Pork Panacea

by Jenn (eating bender) on April 15, 2012

I was on the lookout for a cure-all this weekend after Saturday morning greeted me with a sore throat. I’m still feeling a bit under the weather tonight (which is saying something, since it’s storming here), but thanks to an elderberry prescription from Dr. Dunner, am now on the mend. :)

One thing I did not find the cure for, however: dry pork.

If you’ve ever cooked pork before, I’m hoping you can relate. You rub, you marinate, you even bake it in heaping handfuls of sauce. Then you pull it out of the oven. It looks pretty. You put it on your plate. You may even snap a picture (or four).

Looks good, right? And it was, thanks to those heaping handfuls of sauce I mentioned. But without the spicy barbecue topping, I’m fairly certain this would have tasted as dry as, well, wood.

So now I’m on the lookout for a dry pork panacea.

Here’s what I did:

  • Rubbed the pork chops in a variety of salt, pepper and spices
  • Coated the pork chops in a thick glaze of barbecue sauce
  • Baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Flipped the pork chops and coated them in more barbecue sauce
  • Baked at 350 degrees for another 30 minutes

The insides and the temperature all seemed perfect…ly dry.

Copious amounts of barbecue helped, as did the corn and edamame succotash served up on the side.

But I would love it if the next time, I didn’t have to rely on masking the flavor of the meat. 😉

It kind of reminds me of how I used to sometimes use ketchup to eat my vegetables.

And I’m not just talking about those deliciously fried potatoes.

(I hope I’m not alone on that one, too.)

Any pork aficionados out there? What are your tips for the other white meat?

Hope you all had wonderful weekends! I’ve been devouring Gone with the Wind and can’t wait to (finally) watch the award-winning movie once I’m done. Are you reading anything exciting?


1 Erica April 16, 2012 at 7:31 am

I hear ya. I never cook pork…mostly because I fear the dry pork chops of childhood. Share tips if you find them! Feel better!!
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2 Jenn (eating bender) April 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm

The tip of the day seems to be brining the pork first! Here’s to hoping it will work next time. Thanks for the get well wishes!

3 Andrea April 16, 2012 at 7:44 am

Shoot for chops that still have the bone-in. They have more flavor, yes they take a bit longer too cook but you just toss them in the oven to finish. Totally worth it! Also, brining is your best friend. Next time, brine your chops and they will come out awesome. :)
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4 Jenn (eating bender) April 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Between bone-in and brining, I think we have a winning combo. Especially since they are easy to remember thanks to alliteration. :) Thank you, Andrea!

5 Erin April 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

Been on a Joyce Carol Oates kick :) Do you like her? Can’t recall
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6 Jenn (eating bender) April 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Awesome! I actually don’t think I’ve read anything from her. Which books have been your favorite so far?

7 Bryn April 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

Don’t overcook them! I think there’s a great fear of undercooked and raw pork, but slightly pink pork can still be fully cooked. A meat thermometer is your best bet, shoot for 145 deg F as an internal temperature and remember that the pork keeps cooking after you take it away from the heat source. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/dining/porks-safe-cooking-temperature-is-lowered.html Good luck!

8 Jenn (eating bender) April 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Ahh this might of been what did it! I read that it had to be 165 degrees. Thank you, Bryn! That article is really helpful, too. I can’t wait to try again!

9 BroccoliHut April 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Gone with the Wind is quite possibly my favorite book EVER. I say almost, because choosing a favorite book is akin to choosing a favorite child. Anyway, I’ve read it twice, and I just recently read the sequel (entitled simply Scarlett). The sequel is written by a different author and was ill received at the time of publication (early 1990s), but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
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10 Jenn (eating bender) April 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Haha, so true re: choosing a favorite book. But I’m glad that you love Gone with the Wind! I am nearing the halfway point and continuously wondering what might happen next. I’ll have to look into the sequel once I’m finished!

11 Amanda April 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I’m pretty sure the secret to juicy pork is to brine it!! I have never done it myself, but my stepdad grilled pork tenderloin the other week and was explaining that you soak the pork in brine (salt + water) for a few hours and that breaks down the muscle/helps it retain moisture. Not sure about the exact science behind it, but google it :) Hope it helps!

12 Jenn (eating bender) April 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Awesome! I am definitely going to Google brining tips for my next attempt. I’m realizing there are many things I could have done better, but brining seems to be key. :) Thanks, Amanda!

13 Susan April 16, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Love the title – nicely done. :) Wish I could offer more cooking tips, but this post reminds me that I really need to jump on the Gone with the Wind bandwagon…

14 Jenn (eating bender) April 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Thank you, thank you. :) And yes, you absolutely need to jump on the bandwagon! It is definitely a long read, but I’m nearing the halfway point and still wondering what could possibly happen next.

15 Emily April 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Gone with the Wind is one of my favorite movies!!! The book is excellent too but I saw the movie when I was about six for the first time. I know many of the words by heart : )
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16 Jenn (eating bender) April 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I have a feeling that after reading the book and watching the movie I will be quoting them nonstop! :)

17 vista orthodontist April 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Does marinating it overnight help the texture of the meat? From my experience sometimes it does depend on the cut.
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18 Jenn (eating bender) April 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I think marinating overnight definitely couldn’t hurt, but brining seems to be key to helping with the texture of the meat: http://bbq.about.com/cs/pork/a/aa011803a.htm.

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