Perfect Pork Chops

Over the years, I’ve tried countless marinades, rubs and cooking styles to bring out the best flavor in pork chops. I’ve finally settled on the best recipe, which oddly enough is one of the easiest. When done this way, they come out sweet and tender. Most importantly, they taste like juicy pork chops, not like salty fruit juice.

Here’s everything you need:

Perfect Pork Chops

  • 4 bone-in pork chops, 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

I’ve been experimenting with similar marinades for a while now, but this version comes from the good folks at The New York Butcher Shoppe here in Greenville. They sell pre-marinated, center-cut chops that are the best I’ve ever tasted. Then again, everything they prepare is good.

You get out this recipe what you put into it, so start out with some very fresh pork chops cut to at least one inch thickness. If necessary, trim off the excess fat and rinse and pat the chops dry with paper towels. If you look at these pork loin chops, you can see that they’re the porcine equivalent of a beef T-bone.

Mix everything together to make the marinade.

The amount of marinade you use depends on how many chops you’re cooking, but you want them to swim in the olive oil mixture. The recipe above is for 4 chops. If you’re just cooking two like I did here, feel free to cut down on the recipe a little, but don’t halve it. Oh, and don’t try to substitute dried rosemary. It’s just not the same. If you’re using a high quality (first cold pressed) extra virgin olive oil, then there’s very little acidity in it. That enables you to marinade the pork chops longer without cooking the flesh with the acid. I usually marinade them for about 6 hours, but you can go longer or shorter and get similar results.

There’s not much to explain here. Take the chops out of the olive oil and let the excess marinade drip off for about 20 minutes until they come to room temperature. That’s very important; never throw cold meat on a grill.

Prepare a two level fire (one side really hot, the other side not so hot) and toss the chops over the high heat. After a minute or two, rotate them 90° to get your cross-hatch grill marks. Once you have your “presentation side” looking good, flip them over and move them to the cooler zone of the grill and roast until the internal temperature reaches 145°. Remove them from the heat and let them rest under foil on a warm plate for 5-10 minutes. The temperature should rise another 10° to medium. It’s safe to cook them a little more rare, but don’t overcook them or they’ll dry out. Let them cool for at least five minutes so the juices redistribute. Finally, dig in. They should be sweet and succulent with a rosemary aroma.

We served these with some savory, glazed greens.

Perfect Pork Chops
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