24-hour Pork Chops

This technique requires a little advance planning — a small price to pay for tender pork chops! Plus, the advance prep takes only a few minutes of hands-on time. The brine and rest are key to tenderizing the meat. The type of salt is important to the measurement; if you use kosher salt you’ll want to use an extra 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup of water. A meat thermometer will help you cook meat to the proper temperature without overcooking (which results in tough, dry meat). Always start with thawed chops. A single layer of chops will thaw in about a day in the refrigerator. A quicker option is to submerge the package in a container of cold water on the counter, which typically takes about one hour.

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These photos are copyrighted. If there's a photo you'd like to use, please request permission. Since it has become a common practice, many people don't know that finding and using others' photos online is actually a violation of copyright law — unless the owner has offered photos under a Creative Commons license or granted other permission. Alternatives include hiring a professional to take photos, or purchasing stock photography through a service like Fotolia.com.

Recipe Instructions - for 2 Chops

Start about 20-24 hours before you want to cook the pork chops.

Whisk in a bowl until dissolved:

  • 3 cups cool water
  • 3 tablespoons fine sea salt

Completely submerge in liquid:

  • two 1”-1¼” bone-in pork chops

Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Then remove chops from liquid, dry thoroughly, and sprinkle with:

  • 2 teaspoons Bragg Organic Sprinkle (that’s 1 teaspoon per chop)
    — OR other salt-free option, such as poultry seasoning or dried thyme leaves

Refrigerate dry chops for an additional 18-24 hours. When you’re ready to cook:

  • remove the chops from the fridge
  • dry the chops again thoroughly
  • make two vertical slices through the fat along the edge of the chop, as shown
 
pork-chops-fat-scored.jpg
 

Leave chops on counter and preheat the oven to 400°. Once the oven reaches 400°:

  • place a large cast-iron skillet on the stove over high heat for about 3 minutes (until very hot, & water sprinkled on pan vanishes quickly)
  • add 2 teaspoons ghee or lard
  • turn on fan (pan should be hot enough to smoke a bit)
  • add chops to skillet

Cook for 3 minutes without flipping. Then flip the chops and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 9 minutes, then check temperature, adding 2-4 minutes in oven if needed. The goal is to cook them just to 145°. Move chops to a plate and pour pan juices over them. Tent with lid or foil (being careful to vent) and rest 10 minutes before serving.


Instructions for 4 Chops

Proceed as above but:

  • Increase brine solution by 50%: 4.5 cups water; 4.5 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • Increase seasoning: Use 4 teaspoons Bragg Organic Sprinkle
  • Avoid crowding: If you have two medium/large skillets, you can cook all four chops at once. Otherwise, you can cook two at a time, but use the following method to speed up the process. Start by placing a glass baking dish in the oven when you turn it on. Then cook two chops in the skillet, flip them, and place them in the oven in the hot baking dish. Keep the skillet on the stove and start the next two chops. Flip them and place the skillet in the oven on another shelf.

Recipe courtesy ThisIsWhatFoodLooksLike.com (coming soon!), adapted for and tested with pastured pork and seasonings from Acorn Acres Farm.