From start to finish, broiled pork chops is one of the easiest and tastiest pork chop recipes there is. Pork chops are usually best when cooked fast over high heat. This recipe is exactly that: a quick broil under high heat that takes just a few minutes per chop side, resulting in tender and very juicy meat. But that's just a small part of it. What really makes these broiled pork chops really is the homemade Creole seasoning that adds a ton of flavor and broiling on a cast iron pan or a griddle.
On my way home after work, I stopped by a local supermarket to pick up some groceries and saw a pack of two great looking, nicely-marbled, thickly cut pork chops. I like it when pork chops are thick, at least 1 1/4 inches. This allows the chops to get a beautifully caramelized crust before the inside starts to become over-cooked.
To season the meat I used homemade Creole seasoning mix which is great for pork and other meats. I had half a spice jar of it sitting on the counter top after using in another recipe the day before and I immediately thought of using it. I never tried it on pork chops so I actually got pretty excited at the opportunity. Well, it paid off nicely and then some. The color of the finished meat was outstanding and the flavors were amazing. A little kick from cayenne pepper was a great touch as I love food to have a touch of heat.
When broiling meats, poultry or fish, I now use a cast iron pan or a griddle. No exceptions here. You see, when broiling on a baking sheet or a pan juices will collect at the bottom as the liquid released by meat won't be able to evaporate quickly enough. This will immediately cool the pan to about 200F. You won't get nice caramelization or browning with this kind of broiling. The top may get some browning but it won't be as dramatic, and once you flip the chop, the wet bottom, now facing up, won't brown at all.
I've tried broiling on a cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet but didn't quite like the results either. No matter what, the grill-like browning just wasn't there. Cast iron fixed that problem for me. You see, cast iron gets really hot and slowly releases heat to meat, browning it very nicely from the bottom. And you get the intense heat from the broiler heating element. This bi-directional heat heats a pork chop from both sides at the same time, evaporating liquids instantaneously, and creating a grill-like environment. In the end, you get amazingly browned and very flavorful chops that taste like grilled chops.
- 2 pork chops (large rib chops, 1 1/4-inch thick or thicker)
- 2 tsp Creole seasoning (see the recipe below)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley or cilantro (for garnish)
For the creole seasoning (about 1 1/4 cup yield, scale down if necessary):
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 Tbsp granulated onion
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 cup granulated garlic
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- Preheat the oven on high broil for at least 15 minutes, with a cast iron pan or a griddle placed on the top rack, about 3 inches from the heating element.
- To prepare the Creole seasoning, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. If desired, grind larger spices like thyme and oregano in a mortar or a coffee grinder. Set aside.The yield here is 1 1/4 cups. This is about 4-5 times more than this pork chop recipe requires. You have the option to scale down, of course, or make the full recipe and save the leftover seasoning mix for later. I can almost guarantee it, you will love it and will use it later with other meats. But, it's your choice.
- Season each pork chop with salt, pepper and about a teaspoon of Creole spice mix and pat down gently to make sure the seasoning sticks.
- Place chops on a pre-heated cast iron griddle or a pan and broil for 5 minutes. Flip and broil for another 4-5 minutes, or until the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145F.
- Remove the chops from the oven, transfer to a serving platter and let rest for about 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve.