Pork is the name given to pig meat in the culinary world. Although the term pork can apply to smoked, cured, or processed meat, the focus of this article will be on fresh pork. It is also called the “other white meat,” perhaps because certain religions and beliefs prevent some people from taking pork.
Nonetheless, it is one of the most delicious meats if prepared and cooked well. Moreover, pork can be cured, smoked, roasted, broiled, grilled, steamed, sautéed, braised, fried, stir-fried, or stewed, whichever way you like it best. Here are four delicious ways to cook pig meat at home even without prior experience.
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Roasting is one of the most popular methods to cook pork. When done right, roasting results in tender and juicy meat on the inside and a nicely browned crust on the outer surface. Whether you want to roast a whole pig or tiny pork chunks, a pork roaster comes in handy. There are many types of pig roasters on the market, in various sizes, fuel types, and designs. A good one will help you cook your pork nice and slow without turning your meat or fighting fires. Everyone will be salivating to get a taste once the meat is done.
Here’s a guide on how to cook some perfectly done pork roasts.
What you need:
- Pork meat
- Garlic powder
1) If your meat is fat, cut out any excess fat layer and put it aside
2) Preheat your oven to 300°F
3) Mix 1 teaspoon salt, 1.5 teaspoons pepper, and 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder, combined in a small bowl. That should do for a 5-pound roast, so you can adjust the quantities if your roast is larger or smaller. Season the roast all over with the spice mixture.
4) Place the roast fat-side up in a large roasting pan. In the bottom of the pan, pour approximately a half-inch of low-salt/no-salt chicken broth. Cook it on the stovetop, uncovered. Remember, you don’t want it to be so sensitive that slicing it causes it to pull. Aim for an internal temperature of around 180°F. At 300°F, that’ll take around 40 minutes each pound.
5) Add extra broth after the liquid has evaporated and a light brown coating has formed on the bottom of the pan (or add water). Make sure there’s enough liquid to come up the edges of the pan. This helps dissolve any browning by broth from previous rounds on the pan’s edges.
Grilling is another great way to cook pork. Unlike roasting, which cooks slowly, grilling gets your meat ready faster, resulting in charred and nicely browned meat. Here’s how to grill pork at home using a gas or charcoal grill.
What you need:
- Pork meat
- Olive oil
- Grill brush
- Paper towels
1) Prep your cuts: Marinade and season your pork beforehand accordingly.
2) Heat the grill: In case you are using a charcoal grill – which takes longer to heat up), light the charcoal first, then divide out your pork chops on a tray or plate while you wait for the charcoal to become ash-covered and glowing. Gas grills are often quicker to heat up to a ready temperature, but pork cooked on charcoal grills tends to taste better. If you’re dealing with thick pork cuts, you may want to use lower temperatures and extend the cooking time.
3) Start grilling: Once your pork chops are ready, place them on the grill. Coat the grill’s bars with a high-smoke-point oil to prevent your meat from sticking to the grill (olive or grapeseed oil works well.) This may be done using a grill brush dipped in oil or a paper towel soaked in oil, and then pushed across the grill with tongs or similar long-handled utensils. Then, using tongs arrange your pork pieces on the grill so that they don’t touch.
3. Pan-Fried Pork:
Use a sturdy skillet with deep sides for pan-frying pork. To produce a desirable flavor, just season the pork chops with salt and pepper, marinate them, or cover them with your favorite seasonings. Before frying, remove any excess grease and dry the pieces with a paper towel. If you’re cooking (seared) pork pieces dusted with flour or bread crumbs, they should be dried on a rack. This might take up to 30 minutes. Letting the pieces dry will ensure that the meat browns evenly when fried.
What you need:
- Pork cuts
- Paper towels
- Heavy pan/skillet
- Oil (5 tbsp)
- Meat thermometer
1) To begin, eliminate any extra fat.
2) To promote uniform browning, thoroughly dry the meat using a paper towel.
3) In a heavy pan over medium-high heat, heat 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil (the amount may vary based on the dish and the cut being fried) until the oil is extremely hot but not browned. The oil should be heated to a temperature where the meat will sizzle when it is added.
4) In a hot skillet, arrange the pork chunks in a single layer. Allow adequate room between pieces so they don’t get crowded, ensuring they cook and brown evenly.
5) Over medium-high heat, keep your pork cooking while uncovered until golden brown on the first side, turn it, and fry until well browned on the second.
6) The length of time it takes to cook a cut is determined by its thickness. When the meat is done, it should be slightly stiff to the touch. Inspect doneness by cutting a tiny slice into the piece and looking inside to see if the meat is opaque and the juices run clear. Check meat temperature using a thermometer to ensure it is at 145°F minimum for thicker cuts.
4. Deep Fried Pork
When deep-frying, heat is transferred from the hot oil to the meat, rather than directly from a heat source. Smaller boneless cuts like cubes, cutlets, and strips are often ideal for deep frying. It is often harder to produce properly-cooked meat at the center when deep-frying bigger pieces without getting an overdone exterior. Here’s how to do deep-fried pork like a pro.
What you need:
- Deep-frying pan
- Pork chops or cuts
1) To begin, pour enough oil into a large pan or an electric deep-fat fryer so that the chops you are frying are thoroughly immersed. Preheat the oil to between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Use a deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature but if you do not have one, a candy thermometer will suffice.
3) Place a few slices of pork into the heated oil using tongs or a metal spatula, being careful not to overcrowd them.
4) Cook until golden brown on both sides. Depending on the size of the slices being cooked, cooking time will vary. Remove the pieces from the oil when they finish cooking and set them on a paper towel to drain the grease.
5) Cut a tiny slice into one of the pieces to see whether it’s done. The flesh should seem opaque on the inside.
As earlier mentioned, there are many ways to cook pork and make a delicious meal out of pig meat. The most important thing is to have the appropriate requirements and know the procedure. Hopefully, the above few pointers will help improve your kitchen skills when cooking pork for dinner.