I’m going to be honest, I didn’t have a lot of pork chops growing up. When we did, we usually rocked the Shake n’ Bake method which from what I remember, the flavor was really good (most likely due to chemically enhanced seasonings like MSG) but seemed to be a crap shoot as to whether the pork would come out moist and succulent or bone dry. I know now that the days it came out super juicy, the pork chops had more fat on them and weren’t nearly as lean. Good thing I enjoy fattier cuts these days huh?
It was the memories I had of dried out tough pork chops that caused me to steer away from them for so long. Recently though, we got a bunch of bone in pork chops from our friends at Cook Pigs Ranch (honestly the BEST pork on the planet comes from their tiny farm in the hills above San Diego) and I’ve been working on a way to grill up the perfect pork chop without it drying out. A big reason I think for chronically dried out pork was that it was long thought to have to cook pork to 165 F (medium-well) in order to avoid contracting trichinosis (which is much more commonly found in bear meat than pork but that’s a topic for another day), but now, according to the USDA, it is safe to consume pork cooked to 145 F which is more of a medium and thus easier to keep juicy.
It’s BC Day up here in Vancouver this weekend so I might just be grilling some of these at one of the few BBQ’s that are planned. It’ll be a nice option rather than the usual burgers, sausages and chicken I’ve seen at BBQ’s up here so far.
- Rinse pork chops with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, thoroughly combine sea salt, vanilla and dried sage.
- Coat each side of the pork chops with mixture and set aside to rest. About 10 minutes
- While pork chops are resting, pre heat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Add fresh black pepper to each side of the pork chops just before adding them to the grill.
- Grill pork chops about 3-4 minutes per side taking care not to overcook them or they will dry out.
- Remove from grill and serve.
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