Cooking Questions: Pork Article -
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Cooking Questions: Pork

Browse our collection of frequently asked cooking questions for advice on preparing pork.

How long should I cook my pork roast?

The rule of thumb for pork roasts is to cook them 25 minutes per pound of meat at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Use a thermometer to read the internal temperature of the roast. When the temperature reaches 140 degrees F (60 C), pull the roast out of the oven; it'll continue to cook due to the residual heat and will reach 145 degrees F (63 C).

How do you keep pork chops from drying out?

Don't overcook 'em! Use high heat and a light flour coating. First, dry the chops with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper, and dredge lightly in flour. Add a combination of butter and oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high flame. The fat should be quite hot when you add the chops, sizzling, into the pan. Avoid crowding. Give the chops room in the skillet so they'll brown before they overcook. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn. Transfer the pork chops from the pan to a plate when the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F (60 C); they'll continue to cook due to the residual heat and will reach 145 degrees F (63 C). Let the pork chops rest for about five minutes before serving, to redistribute their juices.

How long can I keep cooked ham in my refrigerator?

To store cooked ham, carve the remaining meat from the bone and place it in clean, small shallow containers in a refrigerator. Use it within three to four days. A whole cooked ham from the store can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Cooking the ham changes the acidity and the chemical composition of the preservatives, thus decreasing the shelf life. Cured ham can be frozen but you might note changes in texture and flavor.

Do I have to soak a ham before I cook it?

Most U.S. ham producers use the injection-curing method whereby the ham is injected with brine. After curing, a ham might be smoked to add flavor and aging capability. Because the use of salt is essential to the curing process, it is very unlikely that you will ever find a non-salty ham. You can try and eliminate some of the salt by soaking the ham in water in the refrigerator for about 6 hours before you cook it. This is definitely recommended for most salt-cured "country-style" hams. If you have a honey-glazed ham you should definitely not soak it, as this will dissolve the glaze.

What is country ham?

Country ham has been dry-cured in a mixture of salt, sodium nitrate, sugar, and other seasonings for a period of days (depending on the weight of the ham). The salt is then rinsed off and the ham is slowly smoked over hardwood fires before being aged 6 to 12 months. Most are sold uncooked, though fully cooked hams are now becoming more readily available. Country-cured ham is distinguished by its salty, well-seasoned, firm flesh. America's most famous country-cured hams come from Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia.

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w&z cook 
Jul. 15, 2009 10:48 am
How can I cook lean port chops, frying or slow cooker without them getting very hard. Am I cooking them to long or what????
Aug. 14, 2009 7:45 pm
I have a question. What is the lowest temp for cooking pork for pulled pork sandwiches if it is cooked overnite, without it going rancid? question was thrown at me.
Aug. 17, 2009 3:54 pm
Do pork chops have to be cooked thoroughly or can they show a little pink?
Sep. 3, 2009 4:44 pm
I have a question. Can I bake my pork shoulder blade steaks in its olive oil, lemon, honey and onion marinade?
Sep. 14, 2009 3:30 pm
how would I bake boneless pork chops using a dry rub.
Maureen B 
Nov. 17, 2009 10:23 am
How to I get Roast Pork so it has a good Crackling
ChefRob of Oakdale 
Dec. 1, 2009 2:20 pm
cracklin comes from the fat, you need a belly
Dec. 9, 2009 7:28 am
How do I cook pork without getting dry and tough to chew?
Dec. 12, 2009 6:17 am
For pulled pork sandwiches I rub the pork roast (the cheapest cut I can find) with my favorite BBQ rub. I then place it in my cast iron dutch oven on an overturned pie pan or rack to get it off the bottom of the dutch oven. This prevents the liquids from being totally drained from it, and the roast stays nicely moist. I then cook it for 8-10 hours at 220f in the oven. After it is roasted, the liquid is mostly drained away, then I fork shred it, add a vinegar and ketchup based BBQ sauce to it and simmer it for another half hour on the top of the stove. This makes the tenderest. moistest pulled pork. Add a bit of liquid smoke, if you like that flavor. Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce or plain. It freezes nicely as well.
Dec. 14, 2009 7:05 pm
Making sweet and sour pork in slow cooker, but the pork roast is frozen. Can I add frozen pork and give it longer time to cook or is that dangerous?
Dec. 23, 2009 9:02 am
Any favorite menu ideas to go with a boneless pork roast?
Dec. 25, 2009 9:29 am
So yesterday I made pork roast. Company was delayed until today. Is there a way to re-heat it w/out making it dry and/or lose flavor?
Dec. 28, 2009 8:44 am
I am cooking TWO - 5 1/2 lb boneless pork roasts together at 325 degrees. How long will I need to cook?
Dec. 30, 2009 9:13 am
I would like to cure my own ham, does anybody know how to do it? I would appreciate any answer. thank you Rita
Jan. 19, 2010 8:01 am
if my pork tenderloin is frozen how long would it take in the slow cooker and do any adjustments need to be made to the recipe?
Feb. 18, 2010 12:33 am
I have a "smoked pork shoulder picnic" ham which I would normally put in the crock pot but which is too big! I dought any of my stove top pans will fit it either... Wondering if I should slow bake in a roaster?? Or what?? I realize they take some time to cook.
Feb. 25, 2010 1:24 pm
What can be done to keep the breading from falling off the pork chops when frying?
Mar. 15, 2010 7:33 pm
try rolling them in a little cornstarch, then egg, then flour and then fry...
Jun. 5, 2010 3:37 pm
BBqing a bone-in pork butt on a gas grill. How long should I cook it? At what temperature should the grill be? What method should I use?
Jun. 17, 2010 12:35 pm
just a thought ,would'nt it be nice if a suggestion of what to serve with the " chops" etc. running out of ideas..
Aug. 1, 2010 5:00 am
What makes pork chops tender? Whether I fry, grill or bake they just get hard..I want them to taste like a good fried pork chop, only tender.
Aug. 5, 2010 4:37 pm
dear Rain: If you bread the chop, use cornstarch first. then dip in egg and flour to coat. fry in hot oil to start, then reduce heat and cook long and slow on low heat. Or slow cook at 250 degrees in oven with bbq sauce and 1/4 cup water cover pan with aluminum foil and wait about two hours. They will be ready to fall off the bone with a fork. Temp can be turned down if liquid is dissapearing too quick, or add more water. Mouth watering for those with dentures.
Aug. 19, 2010 8:27 pm
Rain, Try a simple brine--1 C. water, 2-4 T brown sugar, equal amount of kosher salt; you may choose to add pepper and/or other herbs (I usually use the first four). Your chops should be thick (3/4" or more; if less, you'll get really salty pork jerky) and don't brine them for more than 20-30 minutes. Blot dry with paper towel (or whatever you use)--this will help browning. I re-season with finely (freshly) ground black pepper. Fry, grill, bake, whatever, just until done--no longer. I always brine, and usually fry, mine, searing on both sides, then turning down, covering, and cooking on both sides for a couple or more minutes per side, removing the lid to evaporate any liquid in the pan and increase browning (deglaze onto that puppy). My chops are always juicy and tender, even when I use boneless loin. Be careful not to overcook them--they do not have to be dead, hard, white inside, just cooked until they are 140-160 deg. (pink/med to brown/well done; personally, I like mine righ
Aug. 19, 2010 8:36 pm
Sir Ralph, You could always go with a classic--Okie classic, that is--applesauce (or cooked apples or pears), fried potatoes with onions, beans (of your choice), greens (again, of your choice), cornbread. Sometimes my mom also made scrambled eggs with this, as well, I have no idea why. There is also a smothered chop--with onions, or a cream gravy--with mashed potatoes or steamed rice (of your choice), or a teriyaki/shoyu based marinade with steamed or stir-fried (we call it 'chowed') vegetables and rice. I do love my pork!
Aug. 19, 2010 8:37 pm
Peas would go nicely with smothered chops and mash.
Mr Barbeque 
Aug. 20, 2010 1:49 pm
How long can I refrig baby back ribs
Aug. 30, 2010 4:17 pm
I cooked country boneless pork ribs in my slow cooker. The marinade smelled delicious- but the meat turned out dry. How do I know how fast they are cooking to keep them from becoming dry? Or did something other than the length of time cause them to be dry?
Sep. 7, 2010 12:03 pm
What can I do with leftover pork chops?
Sep. 24, 2010 10:44 am
HI Peeps! This is my first time posting. Yeah! Bit confused 'bout how this all is gonna work out. I have some suggestions for Sir Ralph, but his posting was back in June. Oh well, just going to do my best and leave God to sort out the rest. I'm not sure what sides you are used to serving with your pork chops Sir Ralph. Here's some nice ones all the same: Avril'sColeSlaw: 3-1/2c.ShreddedCabbage,1c.DicedRedApple,1c.DicedCucumber,1/2c.Shredded Carrots,.1/4c.Raisins,2/3c.Mayonnaise,1Tbsp.LemonJuice,1/2Tbsp.WhiteVinegar,1/2Tbsp.Salt,1/8Tbsp.Sugar. Directions: Mix together first five ingredients. In small mixing bowl, whisk together remaining. Combine both and let flavors marry for at least 1/2 hour prior. This is one of the best cole slaw recipes. Hope you agree. One of the charming aspects of sharing your recipes with others is, just like this recipe, every time I pull it out to use, I am reminded of my long lost friend Avril. It lets me visit a good time and honors her in
Sep. 24, 2010 11:14 am
Hi Guys! It's me again. Promised a few recipes and only wrote one. Oops! Here's a super quick and tasty potato side. You can name them whatever you want. Uses: 1-1/2TbspOliveOil,2#sIdahoPotatoes,peeled&sliced1/8"thick,8clovesGarlic,crushed,4rosemarySprigs. Directions: Line baking sheet with nonstick foil. Pour oil over potato slices and mix to cover. Arrange in overlapping rows on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper; top with garlic and rosemary. Roast at 450degrees for 40 minutes or until brown-edged and cooked through. That's it! Pretty easy. Looks fancy, but with little trouble. Last one. Rhubarb & Dried Fruit Cobbler ~ Filling: 4oz.OrangeJuice,2TbspsLemonJuice,1TbspCornstarch,4c.rhubarb,washed,tops removed&cut into 1/2inch pieces,3oz.DriedBlueberries,3oz.TartCherries,3/4c.brown sugar,1/4c.sugar. Topping: 2-1/2c.all-purpose flour,1/4c.sugar,1-1/2tsp.baking powder,1/2tsp.salt,6Tbsps.butter,3/4c.buttermilk,3/4c.heavy cream. Filling: Preheat to 400degrees.
Nov. 2, 2010 7:51 am
What can I do so my pork chops will be more tender?
Captain Kirk 
Dec. 21, 2010 7:44 am
I'm cooking a smoked,water added country ham in a bag.How long an at what temp would be good?
Dec. 27, 2010 5:02 am
How do I eliminate the salty taste in my ham and bean soup?
Jan. 1, 2011 8:57 am
Cooking a Roast pork,rub with Rosemary,put in deep pot,cover with orange juice and cover .Cook about 2 hour then pour in SourKrout cover again and cook 1 hour more until it falling apart !Take the lid or aluminum foil off about 30 min before done.. Yummy !
Jan. 11, 2011 9:53 pm
I have yet to cook a tough or dry pork chop. When I turn the chop over in the pan I pour cider vinegar over it (be generous). It smells of vinegar but if you let it cook till the odor is gone the chop will be done and tender. I also use vinegar to tenderize other meats when frying. It has never failed me.
Jan. 11, 2011 9:57 pm
Oh, I forgot to say that you don't taste the vinegar either.
Jan. 23, 2011 1:58 pm
Can you eat your pork chops and not get sick if you cook them till lightly pink for tenderness?
Mar. 9, 2011 11:11 am
Mar. 28, 2011 9:20 pm
Regarles of whatever type of pork I've cooked --- whether it's pork chops, pork roast --- whatever ---- Pork is always "tough". HOW do you cook any type of pork so that it will be tender?? I don't get it. What? Low heat for a day --- a pressure-cooker ---- boil it? What? Does anyone know? Thanks!
Apr. 6, 2011 9:15 am
Ah, for pork chops my favorite sides are cole slaw and sweet potatoes. Easy-peasy-lemon squeezie 'cause my microwave cooks sweet potatoes to a T when I push the potato button.
Apr. 24, 2011 3:32 am
How do I get my pork skin really crackling in a short time??
Jun. 24, 2011 8:46 am
Can pork chops be used for pulled pork sandwiches when cooked in a slow cooker?
Jul. 8, 2011 1:12 pm
You left out a most important STATE, North Carolina. We also produce country hams and have been for centuries. There is nothing better than country ham biscuits and red eyed gravy.
Jul. 8, 2011 1:16 pm
Debbie you need pork shoulder for good and tender pulled pork sandwiches. email and I'll send you two recipes.
Aug. 29, 2011 4:00 am
I have put a 18lb turkey in the oven to cook overnite at 250o F. and it turned out perfect. Make sure the oven reaches temp. before adding meat. Pork can't be any more sensitive that poultry.
Oct. 7, 2011 2:54 pm
How long can I keep a pork roast frozen?
Dec. 2, 2011 11:41 pm
well...i hope i can find answers to this question...not sure where on the website i will find it; i am making navy bean soup in my crock pot. my pork is cut the same as stew meat. i have no idea what to season it with. i would like some different multiple ideas if anyone has any. thanks...
Dec. 10, 2011 10:45 am
how do I cook a fresh HAM?
canadian girl 
Dec. 17, 2011 7:14 pm
Any ideas on what to do with a cooked but frozen pork tenerloin?
Dec. 22, 2011 12:06 pm
Never have cooked a bone in pork sirloin roast. How would I cook it nothing fancy just something easy & simple. needing someone's help.
Feb. 19, 2012 8:07 am
MY husband brought home pork temple meat. What the heck is it and how do I cook it?
Feb. 22, 2012 3:28 pm
Are there any recipes for fish that can be made then frozen? There are just the two of us and I like to re-calculate all of the recipes to serve 4, we usualy eat it one night and I like to freeze the other two servings. It's always nice to have meals on hand for another night when I've had a very busy day and I just don't feel like cooking. It would be great if recipes and those who submit recipes were to add if they were freezer friendly. Some freeze really well and of course some don't. Both my DH and I are diabetics and are on low fat diets. I usualy try and cut some of the fat from most recipes while still keeping a bit in for taste, and I use vegetable broth or chicken broth to braise a lot of foods. My husband says his favourite flavour is cholesterol, Since he's been on this low fat diet, he complains that food just doesn't have the same flavor. Any suggestions from the expert cooks on this site?
Mar. 3, 2012 1:55 pm
Bought some pork tenderloin tips, and have not a clue what to do with them help?
Mar. 25, 2012 10:20 am
Needing to know how long to cook a Roasted Garlic Pork Tenderloin in the crockpot and if I need to add any liquid - how much?
Apr. 20, 2012 3:57 pm
Is it ok to use pork chops to make pulled Barb-b-que pork or is some other cut better than others? I'm planning on making pulled pork for dinner for the 1st time in my slow cooker for the first time. Any suggestions?
Jun. 13, 2012 1:10 pm
kgpeters, do em up in a stir fry. Excellent way to use up meat. Or if you've got leftover rice you could always do pork fried rice, its surprisingly easy (I've gotten to where I like the homemade stuff better).
Chef T`om 
Jul. 28, 2012 11:03 am
Should you brown the pork tenderloin, roast, etc. before placing in crock pot?
Aug. 29, 2012 10:49 am
@tom, i would an always do
Sep. 4, 2012 12:53 pm
I have an allergy to egg yolk. I can eat the egg whites. I most often use the whites instead of the yolk like for dipping into a batter or for frying. The problem I come into is for baking. Also, I live at 5,000 feet elevation. Any help will be sincerely appreciated.
Sep. 4, 2012 12:54 pm
Sorry, I forgot to mention, pies....I love lemon and banana cream pies.
Oct. 3, 2012 2:59 pm
Cookie The lowest temp would be 225*F
Oct. 3, 2012 3:09 pm
Az Mee Ma, I have about the same problem. I can eat eggs in stuff but cant eat eggs alone. Or I end up sicker than a dog. Boiled eggs are out, fried eggs are out. Mixed with the other ingredients like cakes etc, Im fine. But it depends on the person. I think my allergy has to do with the albumin in the eggs.
Mar. 29, 2013 5:55 am
I'm having Easter dinner at my house serving pork loin roast. My husband asked if I could cook a ham too. Is it ok to have two pork meats together?
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