Pork chops are a staple of any well-stocked kitchen. They’re easy to prepare and can be used in a wide variety of meals. However, there are a couple factors that will determine which method is best for you.
The type and quality of your pork chops play a huge factor in how well they cook and taste throughout their lifecycle. Are you planning on grilling your chops or pan-frying them?
Which method – indirect heat or direct heat – gives the best results? Let’s take a look at both methods, along with helpful hints for choosing between them, so you can decide which one is right for your family.
What is a Thermocouple?
A thermocouple is a specially designed temperature sensor that’s used to check the temperature of something else, like your meat. The two wires on a thermocouple are heated to a certain temperature, usually around 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you place one wire into the meat and one into a device like a thermometer, you can read the temperature of the meat. There are two main types of thermocouples: analog and digital.
Analog thermocouples don’t have a digital readout like a digital thermocouple, so you have to know the desired temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit to know the current temperature.
How to Fix a Big Green Egg Thermometer
You’ve taken the temperature of your meat, gotten a reading, and now you have to figure out which method is best for your meat. To make this task just a little bit easier, you can get a digital thermometer with a digital readout.
These thermometers are perfect for checking internal temperatures, but they can’t be used for both temperature and time measurement. First, take your digital thermometer and place the probe into one of your pork chops.
Let the thermometer sit in the meat for two minutes to ensure an accurate reading. Now it’s time to find out how the meat is doing. Take your digital thermometer outside and place it directly into the meat. If the meat reads 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you now know how the meat is cooking inside.
Don’t Forget the Battery!
If you’re using a digital thermometer, you’ll need to remember to take the battery out of it before cooking with it. You don’t want the battery to get wet or to short out in the probe, which can cause an inaccurate reading.
Some digital thermometers have a battery indicator on the face that will alert you to when you need to replace the battery.
If you’re not sure if your thermometer has a battery inside, you can test it by placing it in a bowl of water. If the thermometer no longer works, then it’s the battery that needs replacing.
Troubleshooting Tip: Why Does It Read So High?
If you’ve used your thermometer to take the internal temperature of your meat and the readout is a lot higher than you would expect, your probe could be too long. A thermometer with a too-long probe can read temperatures as high as 224 degrees Fahrenheit, which is too high to be safe for cooking meat.
If your thermometer has a too-long probe, simply shorten it by using a pair of pliers. If your thermometer is correctly reading the temperature of your meat, but has a very high reading, check to see if it’s sitting in the meat too long.
A thermometer that’s sitting in the meat too long will read too high. Check to see if the thermometer has fallen into the meat. If it has, simply place the thermometer in again.
The Final Stage: Take It Outside and Check Again
Let’s say you’ve seasoned your wood, placed your meat on the grill, and that’s where you leave it. After a couple of hours of cooking, your meat is done.
Now what? How do you know it’s done? Well, you can’t just open the lid and look inside to see if it’s done, so you need to rely on an indicator such as a meat thermometer. Take the meat off the grill, place it on a cooling rack, and check the internal temperature with your thermometer.
If the meat is done, you can move on to the next step of the process. If the meat isn’t done yet, place it back on the grill and cook it for a little while longer.
The Final Word
Pork chops are an easy, delicious and versatile item to have in your kitchen. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, including pan-frying, grilling, and baking. Whether you like them best grilled or baked, these versatile cuts of meat can be easily made from scratch at home.
People often wonder which method – indirect heat or direct heat – gives the best results when cooking pork chops. These two methods can also be used interchangeably, which can make cooking pork chops easy and enjoyable for anyone.