How to Broil Pork
- Broiling is the technique of cooking a piece of meat directly under a flame or radiant heat source. It is similar to grilling but the process is inverted. The pan or platter used gets hot during broiling and the residual heat finishes the cooking process, but the meat is cooked directly by the heat source and does not depend on a preheated surface.
- Choose a cut of pork that is at least ¾-inch thick with a good amount of intramuscular fat. Thinner, leaner cuts will not perform well in a broiler. Broiling works best on medium-thickness cuts. If the pork is too thick, the outside will burn before the inside warms through. Thinner cuts should be brined or marinated. If marinating the pork longer than 30 minutes, do so under refrigeration to prevent foodborne illness; then let the pork rest on the counter for 20-30 minutes to get to room temperature just before cooking.
- Prepare the pork for cooking. If it is a very high-quality cut with good marbling or intramuscular fat, a rub with coarse salt and pepper is all you need. For tougher cuts, such as a shoulder, leg or flank steak, a marinade can help make it more flavorful and tender. Immerse the meat for an hour or more in a marinade that contains a combination of acids (i.e., vinegar) and salt (or soy sauce). This will help break down the tough meat fibers and soak flavor deep into the pork. For best results, vacuum seal the meat to help the marinade penetrate.
- Prepare the broiler and pan. Once the pork is ready to cook, adjust the rack so the top of the meat will be about four inches from the broiler heating element. Then turn the broiler on to preheat.
- Place the pork on a sizzle or broiler pan. A broiler pan is best for broiling foods, but a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet (lined with foil for easier cleanup) will also work. The downside to using a non-draining surface is that the fats that render off of your meat as it cooks will pool around its edges and possibly cause it to burn. To avoid this, try moving the pork to a different area of the pan with less fat as it cooks.
- Broil the pork for 3-18 minutes. Cooking times vary greatly based on the cut of meat, cooking altitude, type of broiler, and how hot the broiler runs. Checking the edges of thicker pork is often a good indicator of how done the middle is. When the edges change from red to pink to brown, the inside is probably moving from rare to medium rare to medium. Use an instant-read thermometer to determine the final endpoint cooking temperature that you’re looking for. Whole muscle cuts of pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F on an instant-read thermometer, and should rest for three minutes.
- Remove, rest, and serve. Remove the meat from the oven and test the pork once more for doneness. If it’s cooked to your liking, don’t be tempted to cut it up immediately. Letting a piece of meat rest for a few minutes before slicing it is the number one way to make sure it stays juicy. Wait until most of the steam from the meat has slowed and the juices stop running off – about three to five minutes – before serving.
Broiling is a great cooking method for small cuts of pork like pork chops, kabobs and pork patties. A good rule of thumb is to watch it while it cooks. If it looks “done” on one side, flip it over with tongs. Also, listen to it. When the outside of the pork goes from cooked to overcooked, the sound of the sizzling will become louder and sharper.
Popular Broiling Recipes
- Nutty Pork Broil
- Broiled Pork Chops with Vegetable Medley and Cinnamon Apples
- Bacon-Wrapped Pork Chops with Seasoned Butter