I made the most juicy & perfectly cooked thick cut pork chops and I want to share them with you!
Pork chops seem to be a tricky dish to cook. And if they are not cooked properly, the results are dry ass pork chops. I did a lot of research along with a lot of trial and error (shout out to my loving family for eating those pork chops that chewed & tasted like leather). And today I am going to share with you tips I learned regarding how to make the perfectly cooked pork chops with a balsamic brown sugar glaze to go with it. These tips help me to save a lot of money $$$$$ on those freaking expensive pork chops I kept ruining.
Purchasing Tips to get to the Perfectly Cooked Pork Chop:
- Please whatever you do, buy pork chops with the bone in them. Cooking cuts of meat with bones tend to give the meat a more rich flavor. It also helps to slow down the cooking process, which prevents tough overcooked chops.
- Purchase thicker cuts of meat which will also slow down the cooking process and allow even cooking.
Preparation Tips for The Perfectly Cooked Pork Chop:
- Please whatever you do, brine those bad boys. A brine is a salt, sugar, and water mix (with additional flavor ingredients of your choice.) This helps the pork chops to retain moisture and create a juicy pork chop with a hint of flavor.
- Let the meat rest for about 15 minutes before cooking. Letting the meat rest prevents you from overcooking cold meat that decreasing the temperature of the cooking source. What also happens: You overcook the outside of the meat while trying to heat up and cook the cold inner part of the meat.
Cooking Tips for The Perfectly Cooked Pork Chop:
- Sear (Cooking the meat on high heat for a few minutes resulting in a browned crispiness on each side of the meat) aids in locking in the meat’s juices, and the seasoned brown crust that you get from searing the meat gives you a a crispy flavored layer to your meat.
- Do not base your desired doneness on cooking times. Using a kitchen thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the meat will help you know when the chops are truly done (the internal temperature should be 140 degrees). Using only a cooking time will potentially result in drying out your pork chops because you can possibly overcook them.
- Let the pork chops rest for about 5 minutes before serving. This allows the meat to retain it’s juices. Cutting into a piece of meat fresh out of the pan will cause all of the juices to come out of the meat and the meat will be dry as hell!
After it’s all said and done, I take these simply seasoned cooked pork chops and garnish them with yet another easy flavor layer – this balsamic brown sugar glaze. The combination of the cider, sugar, salt water brine with this glaze, gives you a sweet, tangy, and salty combination. The brine gives the cut of meat a light hint of salt and garlic, and the glaze gives you the sweet and tangy flavor you will receive in each & every bite.
I made this glaze optional instead of incorporating it in my marinade/brine to ensure that everyone is happy. Because my husband doesn’t like meats that have a sweet taste or sweet sauces. End result: Everyone in the Hill household is satisfied 🙂 HAHA Whatever!
And I never screwed up another pork chop ever again… And we all lived happily ever after.. The END…
Comment below and let me know what brine marinades you like to use, so that others seeing this recipe may have other delicious brine recipes to choose from when recreating this recipe over and over! Thanks so much!
Perfectly Cooked Pork Chops with Balsamic Brown Sugar Glaze
- 4 pork chops with bone (1 inch thick)
- Brine for Pork Chops:
- 4 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup spiced apple cider or 1 cup of apple juice
- 1/8 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/8 cup kosher salt
- 2 cups ice
- Balsamic Brown Sugar Glaze:
- 5 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- (Make about 1/2 cup of glaze)
- Cooking Process Ingredients:
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
- First, you want to brine your pork chops overnight to help make the pork chops juicy, and add a hint of flavor.
- In a medium sauce pan mix together the 2 cups of water, 1 cup of cider, 1/8 cup dark brown sugar, 1/8 cup kosher salt, and the chopped garlic. Bring these ingredients to a boil.
- Remove the brine from the stove and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
- Then, add the ice to the brine to help further cool the brine.
- Place the pork chops in a plastic food storage bag (i.e. ziploc bags).
- Next, pour the brine sauce over the pork chops.
- Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator. Let the pork chops marinate in this brine at least 8 hours.
- When ready to cook the pork chops, remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse the pork chops, and pat dry the pork chops.
- Rub both sides of the pork chops with olive oil. Then, lightly season the pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Let the pork chops rest for about 15 minutes to reach room temperature. (This allows for even cooking of the meat.)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- While oven preheats, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a large oven safe pan. Place this pan on a stove top, and allow the pan to get really hot using medium high heat.
- Once the pan is nice and hot, add the pork chops to the pan.
- Brown the pork chops on one side until you get a nice crispy brown coating on that one side you browned. This can take about 3 minutes.
- Once you have browned one side of the pork chops, Place the pork chops on their fatty side in the pan, and brown the fatty parts of the pork chops. (This helps render the fat and add more flavor to the chops as they cook in the oven.)
- Once you have browned the fatty sides of the pork chops, place the pork chops on their uncooked sides.
- Then, place the pork chops in the preheated oven.
- Cook the pork chops until the pork chop's internal temperature reaches 140 degrees when inserting your cooking thermometer.
- Remove the pork chops from the pan.
- Lightly cover the pork chops with foil and let the pork chops rest for about five minutes before serving. (This helps the pork chops to retain their moisture which also helps the chops to be juicy.)
- While the pork chops rest after cooking, mix together the balsamic vinegar, and last 1/4 cup of brown sugar together in a small sauce pan. Bring the glaze to a boil, and remove the glaze from the heat source after bring the glaze sauce to a boil.
- When ready to serve the chops, garnish/drizzle the glaze over the chops or use the glaze as a dipping sauce.
Please note that I am not a nutritionist, and the nutritional information is an estimate only. It varies based on the products and brands used.
Thanks to The Kitchn and many other sources for some awesome tips!