Brining vs. Pounding: Which Method Tenderizes Pork Chops Better?

cooking tips

Calling pork lovers out there! Have you figured out an effective approach to making tender, juicy AND appetizing pork chops? Note that we're talking about texture, moisture and the "look" for these bad boys.

We experimented with two tenderizing methods to see which approach would produce more tender, juicier pork chops. The first method is called brining, which basically means soaking the pork chops fully in water with coarse salt dissolved in it, for at least 30 minutes to a few hours or even overnight. The salt-water solution may also include other ingredients like crushed garlic, bay leaves and whole peppercorns just to add more flavour to the meat.

The second method involves using a meat mallet or meat pounder. It’s a tool manually used to tenderize meat before cooking.

Cooking steps, at a high-level:

First, we prepared one batch of bone-on pork chops using the brining method, and another using the pounding method.

brining pork chops

Next, we seared all the chops on a stainless steel frying pan to give the pork chops.

Then, we roasted the chops in separate roasting pans in the oven, and when they appeared almost cooked (pinkish inside), took them out of the oven and let them “rest” for a few minutes, allowing them to cook a bit more.

And the verdict? *drum rolls*

The pounded chops came out tender, tasty and appetizing (i.e. nicely browned). Not bad!

The brined chops turned out tasty, appetizing, juicy and more tender. Even better!

This picture of our little test taster's plate, taken at post-pork chop dinner, should say it all. :)

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