How to Use a Meat Thermometer

ThermometerBecause pork can often be overcooked, checking the internal temperature often will help prevent dry pork. Cook pork until the internal temperature reaches between 145° and 160° F, followed by a three-minute rest time, and is a little pink inside. A digital, instant-read thermometer is a low-cost, must-have for every kitchen. When inserted into the thickest part of the meat (without touching any bone), the temperature should register within a few seconds.

Instant-read thermometers are not meant to be left in the meat during cooking. If you wish to invest a bit more, continuous-read digital thermometers are another option. Designed to be left in the meat during the entire duration of cooking, they often include a probe that is placed in the meat. The probe is connected via cord to the thermometer unit, which can be placed on a countertop near the stove.

Bacon BBQ New York Pork Chops

Bacon-Pork_Chops_with_BBQ_Glaze

Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Times:

10 minutes prep, 10 minutes cook

Ingredients:

4 New York (top loin) pork chops, 1-inch thick (6-ounce each)
4 slices bacon, preferably maple-flavored
4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1/2 cup lager beer, OR non-alcoholic beer

Cooking Directions:

Wrap bacon around the edges of the pork and secure with a wooden toothpick.

Mix together barbecue sauce and beer.

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat (about 450 degrees F.). Grill chops over direct heat until the internal temperature reaches between 145 degrees F. (medium rare) and 160 degrees F. (medium), on a meat thermometer, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Brush sauce on the chops the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Remove chops from the grill and let rest for 3 minutes.

Servings: 4

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with roasted potato wedges or smashed sweet potatoes.

Nutrition:

Calories: 350 calories
Protein: 51 grams
Fat: 11 grams
Sodium: 1120 milligrams
Cholesterol: 130 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams

Chili Rub Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Chili rub slow cooker pulled pork recipe
Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Times:

10 minutes prep, 480 minutes cook

Ingredients:

3 pound boneless blade pork roast, or sirloin roast
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil, or other neutral-flavored oil
1/2 cup chicken broth

Cooking Directions:

Line a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with foil and place the pork in the pan. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, salt, and cayenne. Rub the mixture over all sides of the meat, pressing it to adhere (if the meat is tied together with twine or netting, just rub the seasoning right over it). Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork and brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker.

Add the broth to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Add the broth to the slow cooker, cover, and cook until the pork is very tender, 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Use two forks to shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Moisten/season with cooking juices to taste
Servings: 8 to 10

Serving Suggestions:

This recipe is only mildly spiced, so if you like things with a kick, try adding more cayenne to the rub or add some of your favorite hot sauce to the finished, shredded meat. Use the pork to make a traditional pulled pork sandwich, with barbecue sauce and slaw, or enjoy it in your favorite chili recipe or on top of a Tex Mex Caesar salad.

Nutrition:

Calories: 240 calories
Protein: 32 grams
Fat: 11 grams
Sodium: 540 milligrams
Cholesterol: 90 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 1 grams
Fiber: 0 grams

Pulled Pork Salad with Peaches and Cilantro

Pulled Pork Salad
Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Times:

25 minutes prep, 0 minutes cook

Ingredients:

8 ounces cooked pulled pork, *warm or room temperature
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, or other neutral-flavored oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar, light
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and pepper
5 ounces mixed salad greens, (10 cups lightly packed)
1 large peach, pitted and thinly sliced
1/2 cup red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons almonds, sliced and toasted

Cooking Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, brown sugar, ginger, and allspice. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the greens, peach, onion, and cilantro. Add some of the dressing and toss. Arrange the salad on a platter or plates and top with the pork. Drizzle some of the remaining dressing over the pork, top with the almonds, and serve.

Servings: 4

Serving Suggestions:

To vary the recipe, enjoy it with a nectarine, plums, or apricots instead of the peach. If those fruits aren’t in season, try apples, mangoes, or berries. You can also use spinach or arugula instead of the mixed greens. And to make preparation even easier, instead of making the dressing, use your favorite bottled Asian-style or Chinese chicken salad dressing.

Nutrition:

Calories: 190 calories
Protein: 14 grams
Fat: 9 grams
Sodium: 190 milligrams
Cholesterol: 40 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Carbohydrates: 14 grams
Fiber: 2 grams

Italian-Inspired Stuffed Pork Chops

Italian_Inspired_Stuffed_Pork_Chop_mobile
Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Times:

30 minutes prep, 20 minutes cook

Ingredients:

4 6-oz New York (top loin) pork chops, about 1 1/4-inch thick
8 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, oil-packed, julienned, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and black pepper

Cooking Directions:

Squeeze the liquid out of the spinach. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, cheese, tomatoes, oregano, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut a pocket into the side of each chop, making the opening as small as possible but the pocket as deep as possible. Spoon spinach mixture into chops, distributing it evenly within the pockets and securing the opening with a toothpick if necessary.
Prepare a grill to medium and lightly oil the grate. Season pork with salt and pepper and grill pork until internal temperature of the pork reaches 145 degrees F, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove chops from grill and let rest 3 minutes before serving.

Servings: 4

Serving Suggestions:

Adjust the stuffing to suit your tastes and what you have on hand—try different cheeses, like Asiago, pecorino, or Fontina, or different herbs, like basil, rosemary, or marjoram. It’s also nice to add lemon zest.
Recipe courtesy of Christine Young, From Dates to Diapers

Nutrition:

Calories: 310 calories
Protein: 45 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Sodium: 400 milligrams
Cholesterol: 120 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 6 grams
Fiber: 1 grams