This Is The Secret Ingredient To Make Golden Brown Pork Chops

It's a common kitchen ingredient you didn't think to use!

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Pork chops are one of the easiest meat cuts to cook. You can do it on the stove and it can be mere minutes before it's done. This is especially true if the pork is cut thinly. 

There is also the danger of overcooking pork chops that are this thin! Plus, when thin pork chops are cooked through, it's common to see that it has developed any or has little browning. Browning, if you remember, is the key to flavor. The chemical reaction is called the Maillard Reaction and without the browning, you are not going to have a pork chop that will be as flavorful as one that did brown in the pan. 

The good news is that you can hasten the browning with a common kitchen ingredient. 

White sugar is a kitchen staple.
Photo by Pixabay
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The secret ingredient is sugar. 

We all know that sugar caramelizes. It's the one ingredient in the caramel recipe when you make leche flan! It's this unique property of sugar that we need to take advantage of when we want to have perfectly golden brown pork chops and that's why it's a genius addition to speed up the browning process. 

You may be worried that your meat might taste sweet. Don't worry! You actually need just a pinch or two of sugar to get the browning started, so a little goes a long way! Plus, with the balance of sweetness and saltiness, it's a natural way of making both flavors shine. 

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In fact, you may not have realized it but you already do add sugar to your pork chops if you brine them. Brining pork chops, especially pork chops that are thick, is the key to ensuring that the pork stays juicy, even if you cook it a little longer than necessary.

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The grill marks on these pork chops are courtesy of the Maillard reaction.
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To make a brine solution, you normally mix salt into the water to make the brine solution. The basic ratio is 1/4 cup salt per 1 liter water. However, this two-ingredient mixture just makes your meat seasoned and juicy. That's why this combo also commonly combined with other ingredients that boost the flavor of the meat you'll brine in it. One of these ingredients is usually sugar since sweetness balances saltiness.  

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So, the next time you cook pork chops that are too thin to brown properly in the time it takes to cook it properly, add a pinch of sugar to the salt and pepper seasoning mix you rub or sprinkle on your pork chops. Who knows? You might find it's the perfect, tasty balance of flavor that you didn't know you liked! 

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