Courtesy of 1001Recipes2Send.com
Grilling Pork To Perfection
Contributed by: News Canada
(NC) - The love affair between pork and the grill is as old as cooking itself. Grilling pork is relatively straightforward and requires no special skills. But different pork cuts - chops, tenderloin, roasts, and ground pork - all need slightly different approaches.
Chops and Steaks:
- Season with a marinade or rub, as desired. Brush on sauce, if using, when meat is nearly cooked; this will prevent sauce from burning.
- Use a medium heat; a fierce heat will tend to toughen the meat and dry it out.
- Turn the meat as seldom as possible, without charring or burning it. A handy guide to knowing when to turn the meat is to watch for small droplets of moisture appearing on the meat surface.
- Touch the centre of the chop with tongs or your finger. If it's perfectly done, there should be a slight "give". If in doubt, make a small incision into the meat; if there is still a touch of pinkness, it's time to take the meat off the grill and let it rest a few minutes - the meat will continue cooking as the heat equalizes.
- Do not overcook pork; for grilling cuts about 3/4 - inches thick, grill on medium for about 2 minutes, turn 90 degrees, and grill for an additional 2 minutes; repeat for other side. Total grilling time should be between 6-8 minutes.
- Thicker chops will, of course, take longer; thicker chops - 1 1/2 to 2-inches thick - use a meat thermometer to ensure perfect doneness.
Tenderloin, as the name implies, is very tender, but it is not the most flavourful pork cut. Be bold when seasoning.
- Tenderloin can be grilled over high heat; turn frequently for even cooking and to avoid burning.
- Tenderloin can be cooked to medium-rare (145 F/63 C), or slightly higher. Allow to rest for about five minutes before serving.
- Tenderloins can be grilled whole, cut into thick rounds and grilled or use for kebabs, or cut crosswise and gently pounded to make small medallions.
Ground Pork and Pork Burgers:
- Ground pork, like any ground meat, must be cooked to well done.
- Pork burgers can be seasoned with just salt and pepper, or with as exotic ingredient as the imagination allows.
- Four ounce burgers, about 3/4 inches thick, will take about 10-15 minutes, turning once.
Cooking al fresco is great fun, but the rules of food safety still apply:
- Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator.
- Wash everything- hands, cutting boards, utensils - before and after touching food.
- Avoid cross-contamination: make sure that you don't put cooked food on the same plate or chopping board you used for raw food.
- Discard marinades which have been used for uncooked meats.
- Refrigerate leftovers and any perishable food promptly.
- Use a meat thermometer, especially when cooking ground meat of any type, to ensure a safe internal temperature has been reached.
- Keep hot foods hot (above 140 F/60 F), and cold foods cold (40 F/4 C or below).