Ham Chops

Ham Chops
Ham Chops Header

Ham Chops are Pork Chops that are quick brined in a solution overnight with Prague Powder #1. It’s like a thick slab of Ham and seriously good too, with the taste of Bacon, Ham, and Pork Chops all in one! Serve with some Baked Beans or Hash Browns for the perfect pairing. For you Ham & Bacon lovers out there, you’re welcome. Enjoy that Belly Smile!

Pork Chops

Use 1/2 inch to 1 Inch Pork Chops. Bone in or Boneless is a matter of preference. Any thicker and the Prague Powder might not penetrate all the way through within 24 hours. With 1 inch Pork Chops, you can optionally extend the curing time to 29 – 30 hours to ensure even curing all the way through to the center.

One Inch Pork Chops Fat Trimmed
One Inch Pork Chops Fat Trimmed

Rendered Pork Fat

Trim excess fat off from the Pork Chops before brining and use this to render out the Fat to sear the Pork Chops. If you don’t have quite enough, you can top it up with lard or a neutral oil to coat the entire bottom of the pan. Check out my post on Rendered Fat to learn more.

The rendered fat can also be used to make Hash Browns after the Ham Chops are done. Just the same as the Meat & Potatoes recipe.

Rendering Pork Fat
Rendering Pork Fat

Ham Chop Cure

The Brine Solution or Ham Chop Cure is pretty straight forward, with additional seasonings for flavor. The Prague Powder changes the texture and taste for some remarkable Pork Chops. It is responsible for giving that Ham & Bacon flavor.

The Basic Brine is 1 Tbl Kosher Salt per Cup of Distilled Water. This recipe uses 5 Tbl of Kosher Salt for 8 Cups of Water, with additional Salt coming from the Montreal Steak Seasoning. Putting this brine slightly on the light side. Compensating with Sugar for balance.

Ham Chop Brine

Ham Chop Brine

  • 8 C Distilled Water
  • 5 Tbl Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tbl Sugar
  • 2 Tbl Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 tsp Prague Powder #1

Prague Powder #1

Prague Powder #1 is a curing salt. Added in small amounts when curing and cooking meats. It goes by other names such as Instacure, Sure Cure, Cure #1.

Prague Powder #1 works quickly to cure meat. It is used for products that will be cured and then cooked. Food Items like Bacon, Sausage, Ham, or Corned Beef.

Sure Cure

Sure Cure

This can usually be picked up at Sausage Suppliers, Butcher Shops or Grocery outlets where they make their own in house sausages.

Info

Accidentally using Prague powder as Salt or even taste testing can make you extremely ill. This is why Prague Powder #1 is sometimes colored pink so that it can not be confused with salt. To further protect against accidental ingestion, store the Prague powder in a safe, cool, dry place away from where it could be mistaken for Salt.

How much Prague Powder to use

The amount of Prague Powder #1 is proportional to the amount of Water & Meat being used in a Wet Cure. If being mixed into meats directly, then the weight of the meat that will be cured and then cooked at no more than 1 tsp per 5 lbs. of meat. Ham Chops use a very light Cure at 75 ppm.

Follow the below example, switching out the total Meat & Water weight with the amounts you are using.

75 (ppm) * (Total weight of both Meat & Water in grams) / .0625 (Nitrite amount) / 1,000,000 (million) = Curing salt needed in grams.

So say you have 2 x 1 lb. 1 inch thick Pork Chops. 8 Cups of water weighs about 1890 g. Then the equation would look like

75 (ppm) * 2798 g (908 g of meat & 1890 g of Water or 8 cups) / .0625 / 1,000,000 = 3.35 g of curing salt.

Below is a chart I put together for Wet Curing in general. I wanted to have something that I could reference for wet curing, and I find this extremely helpful.

  • Ham Chops at about 75 ppm
  • Bacon is cured at no more than 120 ppm
  • Cooked Sausages at about 150 ppm – 180 ppm
  • Cured Ham or Corned Beef at about 150 ppm – 180 ppm.
Wet Curing Chart calculations
Wet Curing Chart calculations

Ham Chops Seasoning

Montreal Steak Seasoning with Liquid Smoke & Apple Cider Vinegar is the main flavoring added in.

Experiment with your own. Just be sure to have the Water, Meat and Salt (both the Curing Salt & Kosher Salt) Ratio the same. After that, you can add in anything else.

Ham Chop Brine Bone in Pork Chops with Paprika

Ham Chop Cure

I recently tested the addition of 1 Tbl of Smoked Paprika in the Cure, and it was really good.

Curing Pork Chops

To prepare this dish, combine all the Brine ingredients together and mix well. Add your Pork Chops and brine overnight, a full 24 hours. About 29 – 30 hours if using 1 inch Pork Chops. Place the Pork Chops in a large marinating bowl and use a plate to keep the Pork Chops submerged if you have to.

Alternatively, place the Pork Chops and Brine into a large freezer Ziploc bag and push the air out before sealing. Place this into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Brining Pork for Ham Chops

Curing Pork Chops

Keep submerged, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. If using 1 inch Pork Chops, go 29 – 30 hours to ensure a complete cure all the way through.

Rinsed and Soaking Ham Chops

Water Bath

After brining the Pork Chops for a full 24 hours, drain out the brine solution and rinse them well. Fill the bowl with cold water and leave the Pork Chops in the fresh cold water to sit for about 15 minutes to wash away excess salt.

How to Cook Ham Chops

The two ways I use most often is straight to searing if they are 1/2 inch thick for about 3 minutes per side. If they are 1 inch thick, then reverse sear them at 300 F for 30 minutes and a 3 minutes sear on each side.

Use the fat trimmings from the Pork Chop to render out the Fat and sear the Pork Chops. Optionally, you can just use Lard or a Neutral oil or JAH Meat Oil for extra Flavor.

Ensure you have enough to coat the bottom of your Skillet over medium heat and very hot before searing the Pork Chops.

JAH Meat Oil

Meat Oil

  • 1 C Sunflower Oil – or other neutral oil
  • 1 Tbl Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke – more if desired
  • 1/2 tsp MSG – optional

Pan Seared Ham Chops

Render the fat trimming from the Pork or use Lard, Neutral Oil or JAH Meat Oil. Heat the pan up over medium heat and wait until the Fat is very hot. Place the 1/2 inch Ham Chops in and sear for about 3 minutes per side. Remove and let rest 5 minutes.

One inch Pork Chops can also be seared for about 5 minutes per sides. This is better with Boneless Pork. Bone In Pork will take an extra minute or so. I prefer to reverse sear with 1 inch Pork Chops Bone in or Boneless.

In general, when the Pork Chops reach an internal temp of 145 F or when the juices run clear, they are done. Remove and let rest for about 5 minutes.

Ham Chops

Seared Ham Chops

Seared in Rendered Fat for about 3 minutes per side. Rested 5 minutes.

Reverse Seared Ham Chops

The Reverse Sear is most ideal for 1 inch Pork Chops Bone in or Boneless. Plus, that extra bit of cooking time really helps to bring that pink cure color out. I mean, these are really nice looking Pork Chops.

Place the Pork Chops on a Broiler Pan and into a preheated oven at 300 F, rack in middle position. Bake for 30 minutes. When 10 minutes of cook time remain, heat that skillet up with Fat so that it’s hot & ready for the Ham Chops. As soon as the Ham Chops come out of the oven, sear each side for 3 minutes. Remove and let rest 5 minutes.

Reversed Seared Ham Chops

Reverse Seared Ham Chops

300 F for 30 minutes. Then Seared for 3 minutes per side. Rested 5 minutes.

Ham Chop Dipping Sauces

Serve a variety of Dipping sauces on the side that you can dunk your pieces of Ham Chops into. Some ideas are below.

Frank's RedHot Sauce

Sweet Heat Dipping Sauce

Combine 1 Tbl of Franks RedHot Sauce, Butter & Honey in a small dipping bowl. Microwave for a few seconds to melt the butter.

Frenchs Dijon Mustard

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Combine equal amounts of Honey & Mustard. Another version is to add 1 Tbl of Mustard to the Sweet Heat Sauce above.

HP Sauce

HP Sauce

Place some HP Sauce In a small dipping bowl.

Heinz Chili Sauce

Chili Sauce

Add some Chili Sauce to a small dipping bowl.

Ham Chops Pin

Ham Chops

Brining together the Taste of Ham & Bacon in a Pork Chop that is cured for 24 hours. Either Pan Seared or Reversed Seared. This recipe uses 1 lb. of Pork Chops. For larger amounts, check out the Post to calculate the amount of Cure #1 or see the notes for a quick reference.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Curing Time1 day
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • 1 Large Skillet
  • 1 Marinating Container or Large Ziploc Bag
  • 1 Braising Pan if you plan on reverse searing

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Pork Chops - 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick
  • 1/4 C Lard - or Rendered fat, Neutral Oil or Meat Oil

Ham Chop Cure

  • 8 C Distilled Water
  • 5 Tbl Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tbl Sugar
  • 2 Tbl Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 tsp Prague Powder #1

Instructions

  • Combine Brine Solution together and mix well until everything is dissolved.
    Trim the Fat from the Pork Chops and refrigerate to render out the fat and sear the Pork chops the next day, or freeze it to use for other recipes.
    Add Pork Chops to the Brine and make sure they are completely submerged. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 24 hours later, drain out all the brine, wash & rinse the pork well. This will get rid of any excess salt on the surface. Fill up a bowl with cold water and allow the Pork Chops to soak there for 15 minutes or more.
    Remove the Pork Chops and Pat Dry.

Pan Seared Ham Chops

  • Ideal for 1/2 inch Ham Chops; Place about 1/4 C of Fat in the pan or Render the Fat from the Trimmings and allow to heat up over medium heat until hot.
  • Sear 1/2 inch Ham Chops until done, about 3 minutes each side, or longer if using Bone in Pork Chops. The Juices should run clear or an internal temp of at least 145 F. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Reverse Seared Ham Chops

  • Ideal for 1 inch Ham Chops; Place the Ham Chops on a broiler pan into a preheated oven at 300 F for 30 minutes. When 10 minutes of cook time remain, heat the Fat up in a pan so that it is hot & ready when the Ham Chops come out of the oven.
    Sear the Ham Chops for 3 minutes per side. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

How much Curing Salt

75 (ppm) * (Total weight of both Meat & Water in grams) / .0625 (Nitrite amount) / 1,000,000 (million) = Curing salt needed in grams.
  • 1 lb. of Pork Chops with 8 Cups of water use 1/2 tsp or 2.8 g
  • 2 lbs. use 3.4 g – 3.5 g of cure #1
  • 3 lbs. use 3.9 g of cure #1
 
Meat Oil
Meat Oil is a flavored Grilling Oil that can be used here to sear the Ham Chops. Combine the below ingredients to make the meat oil and mix well. Use 1/4 C of it to sear the Ham Chops. 
 
  • 1 C Sunflower Oil – or other neutral oil
  • 1 Tbl Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke – more if desired
  • 1/2 tsp MSG – optional
 
You can season the meat with additional seasoning but keep in mind this is salty enough by itself. A nice addition is Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Keywords: Brined Pork Chops, Cured Pork Chops, Ham Chops, Pork Chops
Author: JAH
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