Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pork, the Other White Meat

One of the biggest things that people say about pork is that it is dry. In the past, most people cooked the living daylights out of a pork chop or use breadcrumbs. But, if you know what you are doing, then grilling a delicious pork chop is easy.
I look for thick pork chops. Cooking thin pork chops requires you to watch them very closely. The pork chop pictured here is about 1 inch thick. It also has its bone in. By keeping the bone in the chop, it stays moist. As for temperature, I take my chops to about 150 degrees F and use carryover heat to take it to its final temperature of a 160 degrees F. If you overcook, the chop will be dry and tough. Because of modern feeding practices, trichinosis is a no longer a concern. Although trichina is virtually nonexistent in pork, if it were present, it would be killed at 137 degrees F. That is well below the recommended end cooking temperature for pork, which is 160 degrees F. Many outdated cookbooks, commonly found in the home, were written many years ago, when trichinosis was a concern, and will instruct, even warn that pork must be cooked until there is absolutely no pink in the meat (to an internal temperature of 170 degrees to 185 degrees!); or as one popular cookbook put it, “The meat must be white or grayish throughout, without a trace of pink, even in the very center of a large roast.” This is not at all necessary today. Nor is it good.
Seasoning is simple. Salt, pepper and vegetable oil are the only things you need. Yes, simple and easy. Everyone loves them.

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