How Do You Tenderize Pork Chops?

Pork chop like every other meat chop comes from the loin, running from the end of the shoulders to the hip. This loin gotten is taken transversely to the spine of the pig and is usually a rib. Pork chops are thin slice cuts and are usually unprocessed.

Pork is widely consumed all over the world. Pork chops account for 10% of the total pork consumed in the United States, thereby making it the most consumed meat cut from the pork loin.

Pork chops can either be boneless or born in, which are slice cuts from the rib section of the pork loin which is typically a succulent, thick ledge of fat, also including a rich marbling throughout.

The heritage pork breed is well known for its succulent nature, some may even say that there is nothing more succulent. Regardless of the chops, it is deeply rich and with luscious flavor.

Tenderizing pork chops entails a lot of processes. This is done to break down the proteins and the muscle fibers to make the pork less tough. It also gives it a fine texture that makes it palatable.

Pork meat that is gotten from other areas of the pork asides the pork loins are said to be tougher. But with the right methods and process, they can be made even succulent and juicy.

It is quite obvious that making tender pork chops partly depends on the proper selection of the pork loin. Picking the lightest and most uniformly colored chops is quite important and can decide the tenderness of the pork chops.

The redder part of the chops is also a bit gamier in flavor. Also, while selecting pork loin we should know that the thickness of the pork loin helps keep the pork chops from easily drying out.

A trick widely used with pork chops is the involvement of olive oil in the process. Simply put them in a bag with olive oil and work them around until they are coated completely before you do anything else with them. The oil seals in the moisture.

A few people also prefer to brine their pork before making it. Brine is a solution of salt and water. So it adds flavor and tends to make your pork chops even tenderer.

While making use of this brining process, it is advisable to make use of a tall container or bag. This helps to ensure that the chops are fully immersedIinto the brine and not just partially submerged and also not too crowded.

So the container or bag should be selected based on its ability to contain your chops with the addition of a lot of water to make the chops fully immersed. Some person does prefer to use the same container to mix their brine and also use it to marinade the chops but this solely depends on various individual preferences.

In a tall container or bag add a handful of salt and warm water to dissolve the salt and that’s how to brine is made. Sometimes other herbs and spices are added to it, these herbs and spices can be anything as there is a wide range of possible spices and herbs that can be added to it as you wish.

A few possible ones that can be added are lemon peels, rubbed sage, lemon juice and pulp, peppercorns and marjoram, etc. Whichever herbs or spice you choose to add should be added in the right amount to form a perfect synergy of the spices for the chops.

After the addition of this spice, enough water should be added into the container so the chops can be fully immersed in it before stirring properly. At this point the chops can now be added into it and covered properly.

It is advisable to refrigerate it until it is ready to be cooked. This ensures the spices can be properly absorbed by the pork chops. Whatever spice or herbs you chose to use with brine, or you can use just brine before you bake, pan-fry or grill the pork chops. All these choices depend on individual preferences.

Why are my pork chops always tough?

During the life span of the pig, it spends most of its life span on all fours which makes the muscles surrounding the top area of the animal, around the ribs.

So taking cuts from this part will be a lot softer and tender. These cuts are the prime rubs and the tender loin. The other parts which are strained as a result of the pig spending most of its lifespan on all fours are the leg parts, neck, and other muscles connected to the lower part of the pig’s body.

Tenderness is not going to be a feature of pork gotten from those areas because of the strained muscles in those areas the pork will be tough and will need to go through a tenderizing process to reduce this toughness.

The toughness of this part of the pork is because the muscles here is made up of long strings of connective tissues. Kind of like a bunch of rubber bands and no one would like such in their plates.

Surrounding these muscle fibers is a thin gelatinous substance, collagen, which can either be tender, juicy, fork-tender, or not – tough, chewy, shoe leather. This is all determined by what preparation method you decide to use.

Does Coca-Cola tenderize meat?

Coca-Cola’s acidic pH level, with caramel flavor, are the attributes that make it a good meat tenderizer. In comparison with lemon juice, Coca-Cola has a pH level of about 2.7 while lemon juice has a pH level of 2 which makes both of them acidic enough to break down proteins yet without dissolving the meat.

Coca-Cola is a very good tenderizer, it can get a thin slice of pork loin tender enough for grilling in just half an hour. Coca Cola-tenderizing for 24 hours yields a meat dish that practically melts.

Braising is a combination cooking method that starts with pan-searing followed by slow cooking in a liquid, we should make use of Coca-Cola while braising as we would do with wine. Most dishes will turn out marvelously with the savor of Coca-Cola or orange and will only take about half-hour to marinade.

This can easily be done at one’s leisure or on a weeknight. In the same way, it can easily tenderize brisket or pork ribs. Meaty pork chops are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, cola, garlic, and ginger and then grilled or broiled. The marinade not only imparts a delicious flavor but makes the pork incredibly tender.

How long should I marinate pork chops?

The selection of pork cut is very important. Cuts from areas like the loin, ribs, or belly parts may not need to be marinated for softness. It’s mainly done to add flavor and spice to it as this part absorbs flavor and spices properly which makes the meat even more enjoyable while eating.

These cuts are extremely thin slices from the pork like the pork tenderloin. They can dry out easily with extreme heat cooking methods. So it is best to give this meat enough flavor by marinating it ahead of time. Then refrigerating it for about two to four hours so the meat can properly absorb the spices.

The lesser time the tenderloin spends in extreme heat in the oven or fry pan is best, to retain that juicy and succulent nature of the meat. If it spends so much time it will dry out since it’s a thin cut.

You should always have a thermometer handy or use an oven with a thermostat to monitor the temperature to avoid overcooking it. Once it reaches a safe temperature of 145°F, it is advisable to remove the meat to reduce the tendency of it drying out.

The butcher makes the initial cuts to portion out the carcass which are the shoulder, butt loin, and the ham. From those cuts, the other various cuts are now gotten which are the roast, ribs, chops, and pork belly. Marinating times depend on the toughness of the meats and the sizes of the cut.

How do you tenderize pork chops with mallets?

When you are using the meat mallet in hammering a lump of meat you are reducing down and tearing apart those tough muscle fibers which will, in turn, make the cooked meat tender. While hammering the meat, it is important to hammer the meat at the right pressure.

When hammering we shouldn’t get carried away and apply so much pressure as it is dead already, no point killing it again. If you hammer too hard, you will crush not just the connective fibers, but also the softer meat tissue and end up with mush.

You have to hammer it firmly but not so hard so as not to make the meat mushy so that you get the prints of the spikes on the surface of the meat which shows that you have successfully reduced or broken down the tough muscles or fibers. Replicate same at the other side of the meat.

Can you tenderize pork chops with pineapple?

Pineapple is fruit, it is known to have a go compliment with beef, pork, and chicken. Pineapple adds a great deal of flavor to meat, it also serves as a tenderizer for tough meats too.

The presence of the bromelain and papain enzymes in pineapple facilitates the breaking down of proteins. This helps to soften the tissues in the meat and hereby makes it tender before cooking. The juice in the pineapple also serves as a rich tart flavor that a lot of people enjoy.

The easiest way to tenderize with pineapple is to buy a fresh one and extract the juice from it by using a small kitchen appliance to pulverize it. Marinating your pork chops with pineapple tenderizes it and makes it even more enjoyable.

What does vinegar do when added to pork chops?

Vinegar mainly consists of acetic acid and more water. Having a pH level of about 2.5, vinegar is almost as strong as citrus juice. Adding vinegar to pork breakdown the protein strings holding the muscles and causes the protein to unravel and tenderize.

Though vinegar can tenderize your pork, after two hours it begins to toughen the pork and ruins its texture. After prolonged exposure, acetic acid causes proteins to form bundles and tighten, forcing moisture out of the pork.

So when marinating with vinegar the pork should be marinated for about four hours allowing it enough time to absorb additional moisture. The addition of vinegar to pork also kills a lot of bacteria and larvae in the pork.

People get Trichinosis from eating undercooked pork, so adding vinegar in marinating the pork chops reduces the possibility of getting trichinosis


Pork is a widely eaten meat all over the world, pork chops which are gotten from a thin cut of the tenderloin of the pork account for ten percent of pork eaten in the United States. To prepare succulent, juicy, and tender pork chops, you have to marinate your pork chops for about two to four hours.

Some people even marinate and refrigerate overnight allowing the pork chops to properly absorb all the spices in the marinade. Pork chops are thin slices of the pork loin so cooking in extreme heat for too long will dry out the pork chops which will result to toughen pork chops.

So it is very important to closely monitor the temperature of the oven so as to remove it at the right time to enjoy a succulent, juicy and tender pork chops.

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