Sunday, November 13, 2022

Pork Loin Chops

Here's a solid go-to choice for cheap easy fast and tasty meals. When I go to Costco, I see these intimidating meat logs I affectionately call "large format meat." In this case I'm talking about whole pork loin. Just for an idea of how big this thing is, they are usually a little over 24 inches long, about 6 inches wide, and about 3 inches thick. The one I got the other day weighed in at 8.5 lbs, boneless. So this thing is all lean meat with a nice thin fat cap and hardly any inter-muscular fat. What all that means is if you overcook it or you'll end up with a large piece of shoe leather, so DON'T overcook it.

Thankfully, dealing with this ridiculous sized thing is super easy. Just slice open the package, dry the meat with a dishtowel and slice into 1-¼ to 1-1/2 inch thick boneless chops. Season all sides and let sit in the fridge on a wire rack in a baking sheet for at least 6 hours to dry brine the meat.

A simple seasoning I use is (by weight) equal parts Lawry's seasoned salt and Diamond kosher salt with the same amount of ground black pepper. I just take an empty spice container and put in 25 grams of Lawry's, 25 grams of kosher salt, and 50 grams of pepper and give it a good mix. 

The grill setup is also super easy. This is a classic indirect cook with hot coal and a wood chunk on one side of the grill and the loin chops on the other side. Line the bottom of the grill under the meat side with a piece of foil to catch the juice and fat drippings. Stand the chops on the grill to maximize capacity. You're going to need every inch for that number of chops. Try to leave a little breathing room between the chops so they are not touching each other or the walls of the grill. Also make sure they are not over live coal. 

For more smokey flavor, close the vents halfway to lower the grill temperature between 200-250 degrees and extend the cooking time. Or cook with wide open vents in the 325-350 degree range until the meat reaches an internal temperature of about 140 degrees.

At that point pull the chops off the grill and let rest for 10 minutes or so in a warmed, covered pan where carryover cooking will bring the meat's temperature to a safe 145 degrees. With wide open grill vents, check the meat temperature at 40 minutes. With a lower cooking temperature, you can check at 60-75 minutes. A remote thermometer is a great tool to take the guesswork out of the equation. Sometimes I use one but usually not. I ALWAYS use my ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen™ instant read thermometer though. It measures accurately in a split second.

There you have it. Easy, tasty, smoky pork loin. Never be intimidated by those meat logs again!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Ribs, Simple Ribs

 Just like the brisket in the previous recipe, I'm cooking more on my kettle with the Slow and Sear insert. For ribs, I plan on 5 hours on the kettle. Light some coal on one end of the Slow and Sear, and top with some wood chunks (cherry, as usual in this case). I got some 4-5 rib St. Louis sections that I seasoned with some Costco's sweet mesquite seasoning and left covered in the fridge for a day.

I stand the ribs upright in the Weber rib holder, and smoke at 200 degrees for 2 hours. Then I turn the over and smoke them for another 2 hours at 250 degrees.

Then one more hour with the vents wide open to get a nice char on the ribs.

I then unload them into a hotel pan and cover it in foil. Pop that into an oven at 275 for an hour or so to finish off the fat render and melt the collagen.

You could probably enjoy them without this last oven step, but these ribs were super meaty and wanted to make sure they were fall-off-the-bone tender.

Just wow. I made it through 3 of these then had to throw in the towel.

So there you have it--nice smoke penetration, tender deliciousness. And add in some of my sweet smokey Fatboy BBQ sauce and this is good eatin.