Friday, January 8, 2010

Grilled Pork Chops - How to Make the Perfect Checker Pattern Grill Marks?

Do you buy stripey grill pans solely because you wanted your food to be in those adorable stripey/checker patterns?
Of course you do.

Hmm...or maybe not?
Maybe you thought that food's gonna taste even more wonderful when grilled that way,
or maybe it's for health reasons (because not having a grill pan may cause us severe mental distress?),
or maybe you're just a pure shopaholic? (nono, I really need the pan)""

or whatever, man.
I just want my food in cute checker patterns.

Yes, I am shallow, superficial and proud of it (sometimes) :D

Making the perfect checkered grill marks is no rocket science. I am sure anyone can figure it out. But thanks to our friend, Joe, I didn't even need to figure anything out. After several trial and errors, Joe knows his way around his grill pan, he could pretty much checker-grill-mark anything blindfolded (I should probably mention that the blindfold is transparent?).

I'll soon share Joe's formula with you.

First, grab a pork chop, or whatever meat/non meat you are craving...
We were having pork chops.
Because they are delicious.
...and because the day sucked and we needed the release.

We took our turn whacking the heck outta those chops.

Preheat grill pan on medium heat for about 4 minutes, add a bit of olive oil.

Right before grilling, season your chops.
I seasoned mine with salt (generously), black pepper and dry mixed herbs (oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary)...

...and let's sizzle.

1. Place your chop on the pan diagonally (e.g. top left - bottom right)

Let cook for 1-2 minutes, depending on how thick is your chop, if your chop is thin, preheat grill pan a couple of minutes longer so once the chop hits the pan, it gets charred almost immediately.
You can use tongs to lift the corner of your chop a little to peep if the pattern is there.

2. Turn 90 degree (e.g. top right - bottom left), do not flip just yet.

Let cook for a minute or so...(as the pan gets hotter, it creates marks faster and darker)

3. Now, flip!

PS. I used metal tongs to handle my chop.
Let cook for a bit...

4. Again, turn 90 degrees...

...and if your chop is thin just like mine, you're pretty much done.
You'd end up with juicy and flavorful chops with tasty cripsy bits here and there.

If your chop is thick, you may have to finish it in the oven for a few minutes.

Love the pattern and I swear the chop tasted better (totally fooling myself?).

Serve with carbs and green of your choice.
PS. Wearing a checkered shirt to devour this would be too matchy matchy.


Little Corner of Mine said...

Nice! I love the grill marks and juicy pork chop.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Is it a mini pan? For some reason the picture looks like a mini pan and stove to me.

I always forget which direction to flip the pork chop and end up with weird grill marks. :P

pigpigscorner said...

oo they look so juicy! I like the marks too, it's so much more inviting.

tracieMoo said...

what a great tip! didn't know that.. thanks for sharing!

EatTravelEat said...

Sounds simple enough! I tried doing this on another person's gas grill but the meat was too wet and the grill marks did not come out.

I'd love to make this but I don't have a grill pan yet! Oh well, the oven rack could work :).

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it's not whacking the heck outta those chops that make you feel better at the end of the day? :)

tigerfish said...

Lovely grill marks! But I also love how that cute little pan sits on that relatively big stove! ;D

Ann said...

i have the same pan but in red! :D. i havent really used the pan that much...i have a reason to use it now :). the pan is small isn't it but so heavy!

thanks for your time in showing us how to leave perfect checker marks! i will have it in mind when i make steak !

mycookinghut said...

well don!! Love the look of it...!

KeN said...

like your site, like you recipe, like everything about this blog :) fantastic!

Charles said...

I just love your style, so personable and your irresistible wordy personality. You make food so much fun! I was especially impressed with your illustrations...simple and clear.