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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The weather here has been all over the board, beautiful warm days, rainy windy days, cold days, snowy days...But, what do you expect in Northeast Indiana? Luckily we have had a few awesome days sprinkled into the crappy days, primed to fire up the grill. I made these awesome pork chops on one of those awesome days and they were delicious. Not only were they delicious, but they were super easy. Not only do you get a wonderful sweet, smokey, spicy pork chop. But, I love how it looks, you get those beautiful red flakes in there from the chipotle. Give this a try for a wonderful, easy, quick, affordable meal. Of course, these can be made indoors as well, by using either a grill pan or saute pan. Let me know what you think!
Chipotle Orange Glazed Pork Chop
Prep time: 10m | Cook time: 10min | Total time: 17min | Yield: 4 servings
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate
- 1 tsp seeded and finely chopped chipotle pepper
- 1/2 tsp adobo sauce
- 4 Center cut pork loin chops (3/4" thick, about 8 ounces)
- salt, as needed
- In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, orange juice concentrate and chipotle. You may need to microwave for a few second to melt the concentrate.
- Preheat grill. Sprinkle both sides of the chops with salt. Brush 1 side of chops generously with glaze. Place on grill, glaze side down. Brush other side with glaze. Cook 2 min and then rotate 90 degrees (to obtain grill marks) and grill for another 2 min. Flip and repeat cooking process. If you get grill marks and you still need to cook the pork chops, move them over to the indirect side of your grill to finish cooking.
Please, for the love of god, don't over cook your pork chops! Get yourself a Thermapen MK4 and cook these bad ass pork chops to 140F and let them rest of 5 min. The cooking process will continue through the resting period and should get you up to 145F. Thermapen is the best thermometer on the market. They are fast, reliable, durable, waterproof...just down right awesome and need to be in every kitchen.
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The weather last week was absolutely incredible for mid-February in Northeast Indiana. Mid-upper 60s all week and I took advantage of it in a big way! I cleaned my Weber Performer Deluxe, got a couple bags of charcoal, some propane canisters, and grilled out pretty much every night of the week....it was GLORIOUS!! Saturday I ended up smoking a rack of spare ribs for the first time in shorts and a t-shirt while sippin' on a Yeungling...IN FEBRUARY!! The spare ribs turned out alright, but I wasn't quite happy with them enough to share them quite yet....so I am going to continue working on the recipe and hopefully will have that to you soon. Of course, now we are back to normal February weather...blah! So, my smoking experiments may have to wait, unless I am feeling bold.
But, one thing that I was VERY happy with were these Cajun BBQ Chicken thighs. The one reason I absolutely love chicken thighs is because they are soooo much cheaper than chicken breasts. For typically half the price I can get 4 chicken thighs, but they don't seem to be all that popular. I believe the reason why is because they are a little intimidating to the average home cook. But, I promise you, there isn't anything to be scared of! Two things you want to make sure of is 1) Getting the skin nice and crispy and 2) Obtaining a temperature of 175F. The reason why we want a higher temperature compared to chicken breast (165F) is because chicken thighs contain a lot more connective tissue so they can withstand a lot higher heat than the breast. But, if you don't cook them to a higher temperature you typically get a chewy mess because that connective tissue hasn't broken down. You know what the best way to achieve this temperature? Get your butt over to Thermoworks and pick yourself up an Thermapen MK4. You want to talk about a useful piece of cooking equipment, they are totally worth the money and would make a perfect gift for a cook in your family. Easy to use, accurate, durable; you can't beat them! Now onto the recipe!
Cajun BBQ Chicken Thighs
Prep time: 10m | Cook time: 30min | Total time: 40min | Yield: 4 servings
- 6 Tbsp paprika
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp ground white pepper
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp cayenne
- 4 chicken thighs
- Barbeque Sauce, as needed
- Mix the first 8 ingredients together and store in an container. This is a standard cajun seasoning that can be used on a number of different things.
- Season the tops and bottoms of the chicken thighs generously with the cajun seasoning. I prefer to let them sit overnight in this seasoning, but you can use them immediately if you don't have the time.
- Heat grill, either charcoal or gas, so that there is a direct heat side and an indirect side. Whenever the grill is hot, place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on the direct heat side. Grill for 4 minutes and then rotate 90 degress and grill for another 4 minutes until skin is crispy. Watch for flare ups during this period and make sure the skin doesn't burn.
- Once skin is crispy transfer the chicken to the indirect side, skin side up, cover and continue cooking. Once you reach an internal temperature of about 160F, go ahead and apply some barbeque sauce on the tops. Cover and continue to cook until you reach an internal temperature of 170F.
- Remove from grill and let rest for 5 min, the cooking processing should continue during this rest period and get you to exactly 175F. Grab some napkins and dig in!