Strange issue, porkchops came out tough not tender.

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So normally i cook 2-3 inch porkchops (the thickest ones, come 2 in a pack) on a pan and baste it.

Today I tried something different. When letting my porkchop rest outside the fridge before cooking, i only seasoned with pepper. Then right before i cooked them i put salt on. Normally I put salt and pepper then push it into the meat n let it set for a few minutes. I over did the salt one time and noticed it makes the porkchop less juicy. So now I tried it without letting the salt sit on the porkchop to dry it out, but it ended up really tough and not tender like it usually is.

So I'm wondering if this is the salt? Does salt make meat tender? Is that why it didn't come out tender like it usually is?


Edit: One porkchop came out less/more tender than the other one. So now I'm wondering if perhaps one porkchop was overcooked, or if the meat it's self was just naturally tough
 
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kuan

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I think salt keeps the moisture in. Sorta like brining, just dry brining?
 
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I think salt keeps the moisture in. Sorta like brining, just dry brining?

So does salt keep moisture in or does it soak it out? Is there a optimal time table I should let porkchops rest in a lot of salt. I use big grained salt, not sure if that has anything to do with it.
 
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It's a complicated issue. The gist of it is that a small amount of salt will have a hydrating effect, as chemically it will help cells hold onto moisture. More salt (and even sugar) has a drying effect and draws moisture out.

I'm firmly in the camp that large cuts of meat should be well seasoned ahead of time. So if you are cooking a roast chicken, a standing rib roast, etc then they should be seasoned ahead of time.

Honestly I don't think it makes too much difference with smaller steaks and chops. Your toughness issue likely had nothing to do with the salt. Probably had more to do with the chops themselves.
 
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145 deg is the magic temperature. Much over that and you get shoe leather.
 
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I just did an article about salting meat for my local newspaper. I researched about salting meats before cooking. Either you salt the meat just before cooking, or you salt the meat and allow it to rest for up to a few hours before cooking. Anything in between results in dried out meat. The salt at first allows the moisture to escape from the meat, but after an hour or so the meat re-absorbs the liquid and the salt breaks down the fibers in the meat, causing it to be more tender when cooked.
 

kuan

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chefross chefross provides the best explanation. I think. Until some other better one comes along I'm going with this.
 
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I just did an article about salting meat for my local newspaper. I researched about salting meats before cooking. Either you salt the meat just before cooking, or you salt the meat and allow it to rest for up to a few hours before cooking. Anything in between results in dried out meat. The salt at first allows the moisture to escape from the meat, but after an hour or so the meat re-absorbs the liquid and the salt breaks down the fibers in the meat, causing it to be more tender when cooked.

Okay I'm going to try this with porkchops hopefully it doesn't mess up.


Normally I'm letting the salt rest on my meat for about 5-10 minutes, about same amount of time I let it rest after cooking. I'm going to try salting the entire porkchop and letting it sit for an hour to see if it really does make it tender without losing juice inside.
 
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I suppose that depends fully on your marinade.
I would use fish sauce or soy in my marinades and because of its salt content it has a fairly similar effect to brining
 
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I second what Chefroos said. Either salt the meat right before cooking, or as I try to do with steaks and chops salt about an hour before cooking. Leave them uncovered on the counter and you can see how the surface changes.

mjb.
 
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