It’s no coincidence almost everyone I know loves grilled food. The smoky aroma, golden-brown pieces and ease of cleaning make grilling an incentive to gather friends at the table in the summer.

Put on the grill steaks, seafood, vegetables, pizza and even watermelon and coleslaw. Sometimes barbecue sauce is added. Sometimes strong smoke from an apple or maple tree penetrates through a whole breast of turkey or beef. We all love it.

A grill meeting in Michigan made us discuss what piece of pork to cook this evening. Fans of ribs tend to be the most vocal cheerleaders, and those who follow a diet love lean pork tenderloin. I myself love moist pork chop on the grill for its versatility, relatively quick cooking and moderate price tag.

When grilled for company, I prefer the visual appeal of pork chop with bone. My favorite is the pork chop in the center. This chop features the beauty of a T-bone steak with a bone that separates the white meat of the loin, and darker nuggets from the tenderloin on the other side.

Similarly, pork chops, sliced ​​with ribs, with a curved bone running along one side, and attached to it lean loin meat, offer excellent taste and visual appeal. They tend to have less meat on the chop than their center-cousins, but they are often easier to find. I ask the butcher to cut them to a thickness of 1 inch to 1 ¼ inch; it is ideal for portion sizes and ease of frying. When you buy packaged chops in a meat case, take the time to find the thickest chops.

Boneless pork chops are just boneless pork chops. They are very lean and more difficult to prepare than bone chops – especially if they are thin. I always prefer to cook meat on the bone for extra insurance against dryness, but if you prefer boneless, be sure to choose chops at least ¾ inches thick. Avoid overcooking them by setting a timer and reducing the temperature of the grill (or broilers).

When grilling pork for a regular family meal, I often turn to country-style pork ribs. Cut from pork loin fillets or ribs, these “ribs” aren’t as appealing as a bone chop, but are quite tasty. Their moisture from the generous thick marble makes them almost unsafe for frying. Coated with barbecue sauce or seasoned with salsa, this piece of pork becomes a wonderful and affordable dish.

Pork ribs win hearts because they are delicious, moist and tender. You’ll need more time on the grill than on pork chops or country-style ribs. I give about 1¼ hours of the rib grill set on the cold side of the medium temperature grill for slow, indirect cooking. Never add barbecue sauce until the meat is golden and tender or burnt.

In summer food I stay away from pork chops, also known as chops or steaks. This piece of pork needs moist heat for good cooking and is best suited for a slow cooker or Dutch oven.

The summer pork menu includes a topping of salted lemons, garlic, olive oil and fresh thyme.

Lighter and less salty than canned lemons in the Moroccan style, a jar of this delicacy stays on hand in the fridge to quickly push up to just about anything grilled, as well as steamed vegetables, cooked grains and hearty salads. Accompany the chops with pasta and butter and chopped ripe tomatoes.

PORK grilled chops with broccoli and lemon-garlic flavor

Preparation: 15 minutes

Marinate: 30 minutes or more

Cook: 15 minutes

Creates: 6 servings

When cooking boneless pork chops, make sure they are about 1 inch thick, and reduce the cooking time by 3-4 minutes. If cooking pork ribs in a country style, increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes and move to a cooler part of the grill if they turn brown too quickly.

6 pork chops with ribs or in the middle, each about 1 inch thick and weighing 12 ounces (total 4 pounds)

1 cup wood chips from apple, cherry or pecan for frying

Salt, freshly ground black pepper

4 to 6 cups of small broccoli inflorescences or 2 bunches of broccoli, ends trimmed

Salty lemon-garlic flavor, see recipe

Sprigs of fresh herbs for decoration

Dry the chops and place in a baking dish. Season generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Soak the chips in cool water to cover for 20 minutes or more.

Prepare a charcoal grill and let the coals burn until they are over medium heat and covered with gray ash (the oven thermometer will register 375 degrees to 400 degrees). Or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Drain the wood chips and sprinkle with hot coals. Or put the chips on double the thickness of the foil mounted on the grate over the gas burner. Cover to preheat the grill grate.

With pliers, spread the pork chops in one layer on a preheated grill rack. Cover the grill and cook, without turning, for 8 minutes. Gently loosen the chops and invert. Move the pieces as needed to adjust the hot spots, and so the pork is cooked evenly without too much browning. Cover the grill and continue cooking until the meat is almost firm when pressed, about 4-6 more minutes. (The instantaneous reading thermometer will record 145 degrees.)

While the pork is cooking, heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook, uncovered, stirring once or twice, until bright green and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Strain well. Set aside uncovered.

Remove the chops from the grill onto a large plate. Scatter all over the broccoli. Put salted lemon-garlic seasoning on everything. Decorate with sprigs of greenery. Serve.

Nutrition information per serving: 433 calories, 26 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 133 mg cholesterol, 4 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 44 g protein, 523 mg sodium, 2 g fiber


Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooling: a few hours or more

Manufacture: about 1 cup

This pretty tasty dish goes well with fried pork, chicken and salmon. Try slicing it and mixing it with pearl couscous or as a condiment for an Italian sandwich with grilled sausage. Or finely chop the sweetness and mix it with mayonnaise for lemon sauce grilled fish tartare or chilled seafood salad.

2 small lemons, peeled, trimmed ends

4 to 6 small cloves of garlic, peeled, chopped or finely chopped

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried

1 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt

½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or ¼ teaspoon dry

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, optional

¼ teaspoon: freshly ground black pepper, chopped red pepper flakes

¼ glasses of olive oil

Cut the lemons as thin as possible and remove the seeds. Put slices of lemon, garlic, thyme, salt and rosemary in a small bowl. With a wooden spoon or clean hands, press the seasoning into the lemon slices and let the juice.

Stir in Dijon, pepper and olive oil if desired. Pack the mixture, including all the juices, in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Cool the mixture for a few hours or up to 1 week. Use at room temperature.

Option: Add 1 cup chopped pitted olives (such as Kolomata or Castelvetrano) or roasted red and yellow peppers to the seasoning before serving.

Nutrition information per serving: 89 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 0 g protein, 381 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

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