Smoking pork chops helps preserve them and retain delicate flavor. But it has to be done through basic food safety.
If you’re not planning on cooking those meats in a few days, it’s okay to freeze them. If frozen, take them out the freezer and let them defrost in the fridge. If not frozen, put them in the fridge until you’re to cook. We’d advise you only buy these meats if you do plan to cook them sooner than later.
Cold smoked pork chops are raw and have to be cooked until they reach at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit as recommended by the Department of Agriculture. If there are leftovers, let them cool before wrapping and putting them away.
After handling the meat, wash hands and utensils and wipe down any surfaces the pork chops touched so that other foods do not come in contact with residue.
Cold vs. Hot Smoking
Your butcher will prepare pork chops for smoking. This entails brining them in a light mixture of sugar and salt. They may add other ingredients to flavor. Once brined and softly patted dry, the pork chops are ready to be hot or cold smoked.
Your butcher should tell you whether you have cold or hot smoked pork chops. If not, check the packaging. If you don’t know the specifics, use your fingers to feel the chops. Cold smoked pork chops feel like raw meat. Hot smoked meats will be firmer.
Hot smoked pork chops are smoked under moderate heat. Monitor the process until the meats have reached an internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The chops will be fully cooked and ready for serving.
Cold smoked chops have to be smoked to 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives them that desired smoky flavor with no need for extra cooking.
Cold Smoked Pork Chops
You can prepare cold smoked chops in the same manner as any other. If you broil or grill, you’re looking at the flavor of slow smoked pork chops in a few minutes. They’re ideal for European or Southern dishes. Get a nice simmer with collard greens or turnips. Serve with cornbread. You can also slow cook in sauerkraut and set them up with grainy sweet mustard and boiled potatoes. Another option is serving them with a green bean casserole.
Hot Smoked Pork Chops
Hot smoked chops are excellent for a quick meal since you’re basically only reheating them. Set up the grill with your favorite coals or wood. Throw on the meat. It will only take a few minutes to sear them completely.
You can reheat them in the oven on a baking sheet. Simmer the chops briefly in a nice wine or apple juice. This liquid can be used as a sauce.
For the finish, wait until the meats have 20 to 30 minutes left to cook then set them atop some scalloped potatoes or a casserole. This will add a nice texture to those dishes.
If you need a quick meal, slice up the meat and microwave them with a sauce. Serve on a bun.