips onto the hot coals or flavorizer bars, burns and smokes. That's where that grilled flavor comes from. So how do we get that flavor if the food isn't on the grill grates? Just spray some fat onto the coals or flavorizer bars and BOOM you get smokey goodness. In this case I used some wood, worked great and I got a smoke flavor.
- My burgers don't turn into giant, awkward, meatballs. I know, you're supposed to add a dimple to your burger patty to counteract the meatball effect. My problem adding the dimple is, what does that do your doneness? You have even thickness everywhere else, except for the center, wouldn't you imagine that the center would overcook? Smash burgers I start out as basically meatballs, get a crust on both sides and smash it down. Ever since I started doing this, I have never had a burger meatball back up. They stay in patty form!
- You don't over work the meat. People tend to add a bunch of stuff to their ground beef, mix it up, portion out the patties, form the patties. By the end, the strains of ground beef are compressed, and can lead to a dense burger. The smash burger, yes you roll into a ball, but the inside stays nice and lose, leaving to a very juicy and flavorful burger. Then, on top of that, since we get a beautiful crust on the burger from the griddle, we get a burger that doesn't fall apart. You bite into the crust and get a very juicy and flavorful burger, rather than one that may be dense, dry, and falling apart.
Gently form portioned ground beef into balls. Don't over work them, just press them enough to form them. These are 1/2 Lbs burgers, you can use this technique with whatever size burger you want, I made sliders this way as well! Season with salt and pepper on the tops.
After preheating your Baking Steel, Griddle, or Saute pan over medium high heat. Put the season side down on to the grill. Then season the other side with salt and pepper. Let it sear for a minute or two. (I also put a couple slices of onion onto the griddle, caramelized onions are the Bee's Knees!
Using a pair of tongs, flip meatballs over and sear the other side for a few minutes until crust is formed.
With a metal spatula, smash burger down into a patty. Once one side is fully seared, flip and completely sear the other side. Cook to your desired doneness and make sure to check the temp with a Thermapen Mk4. Top with cheese (if you wish) and serve!
One of my favorite kitchen tools and an essential tool in the kitchen is a Thermapen. If you are looking for a highly accurate, fast, and sturdy thermometer for the kitchen. This is the one you want!