A pork dish is only as good as its preparation. Browse the list below for pork prep tips and insight.
Prepare With Care
As with all meat, there are certain food safety rules that should be followed when you are handling and preparing pork. Here are a few tips for preparing pork and other meats:
- Wash your hands well with hot water and soap.
- Wash all utensils, containers, surfaces, etc., after preparing meat.
- Make sure to thaw meats in the refrigerator or microwave.
- Immediately cook meat that has been defrosted in a microwave.
- Marinate meat in the refrigerator and discard leftover marinades (never reuse them).
- Do not use the same surface for cutting meat and vegetables.
- Serve your meat on a clean plate, with clean utensils.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of serving.
- Reheat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165oF.
Many meat thermometers are labeled with the recommended internal end temperature for pork, beef and poultry. However, we've discovered that they often mislabel the recommended internal temperature for pork. For a moist and tender product, follow these rules:
- Cook fresh pork chops and roasts to an internal temperature of 145oF-155oF.
- Fresh pork products will be slightly pink in the center when cooked to temperature.
- Cook ground pork and sausage to an internal temperature of 160oF.
Many meats cook fast on the grill. Pork chops or ground pork patties are typically ready in about 15 minutes. Tenderloins and loin filets take about 30 minutes. Large roasts and ribs should be cooked using indirect heat and should take at least an hour, depending on the size.
Pan-Frying and Stir-Frying
Like grilling, pan-frying pork chops or patties typically takes about 15 minutes. When the meat juices run clear, you'll know the pork is done. Pork cubes or strips can be stir-fried in about five minutes.
Loin or leg roasts or ribs are great oven-roasted. Remove from oven when thermometer reads 5oF below desired doneness. Cover with foil and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Meat will continue to cook while standing.
Healthy Cooking Tips
- These tips will make it easier for you and your loved ones to maintain a healthier diet and lifestyle!
- Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking.
- Keep the portions small. The Food Guide Pyramid recommends 5 to 6 ounces of lean meat per day. (A 3-ounce piece is about the size of a deck of cards.)
- Use a nonstick skillet or grill so you can cook with a minimum amount of oil or vegetable spray.
- Use herbs and spices to season instead of sauces.
- After roasting meat, chill the drippings in the refrigerator. Once cooled, the fat will rise to the top and harden; remove it and save the broth (stock) for stews, sauces and soups.
- Limit the use of salt or seasoning blends containing salt when seasoning meat.
This information was provided by the American Heart Association. For more information on preparing healthy meals, contact our Consumer Assistance Center.
Try a new pork dish tonight. There are dozens of great recipe ideas in the Farmland Recipes.