Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Smokey Pork Chops

For pork, chicken, and some cuts of beef I like to sear on high heat directly over white hot coals, and then finish in a smokey roast to get at the right temperature while leaving a whisper of earthiness. Sear & Smoke just like it says on my grill.

This time around it's a 1 1/2 inch thick bone in pork chop seasoned and sweated. I find it best to let the meat get to room temp before cooking. Season with salt and pepper and let it sweat out the water. This makes for a juicier more flavorful piece of meat. Beyond salt and pepper be gentle with your additions of choice like garlic, paprika, and onion powder.  I like to let a pork chop be a pork chop.  Get the coals going while that chop is getting to know the spices.

It's lump charcoal for me started in a Weber chimney. A piece of packing paper will get a good pile of charcoal into a full roar in no time at all. A decent pair of gloves to block the heat is a good idea while spreading hot coals.  Spread them on one side of the grill leaving room on the opposite side to smoke.

The fire trey in this grill can be raised an lowered to adjust for the temperature of the fire.  I raise the fire trey high for searing. Once the grill is flaming hot I use an onion top with a long fork or tongs for a grill brush with benefits. It cleans and leaves a little onion oil behind for flavor with a little non stick action.  More than likely somewhere along the way an onion is your meal so put those onion ends to work.

Toss on your chop and sear for only a couple of minutes per side. Take this moment to enjoy the site, sound and smell of searing meat.  This experience pairs well with about any cocktail, wine, or beer.  Other than eating this dish, it is at this sizzling moment where the joy of grilling is to be savored.

Your looking for grill marks and a little crusty edge. Once the char is right move the chops to the opposite side of the grill off the direct flame. Throw in a few smoker chunks, and shut the lid for approx 25 minutes. There are some variables that influence how long exactly you let the meat roast in that smokey surrounding. How thick, how hot, and so forth.  About 25 minutes around 400 for a thick bone in chop is works for me. If its a half chicken for example, I let it roast for about 40 - 45 minutes. But you can check it along the way if you need a confidence boost.

Use an instant read thermometer in the meat. Never cut open a chop unless you want to watch all the yumminess run out onto your coals.  150 for a chop is about right because they need to rest for a spell. Put them in a pan and cover with foil to hold some heat in there.  While resting they will still be cooking and will get up around 160 which is were you want a chop served.  Let that baby rest for at least 10 minutes. All that searing and smoke roasting drove the juices to the center. Now that heat is no longer being applied the juices are making their way back to the surface. Just let it happen at a natural pace and the chops will taste juicy and out of sight.

Since the meat is only in the smoke roast for 25 - 30 minutes I don't think what type of wood is all that important. If your smoking a pork butt for 12 hours you might want a milder wood, but for the sear and smoke even a strong wood doesn't have time to over power the meat, but that's just me.

This cooking method produces a tender juicy pork chop with a light smokey edge.  Do several of them at a time.  Left overs are awesome sliced up on a salad.

Light The Grill!

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