The cooking process involves more than just boiling some water or heating a pan on the stove.
There are many other steps involved, and a good portion of them take place before you start cooking the meat. This includes seasoning the meat, cutting it up, and something called tenderizing it.
People will tenderize all types of meat, which includes pork chops. In this article, we will go into what pork chops and tenderizing are before finally going into the top three ways to tenderize your meat.
By the end of the article, you’ll be an expert at tenderizing pork chops.
What Are Pork Chops?
Pork comes from a pig, and the pork chop cut is a particular type of cut from the pig. To be specific, the pork chop comes from the loin area of the pig, which is part of the pig from hip to shoulder.
There are four different types of pork chops cut. They are the shoulder, rib, sirloin, and loin chops.
The cuts all have different varieties of tenderness and taste, so if you are unsure, just ask the butcher.
Keep in mind that pork chops are a very expensive cut of meat from the pig, but if you can afford it, they are worth it.
What Is Tenderizing?
Tenderizing meat is a great way to make the meat easier for you to chew and bite into.
Tenderizing helps make the meat easier to chew and cut. You can do this through a series of different methods, which we will touch on later.
Some people prefer to eat tougher meat, so if you are one of those people, tenderizing might not be a process you need or want to engage in.
However, if you do want to tenderize your meat, listen up as we go into the top three methods to tenderize your meat.
How to Tenderize
There are a couple of ways to tenderize meat. We’ve narrowed down the top three ways to tenderize pork chops which include using a mallet, marinating it, and finally bringing it.
One of the best and quickest ways to tenderize pork chops is by using something called a meat mallet. A meat mallet is exactly what it sounds like!
It’s a mallet that has ridges on each side. This enables you to pound the meat so that it is very soft.
To use a meat mallet, do the following:
- Lay the pork chops on a cutting board or some other surface. Never lay it directly on the counter because that is a great way to contaminate the surface and get yourself sick.
- Next part is the easy part. Take the mallet and start pounding at the meat until you are satisfied that you have broken up enough of the connective tissue.
- If you don’t happen to have a meat mallet, you can use a fork or your hands if need be. Just be sure to wash your hands before and after to avoid contamination. Better yet, if you happen to have a pair of gloves on hand, you can put some of those on before pounding at the meat.
This is, by far, the quickest method to tenderize your meat.
When you are brining meat, you are putting the meat in a solution of water and salt. This can be done to help tenderize the meat and make it easier to eat. To brine some pork chops, do the following:
- Fill a pot with some water (about a gallon) and then add ¾ cup of salt.
- You need to wait for the mixture to dissolve, so either stir or heat the water on the stove, which is the quicker way of doing it.
- Once the mixture is dissolved, put the pork inside, cover it, and put it in the fridge. It needs to brine for a minimum of twelve hours, so plan accordingly. Best to do it in the morning so that by the time you come home to make dinner, it will be completely tenderized.
This is a method that does take a while, but it’s very simple because all it requires is some water and salt.
If you don’t have a meat mallet on hand or dislike the idea of extending that much energy, brining is the way you want to go.
The final method of tenderizing your meat is by marinating it, which means you are soaking it in some kind of seasoning/liquid. You can do this by:
- The first thing you need to decide is what type of marinade you want to use. You need to use something that will help break down the connective tissue. Something with acid will work.
- Common marinades include vinegar, citrus, and wines. So, once you have this marinade, mix the ingredients. (Also include other ingredients if wanted).
- Place the piece of meat in a container of some sort before pouring the marinade over the pork chops.
- Put it in the fridge. Let them sit in the bowl, bag, container, etc., for at least 2 to 4 hours.
- The last step is to take them out and let them sit out for a few minutes before cooking.
That’s all there is to it! Marinating the pork chops doesn’t take as long as brining the meat, but it also isn’t as quick as using a meat mallet.
This method does take several more work because you need to have several ingredients on hand. If this bothers you, then marinating your pork chops are not for you.
And there you go, all you pork chop lovers out there! Once we explained pork chops and tenderizing meat, we went into the top three ways to tenderize pork chops.
It might seem like a lot of work in the beginning, but the same can be said for anything you aren’t very well used to.
Once you start doing it more and more often, it will become second nature to you!
You might also be interested in the following:
- How to Tenderize Steak?
- How Do You Tenderize Chicken?
- How Do You Tenderize Stew Meat?
- How Do You Tenderize Skirt Steak?
- How Do You Tenderize Sirloin Steak?
- How Do You Tenderize Ribeye Steak?
- How Do You Tenderize Flank Steak?
- How Do You Tenderize Cube Steak?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.