The great thing about smoked meats—besides the wonderful flavor—is that they are fully cooked, requiring a simple warmup on the stove, on the grill, or in the oven. These smoked pork chops only need a few minutes in a frying pan, under the broiler, or on the grill, making them the perfect main course on a busy weeknight. Add braised cabbage and a green vegetable and you have a satisfying meal.
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil (if pan-frying)
- 4 (1/2-inch) fully cooked smoked pork chops (rinsed and patted dry)
To pan fry: Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chops and warm 4 to 5 minutes per side or until lightly golden. Do not overcook. Serve immediately.
To grill or broil: Oil the grill grate and heat the grill to medium or preheat the broiler. Place the pork chops 5 to 7 inches from heat source. Cook 5 to 7 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the chop), turning only once. Do not overcook. Serve immediately.
To oven roast: Preheat the oven to 350 F. In an oven-proof skillet on the stovetop, brown one side of the pork chops, cooking 3 to 4 minutes. Flip over the chops and place the skillet in the oven; roast for 20 minutes.
You can purchase smoked pork chops pre-packaged in the supermarket or from specialty stores online. At the grocery store, you may find Hormel's thick-cut, bone-in smoked pork chops for a very reasonable price. If you are looking for something a bit more specialized, an online butcher or smokehouse is the way to go. You can find applewood, oak, and hickory smoked bone-in chops and end cuts. The price is higher than pre-packaged, but you will definitely taste the difference.
It is very important you don't overcook the smoked pork chops. Remember, you are just warming them up and don't need to worry about whether they are cooked through or not. However, you do need to be sure the internal temperature is 145 F so they are safe to eat.
When you have a taste for ham but don't want to mess with a butt or shank portion or even a ham slice, smoked pork chops are the perfect stand-in. You can even treat them like ham by serving with sweet potatoes or potato salad and glazed pineapple.
Although you don't want to mask the delicious smokey flavor of the pork chops, there are ways to add other ingredients without overwhelming the dish. By placing a few slices of pineapple on top, the smoked pork chops take on a welcome layer of sweetness. If you are looking to add a little heft to the dish, try smoked pork chops with potatoes and onion; the potatoes and onions are sliced thinly and covered with warm milk. The chops are placed on top and the casserole is baked until the vegetables are tender.