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PORK CHOPS, Need HELP to make them soft or tender, questions???

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello Ladies,


I just made pork chops (1st time), and they turned out super

hard . What did I do wrong?

What is the best way to cook pork chops, to make them tasty & tender/soft ?

The closer I got to the bone, the softer the meat was, but the other meat was so hard, I think I lost a couple of teeth LOL!

PLEASE HELP me out with some tips.

Also, I read that eating pork was healthier than eating red meat (beef)

is that true? What say you ?

Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 21
For us, long slow cooking is the way to go with pork chops. Commercially raised pork these days is bred to be lean, but that means it dries out and goes leathery really easily, especially with dry-heat cooking like broiling or grilling.

I like to braise them-- it makes them tender like a pot roast. I do mine in a cast-iron skillet with a lid. I brown them on both sides in some oil, on medium-high heat. Then I coat them in barbecue sauce, and then pour a quarter-cup of water over them. Then I cover them, turn them down low, and let them cook a long time. At least a half-hour, and sometimes longer. Don't skimp on the oil-- adding some fat can make all the difference, I think.

When it's done, you can pour off the barbecue-sauce-flavored juices that are left, and thicken them like gravy, to put on the chops.

Sometimes, for fun, I use apple juice, instead of water. Then I serve it up with applesauce on the side-- YUM.
post #3 of 21
i disagree. i cook min on 350 degrees for 30 mins. they are very tender i think if you overcook them you have problems
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post
i disagree. i cook min on 350 degrees for 30 mins. they are very tender i think if you overcook them you have problems
Me too. I marinate them the night before and cook them at 350 for 25 minutes with the marinade at the bottom of the pan and covered in foil. When I take them out I let them sit covered for 10 minutes to finish cooking.
post #5 of 21
I think you over cooked them. If you are not familiar with pork by a thermometer. Many people over cook pork.
post #6 of 21
Both theories are correct.

Pork gets tough when the proteins seize up (sort of shrink) when they're heated.

So a quick cook on high and the proteins won't have had time to seize up. Works best with thin cuts, as a thick cut will still be bloody inside.

Or, cook low and slow with liquid. The proteins seize up but then they're broken down in the cooking process.

I rely on the low, slow, liquidy method (stewing, really) because I can rarely get the timing right on the dry, high heat method.

Apparently you don't need to worry about pork chops being a little pink in the middle (it'll be more tender), as pork processing is much cleaner than it used to be and the risk of disease is much, much lower.
post #7 of 21
I make the BEST porkchops! I dredge them in flour, dip in egg, and dip in a mixture of breadcrumbs/fresh sage/parmesan/salt n pepper. Sear them in a hot oiled cast iron on both sides and the put the whole pan in the oven at about 350 for 15-20 minutes. They come out superb!
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post
Both theories are correct.

Pork gets tough when the proteins seize up (sort of shrink) when they're heated.

So a quick cook on high and the proteins won't have had time to seize up. Works best with thin cuts, as a thick cut will still be bloody inside. .

Apparently you don't need to worry about pork chops being a little pink in the middle (it'll be more tender), as pork processing is much cleaner than it used to be and the risk of disease is much, much lower.


I do the high heat thing...
post #9 of 21
I think you may need to qualify your request/temper the advice. Pork chops vary by region and butcher. Just around here, depending on where I buy them, I can get pork chops that are 1/4 inch thick, which do beautifully over high heat, cooked very quickly, or I can get chops that are an inch and a half thick, which if cooked over high heat will wind up just like you described, but if cooked slowly and/or wet, will be beautifully soft and tender.

Personally, my favorite is a pork chop roast (loin roast?), which is the pork chops before they're cut apart, with the bone still in. So it's a roast, but it's 4 chops in one. I can give it a beautiful sear on the outside, so I get that lovely brown flavor, but then I stick in a warm oven (not hot) and cook it slowly, so I also get the nice soft texture. Best of both worlds.

If you're trying to cook them on the stove top, chances are good you just need to turn the heat down, and take them off sooner. Cook it to med and then let it sit 10 minutes and it should be just slightly pink in the center, which is perfect (do a quick hot sear and then turn the heat down to low to cook through). Or you can do one of the wet "braise" method like described by the pp.
post #10 of 21
I brine my pork. Here is a recipe for the best pork chops...ever. I had never brined pork before I tried this recipe, and now I apply it to pretty much most pork I make. The brine is salty, so don't add to much salt to the chops when cooking. The chops come out tender and moist every time.
post #11 of 21
I brine mine as well

I use Alton Brown's brine for pork chops. I don't usually stuff them, I just use the brine.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html


After the two hours I just rinse them off, pat dry and throw in a skillet or on the grill. They turn out great!
post #12 of 21
Yep, try brining your pork chops. I always do a 48 hour brine on mine. They are AMAZING. Juicy, flavorful... you really can't beat it.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you all!

Great tips! Thank you!
Every single idea sounds yum yum!

Now, I thought if you cooked meat on high, it created carcinogens? Not sure...... What do you know about this?


Well, after I totally messed up the first set of pork chops, I tried marinating
the night before, cooked on high then lowered the temp. and it seemed like
a complete different animal, LOL!! It was a lot better this time!
I think pork chops will be a good friend of mine in the kitchen from now on LOL! I will be experimenting with all of your ideas later on, need
to go out & get some more pork chops.
Thank you for your ideas!
post #14 of 21
Slow cooker makes them tender every time. I now swear by it, unless I'm cooking grass fed, farm raised pork. Supermarket pork is a different thing altogether.
post #15 of 21
I cook them in the oven on 350 for about 2 hours with 2 or 3 cans of cream of mushroom soup.
post #16 of 21

Pork chops

I like a thick, boneless chop (1.5-2"). I usually cook the same method, but with different components.

*Heat oil or butter in pan, sautee onions or garlic until softening, then scrape to sides.
*Brown the chops on all sides on fairly high heat.
*Add liquid: broth, BBQ sauce, oj, apple cider, vinegar, mustard, canned peaches, honey, molasses, soy sauce, Bragg's... generally some mixture of the above (don't do just a sweetener or just vinegar)
*Add extras: thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, salt, fruit chunks, canned fruit, asian spices, brown sugar, cinnamon, cumin, cilantro
*Turn heat down to medium, cover and simmer ~15 min. Should still be very pink in the middle, but clearly cooked through.

Tonight I sauteed the chops in butter with Thyme and black pepper. Then I added extra strength chicken broth (1 cube bouillon, 1/2 c. water). Took the chops out when they were done and added corn starch to the liquid in the pan. Thinned it back out with milk for a super-tasty gravy. Served with noodles and steamed fresh spinach. HUGE hit.

The trick is to get the chops off the heat as SOON as they're done. Not so easy. If you can't keep an eye on them, the crock pot is your uber-friend. Throw thick chops in with a few chopped apples, some vinegar and some mustard; or go the easy route and dump in some bottled BBQ. It will thin out while the chops cook, leaving a very mild, pulled pork type result. Yum!
post #17 of 21
It depends on the pork. If it was good quality natural pork you probably really overcooked it. Pork should be just pink in the center, not white. If you like too cook it really well done for whatever reason, brining will make it more forgiving.

If it was industrial pork, you may have overcooked it or cooked it at too high of a heat. Most industrial pork is very (too) lean and is also processed with a salt solution. Too high heat + lean makes all of the pork juices and retained water leave the pork quickly.
post #18 of 21
We raise our own so the pork chops come with bones. I either grill (high heat for a short time), bake with cream of mushroom soup (lower heat, but you still don't have to cook them long) or baked with breading.

I think alot of people overcook meat. I don't like the stewed meat texture so I rarely use my crockpot for meat. If you cook too high for too long with no liquid, the juices in the meat dry up and you'll left with dry, hard meat.
post #19 of 21
I got this from a friend...delicious!

Season and braise the chops. Next pour a can of sauerkraut on top, cook until done.

I skipped the actual kraut as I'm not a big fan but the flavor that permeates the pork is great!
post #20 of 21

hello...i have been reading here to find out how others do a 'tender' chop.  when i saw your entry with sauerkraut i had to reply...lol  since sauerkraut is cabbage, thought i'd ask if you had ever tried cutting your raw cabbage about 3/8 inch thick (full side cut) and frying it in the same oil with the juice of the chop?  i do mine with a bit of course ground garlic salt and accent ( brand of flavor enhancer)... it is wonderful.  

the pork flavor on the cabbage adds a whole new taste to a chop sandwich with mustard. ( i found this out when trying to add a different element  to the filling of a pot sticker).

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