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Hard, chewy pork chops. How to avoid?

 
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robertpri



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Stockton, Ca

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:38 am    Post subject: Hard, chewy pork chops. How to avoid? Reply with quote

With high blood pressure and avoiding salt as much as possible, I stay with fish and chicken. I think I have conquered those simple dishes.

But on occasion, a thick, lean, trimmed pork chop really appeals to me.

I let them sit in Mrs DASH, along with my own mix of spices for a while, and fork the sides. The chops are maybe 3/4" thick.

With a ribbed Teflon pan, I sear on side on medium [1/2] heat until sightly darkened, then flip and cover. I turn the heat down to about 1/3 heat until done.

The insides look perfect, just slightly beyond pink at the centers.

But they are hard and chewy! Very! What am I doing wrong?

If I leave the heat on a higher setting, it would over cook the outside and leave the inside uncooked. This is fine with steak, but I don't like rare chops.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had the same problem and my solution is to sear the first side at a higher temperature, flip the chop over to sear the second side but then turn the heat off, COVER, and let sit for a few minutes.

I'd skip the teflon pan, too. You get better browning in a regular or cast iron pan.
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robertpri



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Stockton, Ca

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, could be. Thanks.

My Teflon cookware, including the ribbed pan, have worked for many years without a single flaw or flake because I never take them over middle heat. [read that tip on another cooking forum about caring for Teflon]

It works perfectly for steak, fish, and chicken, but guess I'll have to drag out the old iron pan and re-season it for pork chops. [or stick with steak]
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're absolutely right about Teflon. I only started using one a few years ago and recently replaced it with an identical model because I'd used it at too high a heat and had some warping and other issues (mind you, I never used it at full-blast HIGH, either). Medium heat is the maximum when it comes to Teflon, I think.

I ought to clarify my previous reply regarding a "higher temperature". When I sear pork chops I use a heat just above the "skittle point" where a drop of water dances across the pan. I don't know the precise temp, but it's not too hot, yet at a point where a drop of water not only skittles across the pan but emits a few huffs and hisses along the way. A higher temp would make it POOF into and dance into nothingness within a second or two; and you don't want that.

Also, I think covering it it quite important as the steam and enclosed heat will continue to gently cook the chop while the second side gets a little brown.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard, chewy pork chops. How to avoid? Reply with quote

Need some more data there pally boy, need to know what the internal temp is. I know it can be tough without one of those fancy pants Thermopens, but try. If a pork chop is tough, it's over-cooked. You should pull it between 138 and 140, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

You could make it a lot easier on yourself by using a pan that can take some heat. I use a large, dry cast iron skillet that's smoking hot, really hot. Install naked 1" thick pork chop to pan, sit a bacon press on it for maybe 3 to 4 minutes a side. Install to 450 to 500 degree oven until it reaches 138-140, pull and let rest.

Biggles
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jwhooper



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Robert,

Have you ever tried buffalo/bison? It is leaner than chicken breast but dense and satisfying like beef. I like the taste of it better than beef. I used to have to drive an hour or so to buy it, but now they even have it at Whole Foods. Try a bison burger or a steak.

Back to the beloved pork chop. This is what I do: coat the chops with olive oil, granulated garlic, and Lawry's seasoned salt, heat up the outdoor grill to high with the lid closed, and put them on when the temp is at least 450. It is crucial not to overcook pork. I test by first of all looking. When chicken is done, the skin creeps up on the legs, when pork chops are done, they curl up a little. However, depending on the thickness, not all chops curl up, so the final test is to grip it in the middle with a pair of tongs. You can feel whether the meat is firm and cooked, or still raw and floppy ... at least with practice.
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Samuel Cookie



Joined: 28 Apr 2010
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had the same problem in the past. My advice to you is:

Get some tin foil and grease it. Cover the pork chops in the tin foil and pop them in the oven. Cook the for 1 hour 30 minutes at gas mark 4.

Problem solved!
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