Win Big with Grilled Pork at Your Next Tailgate

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Park the truck and let the tailgate down. It is football season and time to cheer for your favorite team. Whether you are grilling on your backyard patio or at the stadium parking lot, tailgating brings big appetites. Grilled pork is an easy way to satisfy a crowd of hungry fans.

New cooking guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture help make pork a winner at your next tailgate. The recommended safe end-point for cooking pork is now 145 degrees. Until recently it was 160 degrees. Today’s pork is extremely lean, and is very easy to overcook making it dry and less flavorful. Cooking to just 145 degrees results in a juicier, more flavorful meat. The meat will be a little pink in color and is perfectly safe to eat. Those used to only eating “white” pork will be surprised at the juiciness and good flavor of these more gently cooked chops.

The only way to make sure you are cooking foods to their proper temperatures is by using a meat thermometer. An instant-read thermometer is a low-cost, must-have for every kitchen and tailgate. Simply insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (without touching any bone), the temperature should register within a few seconds. To check grilled pork chops, hold the pork chop with tongs and insert the meat thermometer a few inches into the side of the chop.

The Beer-Grilled Chops recipe below travels well and makes preparation a snap. Toss the marinating chops in an ice-filled cooler, and grill when you reach your destination. A great beer to use in the marinade is Baraboo IPA. Baraboo Beer is brewed in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, exclusively for Hy-Vee. Peach Slaw pairs well with this recipe.

Beer-Grilled Chops
Serves 4.

All you need:

  • 4 bone-in pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp grated ginger root
  • 1 cup beer

All you do:

  1. Place chops in a resealable plastic bag; add remaining ingredients and seal bag. Gently massage bag to evenly distribute marinade ingredients. Refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.
  2. Prepare medium-hot coals in kettle-style grill.* Remove chops from marinade and discard marinade. Place on grill directly over coals; cover grill and grill for 8 to 9 minutes, turning once, or until thermometer inserted reads 145 degrees, followed by a 3-minute rest time.

*Instructions for gas grill: Prepare gas grill to medium heat. Remove chops from marinade and discard marinade. Place on grill, cover and grill for 8 to 9 minutes, turning once, or until thermometer inserted reads 145 degrees, followed by a 3-minute rest time.


Nutrition information per serving: 134 calories, 5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 57 mg cholesterol, 305mg sodium, 3g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 23g protein.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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