Friday, July 01, 2011
Boneless pork chops are one of our favorite meats to grill out, because they are quick and easy. They can be expensive, but I just keep an eye out for sales and stock up.
Since boneless pork chops don't have a bone and almost no fat, they can dry out. You need to grill them quick and watch close, and it also helps to marinate the boneless pork chops. Marinade tenderizes, adds flavor, helps prevent sticking, and keeps the meat moist.
You can make your own marinade or use bottled Kraft Zesty Italian dressing or a specific marinade product. I've been disappointed in many of the products marketed as grilling marinades, because some of them overpower the meat and don't have great flavors either. My favorite marinades are by Allegro and particularly the spicy, teriyaki, and soy/lime. Above you see the raspberry chipolte, but that one was sweeter and fruitier than I like.
Last night I grilled our pork chops over charcoal on the PK grill, but they can be done over gas or electric. Actually, it's easier to go with gas or electric when grilling something that needs to be done quick. You can more easily regulate the heat and can get prettier grill lines. On the other hand, you get the fabulous smoked flavor if you use charcoal.
With my charcoal, I offset. This means that I put the charcoal on one end but not on the other end. This means that I have a good hot area and then a cooler area. Offset makes grilling so much easier. You can do the same basic thing with gas if you have more than one burner area. Just have part of the grill turned on. The cool side will still get hot but not hot like over direct grill flames.
After the pork chops brown on one side and you see some white cooked color coming up the side over high heat, then flip the pork chops and sear off the other side. Then slide them off the really hot heat where they will quickly finish off.
The FDA has now officially stated that pork at 145 degrees F is safe, so you can grill to what would be considered a medium rare or a bit longer for all white but still moist pork chops. I like pork cooked medium rare or just at well done, but the boys prefer well done (but still juicy).
A thermometer can help as you learn to grill boneless pork chops, but I just give it the eyeball test. Once the side begin to turn white and I flip the chops, then they are within a couple of minutes of being done. This is on pork chops around 1/2 inch thin. You'd need a grill a bit longer with thick cut boneless pork chops. Still, the time is not long. I'd say I had these pork chops on and off in about 15 minutes with some extra time offset while I was juggling some tin foil grilled potatoes.
Here are our grilled boneless pork chops. You can see that they still have plenty of juice even grilled at well done.
We also like to add barbecue sauce to boneless pork chops. Barbecue sauce can be brushed on right as the pork chops go on the grill, since they are thin and don't take long to grill. Sauces give you many flavor options, and you can eat boneless pork chops often and still feel like you're having different meals when you use different barbecue sauces and/or marinades.