This week, we are taking a trip back to my childhood on Long Island, NY for a real grilling treat. When I was a kid, my dad used to grill up these special pork chops for us and we loved them. They were no regular old grilled pork chops that were cooked until they were as stiff as a board and as dry as shoe leather. No, no, these were something that my dad dreamed up and I am glad that he did. My Mom would bread the chops just as she would bread chicken cutlets before getting grilled. I know, this doesn’t sound like a grilling recipe, it sounds like an oil in a fry pan recipe, right? Just hear me out. You won’t be sorry.
When I hear stories of peoples experience with pork chops on the grill, they usually involve words like tough, dry, shoe leather and some other adjectives that decorum prohibits me from repeating here. Let’s just say that it wasn’t exactly a 5-star dining experience going on. The reason for that is because it is really easy to over-cook a pork chop on the grill if they’re not cooked to temperature. By the time that the outside has the char and color one is looking for, the inside has already been done for quite some time, providing for a less than desirable texture.
These days, we have learned that proper grilling can be done by feel and even more importantly, by finishing temperature. There are many different digital instant read thermometers that will aid in this process. The other thing that has helped is that on May 24, 2020, the FDA lowered the recommended minimum temperature of cooked pork from 160° to 145°. This alone changed the way that we eat pork. The lower temperature allows for a far more moist and tender bite when eating that delicious swine. The appearance of a little bit of pink still tends to freak some people out, but I assure you that as long as it hits that 145° mark, you are good to go!
Now, back to our pork chops. Remember those breaded pork chops I started telling you about? Well, after Mom breaded them, it was Dad’s turn to take over his manly duties at grill and cook those babies to perfection. He cooked on a gas grill, but we won’t fault him for that, it was usually late in the day after a long day of boating on the Great South Bay. He would constantly flip the chops so that the bread crumb coating wouldn’t burn and trust me, it was a real labor of love. Once they were a nice, toasted, golden brown color, he would pull them off of that gasser for saucing. The sauce that he used is almost impossible to find where we live. It was named Saucy Susan Peach Apricot Sauce. It can be ordered online but I have come up with something similar that in my opinion is just as tasty, Duck Sauce. No, it is not sauce that is made from ducks! It is that sweet orange sauce that comes in mass quantity when you order take out Chinese food. You can purchase jars of it in the Asian section in pretty much any grocery store around. Mix this with some hot sauce and our Hot Honey and you have a finishing sauce for the pork chops that is simply mouthwatering.
When they were almost done, he’d slather those chops with this sauce and return them to the grill until they were sticky and slightly charred. Be prepared though, this will make a mess of you grills grate but just let those coals burn a little longer after cooking and burn it all off. It is well worth the mess. The sweet from the duck sauce and honey interacting with the heat from the hot sauce will have your taste buds dancing and your mouth grinning from ear to ear. Go ahead, make these tasty and moist pork chops for the family. Give them a little dose of my childhood and watch their faces glow with happy, delicious grins and they will now that you are truly the master of the grill. Thanks to my Dad, Ronnie “The Prince” Dimpflmaier for those great memories and this delicious inspiration. Leave us a comment on the video, let us know what your early grilling memories are. We would love to hear about them!
- Fill your grill ¾ of the way with FOGO Premium Black Bag Charcoal. Place 2 FOGO Fire starters in a Blazaball and place it in the center of the coals and light. Prepare the grill for raised direct grilling.
- Set up a breading station with 3 containers. The first should have the flour, garlic salt and black pepper combined. The second should have the eggs, stirred well until fully combined. The Third, I used the Romertopf Grilling Plate to hold the seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Lay a pork chop in the flour, press and flip to fully coat the chop with the flour. Next, lay the chop in the egg mixture. Using your other hand, flip the chop and fully coat it with the egg. Lastly, lay the chop in the breadcrumbs and using your “dry” hand, coat the chop completely with the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the rest of the pork chops.
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients and stir well until fully combined.
- Place all of the beaded pork chops on a plate and place them in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. This will help the breading to stick to the chops better. Place the sauce in the fridge as well.
- Once the grill is heated (I didn’t go by temperature. When you hold your hand directly over the grate, if you count to 5, you should have to pull your hand away) Using the wood grill scraper, clean the grate of all debris.
- Lay each chop on the grill and cook until the breadcrumbs start to brown. Flip them over and repeat the process until they are golden brown and have reached in internal temperature of 140°. Remove from the grill and coat one side with the sauce. Return the chops to the grill, sauce side down. Using the basting brush, coat the top sides with the sauce. Cook the chops until the sauce gets really sticky and begins to char. Flip and cook the second side. The pork chops are done when they reach 145°.
- Remove the chops from the grill and serve. Be careful though, the sauce can be very hot. Enjoy!
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