For this article I picked up some extra thick pork loin chops from my local butcher. The nice thing about the pork loin chop is you get a little of the tenderloin, too. It is kinda like the t-bone of pork. In order to optimize the tenderness of the thick-cut pork chop, I brined them in chicken stock, salt, sugar, and spices. It only takes about 30 minutes for the brine to impart some flavor into the meat, but you can leave them in the brine for several hours, if you want.
Everyone loves to grill pork chops, but if you don't have the time or the grill, you can broil them inside your oven. The broiler works by cooking the meat from above. It typically has three heat settings: low, medium, and high. For meat you will almost always broil on high unless it is a large piece of meat; then you may broil on medium. In order to broil, it is best to use a broiling pan. This pan allows the juices to drip away from the meat while it cooks.
1. If you have sort of fear of delicious, tasty pork fat, trim it. If not, leave the fat alone and enjoy the crispy delicious that will come of it. Because I brined my pork chops, I patted them dry with a paper towel. If your pork chops are dry, add your spices and what-not, and then rub some oil on the meat to keep it from sticking and to help it to brown and get crispy. Turn the broiler on high and move a rack to the second from top position.
2. Let the broiler heat up for at least 10 minutes. Once the broiler is up to heat, put the pork chops in and close the door. Let the pork chops broil for about 8 minutes before checking them. There will be some smoke coming from the oven. If you have a vent fan, turn it on. Open a window if you don't. You may want to temporarily disable the smoke detectors. Don't forget to reconnect them once you are done.
3. After 8 minutes have passed, take a gander at your pork chops and see if they are brown enough to flip. If they are give, them a flip and repeat. There isn't much point in checking the temperature yet, as you still have another half a pork chop to cook. Look at the picture to the right. See how the fat is rendering and getting crispy? That is gonna be tasty.
4. After cooking the other side, take them out and check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer. To be safe to eat, the minimum temperature when cooking pork is 150 degrees F. So that is the temp that you are looking for with your pork chops. Once that internal temp has been reached 150, let them rest for five minutes before eating them.
The trick with broiling is keeping the meat far enough away that it doesn't burn but close enough so it browns. I almost always broil on the second from the top oven rack.
Pork can dry out very quickly if it is overcooked. Be careful not to overcook it. Keep your eye on the meat the first couple times you cook pork until you get a feel for it.
Not all broilers are the same. Some are hotter than others. I tend to think that my broiler is a little cooler than other broilers I have had in the past.
Buy fresh pork and cook it right away. Old pork gets slimy and smelly quickly.