Cooking center cut boneless pork chops
Tasty center cut boneless pork chops will make your family go hog wildWhile it's no longer advertised as "the other white meat," pork is still one of our favorite alternatives to chicken and beef and the pork chop is the most versatile cut to cook.
Chops start at the spine of a pig and the bone is actually a part of the rib - hence the name "rib chops." The tastiest rib chop is the center cut pork chop. For easier eating, the rib is often cut away and sold boneless. There are a variety of ways for cooking center cut boneless pork chops depending on your time and tastes.
The easiest way to cook center cut boneless pork chops is on the gas grill. Preheat the grill on high for ten minutes while you season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper and a little oil. Place them on the grill and cook for 2-4 minutes until the meat changes color about a quarter of the way up on the grilled side.
Flip the chops, baste with a little more oil and grill for 2-3 more minutes. baste again on both sides, reduce the heat to low, close the cover and cook 5-8 more minutes until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees on a meat thermometer. Let the chops rest for 5 minutes on a platter before serving.
Pan-frying or sauteing is a popular and quick way to cook center cut boneless pork chops on the stove. Heat a small amount of oil in a large heavy skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat until it just starts to smoke. Place the chops in the skillet, being careful not to overcrowd them, and cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes on each side until a meat thermometer registers 150 degrees in the thickest part. Rest the chops for a few minutes on a plate, then dig in.
If you like your chops more tender and juicy, braising is the way to cook them. Season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper, pork seasoning or your favorite rub. Pour a small amount of oil in a heavy skillet with a lid and brown the chops on both sides for 2-3 minutes. Pour about 1/3 cup water or chicken broth over the chops, cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer until the chops are tender for about an hour. You can also put the covered skillet in an oven at 275 degrees and bake until tender.
Another way to keep center cut boneless pork chops tender is by baking. Preheat the over to 350 degrees while you coat both sides of the chops with oil and season with your favorite seasonings - dried sage, rosemary and thyme is a good choice. Place the chops in a baking dish, cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes until the internal temperature is 145 degrees for medium or 160 degrees for well done. As always, let the chops rest before serving.
No matter how you cook them, center cut boneless pork chops are the perfect choice for a family that wants to pig out on a delicious dinner. Serve them often and you'll be wearing a "pork crown" as the king or queen of chops.