Ch. 6 - Pork Recipes

Chapter 6 - Pork Recipes

Grilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

Pork Chops Smoked Low and SlowPork is under-eaten and that’s a grill crime. Sure, ribs are popular, but there are so many other cuts of pork that a lot of folks just don’t consider but should. Ribs are fantastic, but so are pork roasts, chops, pork steaks, kabobs and more. They’re all so darn tasty!

My favorite pork cut is the boneless pork loin. You can treat it like a roast, cut it into chops, slice it thin for grilled sandwiches or chunk it up for kabobs. It’s cheap, delicious and a bonus is its flavor versatility. It absorbs marinades/sauces well and works great with just about any chicken recipe. Try using pork loin instead of that chicken breast in your favorite chicken recipe, you’ll like it!

Meat Temp for Pork:  Grill pork until the meat thermometer hits the 140 degree mark.  Remember to let the meat rest after pulling from the grill, it will continue to cook during the rest, peaking at a perfect 145 degrees. 

And now to the recipes....

Teriyaki Pork Loin

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of boneless pork loin
  • 1 cup Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger powder
  • Half of a medium onion, sliced
  • Juice from half a lime

Directions

Combine all ingredients and place in a large ziplock bag or other sealed container and marinade overnight. Place the pork loin over indirect heat cooking low and slow for about 45 minutes to one hour, or until your meat thermometer reads 140 degrees. Remove from the grill and let it rest about 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Download Mike's Teriyaki Pork Loin Recipe

 

Grilled Chops

Grilled Pork Chops
Grilled Pork Chops - A personal favorite

A juicy grilled pork chop is a great change of pace when it comes to grilled fare and they are so easy to do and do well. Bone-in tend to have better flavor, but do require a little more cooking time.

Ingredients

  • 6-8 pork chops
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried Rosemary

Directions
Whisk together the olive oil, rub, garlic powder and Rosemary. After placing the chops in a ziplock bag, pour the olive oil mixture over the chops and let those flavors marry, refrigerating for at least four hours. Grill over direct heat, lid off, to get that good sear and great looking grill marks, 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops. After you’ve got that great presentation side look, flip the chops over to the low heat side of the grill and cover. Grill for about another 15 minutes or until the meat thermometer hit’s the 140 degree mark. In the grill set-up, Apple wood pellets add another layer of flavor. TIP: Trim some of the fat off the chops before marinating or rubbing and save it to create pan drippings. When you’re grilling, put those fat trimmings in a cast iron skillet over low heat and let them render to create the base for a sauce or gravy.

A quick pan sauce for chops…. Combine pork fat drippings with a little flour, some black berries or blueberries - whatever kind of berry you might have on hand for that matter - and some balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste and you’ve made an excellent compliment to the chops!

Download Mike's Grilled Chops Recipe

 

Low and Slow Ham
Next to bacon cheeseburgers and steak, ham one of my boys’ favorite items off the grill.

Ingredients

  • Bone-in ham (fully cooked), about 10 pounds
  • Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • 1-½ cups of orange juice

Directions
Setting your ham in a large cast iron skillet or roasting pan suitable for the grill (line your roasting pan with aluminum foil) place your ham fat side up on/in the skillet/pan and rub it down with the rub. Pour the orange juice in the pan, but NOT OVER the ham. This is going to serve as a basting liquid. When you first put the ham on the grill, we just want the ham’s natural juices to meld with the rub to start things off. Later on, you’ll start basting the ham with the orange juice from the pan. Place your ham over indirect heat, using the ‘Snake Method’ in your grill set-up. Let it cook low and slow for 3 to 3-½ hours (about 20 minutes per pound of ham), basting it with the orange juice every 1/2 hour or so. Heat is important here, LOW AND SLOW, about 225 degrees. We want the orange juice to simmer, not cook. And if your cast iron skillet couldn’t take all the orange juice at once, that’s OK, you can add more as you baste. Because this is a pre-cooked ham, you don’t need to leave it on the grill until it hits 145 degrees. In this case, prime juiciness is achieved at about 135 degrees on your meat thermometer. Let the ham rest for about 10 minutes under an aluminum foil tent before slicing.

Download Mike's Low & Slow Ham Recipe

 

St. Louis Style Ribs

Ingredients

  • Two racks of St. Louis Style Ribs
  • Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • 1-1/2 cups apple juice in a food safe spray bottle for spritzing
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce

Directions
Get your coals ready using the ‘Snake Method.‘ Next, remove the thin membrane from the bone side of the ribs if the good folks behind the meat counter haven’t already done so. This allows the rub and the smoke to really penetrate the meat. Rub the ribs with your favorite rub. Grill the ribs meat side up, lid on for about 3 hours, spritzing them with the apple juice every hour. After the third spritz, wrap the ribs in foil nice and tight and return to the grill, lid on for another 1-1/2 hours. After the ‘foil session’, carefully open up the foil and apply your favorite BBQ sauce with a brush as thick or as thin as you like. Wrap the ribs back up and return to the grill for another 30 minutes. Let the ribs rest for about five minutes before serving.

Download Mike's St. Louis Style Ribs Recipe

 

Pulled Pork Roast

Ingredients

  • 4 - 5 pound pork shoulder roast
  • Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • 1-½ cups of apple juice and the juice of one lime in a food safe spray bottle

Directions

Set up your grill to use the “Snake Method.” While your charcoal chimney is firing up, generously rub down the roast with the rub (in case your forgot to rub the roast down last night, which could be considered a grill crime). When the grill is ready to receive, place the roast on the center of your grilling grate, fat side up. Grill for about 3 hours, spraying the roast every hour with the apple/lime juice. Transfer to a disposable aluminum foil pan and pour in any remaining spray juice over the top of the roast. Cover with foil and grill for another 3 hours, or until that roast is fall apart tender and that meat thermometer reads 185 degrees. Take the pork off the grill and let it rest for 20 minutes. Trim off any remaining fat and shred the pork with forks, being careful not to poke a hole in the bottom of your aluminum pan. If necessary, take the roast out of the pan and shred it on a large cutting board. Toss or set aside the bone and any connective tissue. Check the pan drippings for any excess fat and remove. Once the shredding is done, season with additional rub (optional). Mix the meat to moisten with those great pan drippings. Add your favorite BBQ sauce (optional).

Pulled pork sandwich
The start of a beautiful sandwich

Get out the hamburger buns and enjoy! I like to serve my pulled pork “naked,” (get your mind out of the gutter....) seasoning it with rub but NOT the BBQ sauce when moistening/mixing the shreds with the pan drippings. I provide a variety of BBQ sauces though as a condiment when serving. People can add as much or as little as they like to their sandwich and it‘s a great way for folks to find out just what kind of BBQ they really like! Excellent additions to a pulled pork sandwich are pickles and/or shredded cabbage.

Download Mike's Pulled Pork Roast Recipe

 

Pork Shoulder Steaks
Also referred to as “Blade Steaks” these are, like pork loin, one of the more inexpensive pork cuts. Cheap and delicious! When purchasing your blade steaks at the store, get some that are at least an inch thick. This recipe is much like grilling up a T-Bone.

Ingredients

  • Pork Steaks
  • Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub

Directions
Rub both sides of the steak with your favorite rub. Sear on the hot spot on the grill for about five minutes, rotating the steaks a quarter turn for those diamond grill marks at about the two to three minute mark. Flip after the five minutes of sear time is up, placing the steaks on the lower temp side of the grill with the lid on to finish cooking until the internal temp is 145 degrees. Hit it with the garlic butter just before plating.

Download Mike's Pork Shoulder Steaks Recipe

 

20180322_173050Garlic Lime Pork Tenderloin
Not to be confused with pork loin, pork tenderloin is a more expensive cut, leaner and as the name implies, more tender. The thing I love about this recipe and pork in general, is that the meat pairs so well with citrus.

Ingredients

  • Two pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • One teaspoon salt
  • One teaspoon black pepper
  • The juice from a lime

Directions
Place the pork tenderloin in a large ziplock bag or sealable container and set aside. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the meat, seal the container and refrigerate for four hours. Grill over direct heat, placing the tenderloins over the hot spot to get that good sear and those great grill marks. Give the meat a quarter turn after about two to three minutes. Repeat until you’ve got good color on three sides of the meat. Move the tenderloins to the lower heat spot of the grill, making sure the ‘not so colorful’ side of the meat is on the cooking grate. Put the lid on and grill for another 20 - 30 minutes or until the internal temperature hits that magic number for pork - 140 degrees. Remove and let rest for at least five minutes, the rest will push that temp to 145. Slice into medallions for plating, hitting them with the juice from the remaining half a lime. Follow that up by brushing with melted garlic butter and serve. Grilling Option: Play around with the citrus flavor, or fruit for that matter. Try substituting lime with orange. Or if you prefer use pineapple juice. A mix is good. Try a mixture of half lime, half apple. It’s all about the layers of flavor!

Download Mike's Garlic Lime Pork Tenderloin Recipe

 

Pig on a stick
Simple and delicious this is a great appetizer and/or tailgate food.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of pork loin, cut into strips, about 1” thick
  • One package of bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • 16 wooden skewers

Directions
Massage your pork loin strips with the rub and put on the skewers…..which you soaked for about 30 minutes….. right? Wrap each pork loin strip with a slice of bacon and secure with a soaked toothpick. Grill the skewers on INDIRECT heat to start off, place them on the low heat side of the grill, lid on. This is called the ‘Reverse Sear’ method. Starting off low and slow, finishing hot! Rotate the skewers a quarter turn every two to three minutes to ensure even cooking of the pork loin. Finish cooking on the hot spot of the grill, lid off, to crisp up the bacon. Serving option: Just before pulling the skewers off the grill, brush lightly with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Download Mike's Pig on a Stick Recipe

 

Cutlets In Cream
This is an old school recipe that deserves a popularity comeback. Talk about a mouthful of yum!

Ingredients

  • Six pork cutlets
  • One Tablespoon Cookies Flavor Enhancer or your favorite rub
  • One teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • One cup heavy cream
  • Two Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

Directions
Combine the Cookies Flavor Enhancer and the garlic power, then give the cutlets a good rub, set aside. Once your grill is ready to receive, place a cast iron skillet over the indirect heat side of the grill to warm it up. Sear the cutlets over direct heat, about two - three minutes on each side or until nice grill marks are achieved. Add the olive oil to the cast iron skillet. Transfer the seared cutlets to the skillet, add the parsley and cream. Put the grill cover on and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, checking often to make sure the cream is NOT coming to a boil.   And don't be alarmed if the cream curdles a bit, it's supposed to.

Ingredient Option: If you don’t like parsley, try substituting with Rosemary, Sage or Oregano, but use less - one Tablespoon should do - as they pack a lot more flavor and you don’t want them to overpower the dish.

Download Mike's Cutlets in Cream Recipe

 

Pork Kabobs

I like to use pork loin cut into one inch cubes to make my kabobs.  This is similar to the beef kabobs recipe, with a little fruit kick. 

Ingredients:

  • Two pounds of pork loin, cut into one inch cubes
  • One green bell pepper, rough chop
  • One red or orange bell pepper, rough chop
  • One medium onion, rough chop
  • About one pound of fresh pineapple, rough chop
  • Small bottle of your favorite Italian dressing

Directions:

After you cube up the pork loin, put it in a Tupperware container or zip lock bag and pour 3/4 of the contents of a small bottle of Italian dressing over the meat. Let it marinade in the refrigerator overnight. The veggies and pineapple don’t need to marinade that long, you can actually get away with dressing them with the remaining Italian dressing just before you start the charcoal. If you’re going to use wood skewers, remember to soak them in water for about 30 minutes prior to loading them up with the meat and veggies. Remember KABOB TIP #1 from the beef chapter: Always put your meat and veggies (and in this case, fruit) for kabobs on separate skewers. A meat and veggie skewer combo looks great in the meat counter display case at the grocery store, but the fact is the veggies on the skewer cook through much faster than the meat. You want tender crisp veggies with a hint of charcoal flavor, not dried out, charred veggies to go with that meat. KABOB TIP #2: Don’t overload the meat on the skewers, leave some space between the cubes. Meat that is packed too tightly won’t cook evenly, won’t look as nice when served and most importantly, won’t taste as good. Place your meat kabobs over hot coals to get a good sear, lid off. Turn a quarter turn after about two minutes, repeat through four rotations and then place over the indirect heat while you cook the veggie/fruit kabobs.  Grill the veggie/fruit kabobs over direct heat and just long enough to get a nice char on the edges, and the pineapple starts to caramelize.  Serve together with rice pilaf and warm pita bread.

Remember, pork is under-eaten and that’s a grill crime.  There are plenty of cuts and varieties I haven't covered in this pork recipe chapter, such as ground pork and sausages.  Why not you ask?  Because ground pork, pork sausages and the like are soooooo good, they deserve mention in their own dedicated chapter!   Chapter 9 has more delicious pork recipes!

Download Mike's Pork Kabobs Recipe

Related:  Pork cuts and how to grill them

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