Archive | May 2011

Pork Chop Perfection

Whenever I find myself lingering at the meat counter, my thoughts drifting aimlessly, gazing up and down the display but focusing on nothing, unable to just pick something, knowing my precious grilling time is slipping away . . . I’ll go with pork chops. It’s my safety pick.  Buying pork chops is like objecting to “form” in a deposition.  It will get the job done, but you’re only doing it because you can’t think of something better.

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with pork chops.  Some of the best pork I’ve ever eaten is that grilled by Minnesota Pork Producers at fairs, festivals, or small town bank customer appreciation days.  These pork chops are heavily coated with seasoned salt, thin (about ¼ inch), and juicy and tender as can be.  When I grill pork chops, however, I like them thick.

Thick pork chops are a challenge. I have a tendency to over cook, so I always have to be careful.  The key to my method is the Half Moon Stone.  If you have a Big Green Egg but you don’t have the Half Moon Stone, you need to get it now.

For my pork chops, I’ll start with a rub.  Your go-to pork rub will be just fine.  Fire the Big Green Egg up to 400 degrees, set for direct cooking, and lay the Half Moon stone on the grill.  Sear the pork chops two minutes per side directly on the grill, then move them to the stone and let them sit.  This is why the stone is so essential.  It allows you to sear at a high heat, then bake on the protection of the stone for the rest of the cooking process.

If you haven’t heard, the FDA recently lowered its internal temperature recommendation for pork from 160 to 145. Thank goodness!  Unless you’re cooking low and slow, you don’t want a hunk of pork to get above 160.  My pork chops usually take about 30 minutes on the stone, depending on thickness. Again, it’s so important not to over cook!  I’ll use a thermometer and the “jiggle” test for doneness.  If the pork becomes too firm you’ve already cooked it too long.

These guys are a little thinner than I usually like.  But they were absolutely delicious!

Recipe Recap

Preheat Big Green Egg to 400 degrees.  Set for direct cooking with Half Moon Stone on the grill.  Rub thick pork chops (3/4″ or thicker) with your favorite pork rub.  Sear (with lid closed) for two minutes on each side, directly on the grill.  Move the chops to the Half Moon Stone.  Cook for approxiamtely 30 minutes, or until internal temperature has reached 140 degrees.  Sit for at least 3 minutes prior to serving.

Further Recipe Recap

Editor’s Note: I’ve switched up my tecnhique!  I no longer use this method.  Check out my revised technique here.