The Game-Changing Rule For Flavorful Pork Chops

Pork chops have a rich culinary legacy. Nearly any chef worth their salt has some preferences on a preparation method, seasoning options, and side dishes to serve them with. Among those myriad takes on this popular protein is how you can take a page from another common protein in your execution.

There is certainly no lack of opinions out there for a unique way to serve up your pork chops. For example, there's the surprising ingredient in Chef Alex Guarnaschelli's pork chop recipe and The Pioneer Woman's secret to getting perfect pan-fried pork chops. It seems the only real hard and fast standard is that for food safety, you want to get your pork chops to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Pork Board, as consuming undercooked pork can expose you to illnesses and parasites, says Healthline.

Outside of that, though, the chops can be your canvas. One rule you might want to start to follow involves treating your meat of the swine more like it is bovine instead.

Make no mis-steak

Just like with steaks, preparation methods for pork chops include baking, frying, and grilling. A rule for this meat comes from Food & Wine, which recommends you really play up those similarities. The cooking method here involves simple salt and pepper seasoning, a cast-iron skillet exterior sear, finishing the chops with a lower heat, and adding butter to ensure your meat stays juicy as it cooks. If that progression of steps looks familiar, there's a very good reason it has triggered your memory.

Taste of Home has recommendations for preparing a fine cut of beef in a cast-iron skillet that is quite similar to Food & Wine's pork chop approach. Basting the chops in a mixture of butter and their own juices is the meat of the rule you should follow with your pork chops.

Food & Wine even suggests you present your chops sliced against the grain into pieces, which is a common presentation for steak dishes like Epicurious' steak-frites. While this rule of basting away won't necessarily guarantee you avoid the mistakes people make when grilling pork chops, you shouldn't consider preparing your pork chops as if they were nice cuts of beef a "mis-steak" in and of itself.