No BBQ tonight…….

24 Jan

NO BBQ tonight. Had to make do with a nice thick pork loin chop marinated in some mojo and Worcestershire sauce, then grilled direct for 4 minutes a side on the mini-Big Green Egg and finished to 140 degrees internal indirect by sitting a small terra cotta flower pot base on the grill grate, then a second grill grate on top of that, with the chop resting on the top grate over the flower pot base. Came out nice, moist and tasty!

This was nothing unusual or exceptional, but there are a couple of good points in this cook. First, I decided to marinate instead of brine this chop. Ordinarily I would brine a pork chop, but this one had a nice band of fat along the outside and looked like it would be tender enough if I handled it correctly. I’m a big fan of Mojo marinade (I used the prepared Publix brand tonight) and Worcestershire sauce and use the combination successfully as part of my rib cooking process (along with some dark Mexican beer, but that’s another post for another day). The combination translated nicely from ribs to loin chops. For some additional flavor, I added some salt and pepper and a dash of Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb rub.

Next, was the cooking method. This was a nice, thick chop, boneless, weighing in at almost 9 ounces. I knew that if I grilled the chop over direct heat until the center was where I wanted it to be, the outside would be dry as dust. This chop called for a combination technique – a mixture of direct and indirect cooking methods.

I stabilized the Mini-BGE at about 425 and grilled the chop on each side for about 4 minutes a side. I had heated the clay saucer and the second grate while the cooker was coming up to temperature and had sat those aside when I put the chop on the Egg. I then sat the chop on the second mini-Egg grate, which was resting on top of a small plate, and using my tongs, sat the clay saucer back on top of the grill grate, then moved the second grate, containing the chop, on top of the clay saucer. I had, in effect, created a plate setter for indirect cooking on the Mini-BGE. I closed the lid on the Egg, the temp climbed quickly back to 425 degrees, and in about 6 more minutes, my chop was showing 138 degrees on my orange Thermapen. Off it came to rest while I fixed my plate with the roasted zucchini boats, stuffed with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes topped with mozzarella.

The result was impressive and tasty. The chop was cooked evenly throughout, and had just the slightest hit of pink. I’ve no doubt that the temperature of the chop climbed to just over 140 degrees during the rest, making it perfectly done under the USDA’s new temperature guidelines for pork chops. This was one of my better pork chop cooks. Too often, chops are dry and tasteless save for whatever condiment they are dipped in. This chop, on the contrary, was moist with a flavorful crust and didn’t need anything save for an additional dash of salt at the  table.  Color me “happy.” At least about dinner!



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