Stuffed pork chops are one of those foods that are easy to make for the family on a busy day and impressive enough that you can present them to company. Stuffed pork chops are one of the most versatile main dish foods that we know. Both sweet and savory fillings go well with pork chops so you can stuff them with an endless array of choices. They work in both the summer and winter. Since you can grill them as well as fry or bake them, you can cook them on the patio when the weather is nice.
How to Stuff Pork Chops
It’s easy to stuff pork chops—with whatever you wish. Just follow these directions and illustrations.
- With a fillet or other thin-bladed knife, cut pockets in the pork chops. Place the pork chops on a cutting board. Holding the knife parallel to the board, cut a pocket into the pork, starting from the fatty side and going nearly all the way through but leaving the sides intact and the opening small.
- Stuff about 1/3 cup of your filling into each pork chop, reserving any that does not fit into the pockets. Push the filling far into the pocket of each pork chop and away from the opening. Push two toothpicks diagonally through the outer edges of the pork chop to secure the opening.
- You can now cook the pork chops on the grill, in a skillet, in the oven:
- To cook the pork chops in a skillet, cook them in butter for about six to eight minutes on each side or until done.
- To cook them on the grill, brush the pork chops with oil and then cook them for four to eight minutes on each side over medium heat.
- To bake them in the oven, place the pork chops on a lightly oiled baking sheet (or on a rack on a baking sheet if you would like to keep the pork chops out of the pan juices). Cover the pan with aluminum foil and tightly press the foil around the edges to trap steam and keep the chops from drying out. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Should You Grill, Fry, or Bake Your Stuffed Pork Chops?
When you make stuffed pork chops, you have a choice to grill, fry, or bake. What are the advantages of each?
- The advantage of grilling pork chops is that you get to do it outside. Plus you get the smoky flavor of open flames.
- The advantage of frying is that it is quick and easy. And you don’t have to heat up the kitchen.
- The advantage of baking is that you can cover the pork chops with foil to capture steam so that your meat does not dry out. Oven-baked pork chops are moist and juicy. Plus you can stick them in the oven and forget about them for three-quarters of an hour.
How Do I Tell When My Stuffed Pork Chops are Done?
It is critical that pork is cooked just right. If it is cooked too long, it will be ruined. For food safety, it needs to be cooked enough. So that you don’t over-cook or under-cook your pork, use an insta-read thermometer. The internal temperature should reach at least 160 degrees.
Meat—pork, chicken breasts, or steaks—becomes firmer as it cooks. If your guests aren’t squeamish, you can poke your meat with your finger as it cooks. When it is rare, the meat is soft. When it is well done, the meat is firm. With a little practice, you can get pretty good at it. But it’s still a good idea to check doneness with a thermometer.
The Secrets of Great Pork Chops
How do you make great pork chops? First, don’t overcook them. If you overcook them, they will be dry and tough and no recipe will rescue them. Buy a good cut of meat. And season them well. Pork is mild and it is the seasoning that brings out the flavoring. Pork is adaptive to a wide range of flavors so feel free to experiment.