How’s summer been?
Pretty good here. Thanks for asking.
It’s the middle of July and up here in New Hampshire, the farms are just starting to put out freshly grown vegetables. The growing season is pretty darn short here. New England’s kinda sucky like that. But we have the Fall. Life’s all about give and take folks.
I was in the grocery story a week or so ago, and this young woman and I were both reaching into the same, not so appetizing pile of brownish, greenish beans with the same look of frustration and disgust on our faces. She said she had just moved here from California and was beyond frustrated with the produce selection thus far. “Is this what I have to look forward to?” (gag face) I gave her hope by telling her the farmers’ markets will be opening soon and proceeded to rattle off my list of who has the best summer corn, where to pick berries and where and when to visit my favorite farmers’ markets. She was truly grateful and not at all annoyed that I chastised her for not taking notes. I didn’t want her to miss out on all my vast knowledge of local produce.
There are two things you can count on around here during the summer.
- Produce comes from local farms. End of story.
- 9 out of 10 of our meals are cooked on the grill
After making these gorgeous chops, the grill is my new go-to for incredibly flavorful, juicy, tender pork chops. Yeah, that’s right. I said juicy and tender and pork chop all in the same breath. I can’t tell you how many people tell me “My pork chops always come out dry!”. Well not these! No siree!
Here are a few tips for perfectly juicy grilled chops
First, you need the right piece of meat. You need a chop with a bone and you definitely don’t want once of those super skinny, thin-cut chops. You also don’t want a huge, thick slab either. Go for a chop that is right in the middle, about an inch thick. Then you’re going to make two little slices through the fat that runs down the side. You don’t want to cut through the meat, just the fat. Have you ever cooked a pork chop that curls into a little cup causing only the middle to brown. Also causing you to stand over a frying pan smooshing them down with a spatula? Well, this fixes that little problem. You’re welcome.
The trick to getting them browned versus gray (ick) on the grill is to make sure they are dry. Moisture = gray, unappealing. Dry=charred and delicious. Sprinkle the meat on both sides with salt. The salt will draw out excess moisture. Then wipe the chops down real good with paper towels. Place them on a wire rack set in a rimmed cookie sheet and put in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes until a little firm. This allows the cold air to circulate and get’s them nice and dry. It also chills the insides so it can stay on the grill longer, allowing for a beautiful brown chop without drying out.
While the meat is chilling, make your onion butter. One stick of softened butter, finely minced green onions, brown sugar, salt and fresh ground pepper. If you only have salted butter, just omit the salt later.
Preheat the grill by turning all burners to high until hot, then shut the primary burner off and turn the other burners to medium-low.
Spread the butter on both sides of the chops, it will harden on the cold meat. Place chops on the preheated grill for about 3-4 minutes per side until the internal temperature is 145°F. That’s the perfect doneness. Then remove from the grill, place on a platter and top each chop with the remaining butter and cover with foil to rest for 3-5 minutes. The butter melts into a delicious, flavorful sauce while the pork rests.
The prep is actually pretty minimal, but the flavor is off the charts! I guarantee that once you try them, these beautiful bone-in chops will be making a regular rotation on your summertime menu.
Grilled Pork Chops with Onion Butter
Perfectly grilled tender, juicy pork chops topped with a brightly flavored onion butter. Perfect for those hot, summer nights when a burger just won't do!
- 6 pork chops approximately 1" thick
- 4 green onions (green only) finely sliced
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- salt and pepper
Cut 2 slits about 2 inches apart through the fat
Dry the chops and then sprinkle with salt
Arrange chops on a wire rack placed in a rimmed baking sheet
Place in freezer until firm, approximately 30 minutes (no longer than an hour)
While chops are chilling, combine the butter, onions, brown sugar and season with salt and pepper (if using salted butter, don't add more salt)
Preheat grill on high until hot, then leave primary burner on high and turn all other burners to medium-low
Grill chops 3-4 minutes per side and remove when they register 145F on a digital read thermometer
Top each chop with remaining butter and cover with foil for 3-5 minutes to rest