Tabletop Grill Recipes for Pork

Tabletop Grill Recipes for Pork

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  1. Tabletop electric grills are great for cooking up small meals when weather, climate change, swarming bees or nightly vampire visitations make outdoor barbecuing impractical. Granted, it’s hard to cook enough food for a large family unless the family in question is composed of elves or gnomes, but for the single person or for couples smaller than sumo wrestlers, the convenience of a tabletop grill cannot be beat.

    The question that plagues most of us when evening rolls around is what to have for dinner. The second consideration is the size of the main course, for the surface area of most tabletop grills is rather limited. Any road kill larger than a possum will have to go into the oven, but fortunately, supermarkets offer a wide selection of meats that you won’t have to skin and gut that fit splendidly on the old electric grill.

    As one who regularly ignores the recommendations of his doctor, pork makes it onto my menu at least once a week. I wouldn’t try to cook a loin or picnic roast on a tabletop grill without a rotisserie attachment (and even with the rotisserie, your average picnic roast is apt to capsize a tabletop grill, and lint-covered meat is something most of us can do without), but several smaller cuts grill up very nicely. Furthermore, cooking any meat over any kind of grill—including an electric grill—cuts down on the amount of fat you eat, which is the only reason my doctor hasn’t suggested I find another physician yet.

    Pork Chops are a favorite of many Americans who aren’t card-carrying members of PETA. Grilling them without any seasoning can leave you with a somewhat bland meal if the chops aren’t extremely fresh and top-quality cuts, so I suggest you give your meat a coating. For the unimaginative, plain old lemon pepper works just fine, but if you want a nice tangy and somewhat sweet chop that smells as good cooking as it does going down, I recommend giving them a generous sprinkling with Penzey’s Bicentennial Seasoning. For those who like it spicy, try coating your chops with Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning combined with a generous amount of cayenne pepper; try marinating the chops in lemon juice mixed with equal amounts of water for an hour or so before grilling them to give them a zesty zing.

    Spare Ribs are the porcine, non-liquid version of ambrosia as far as I’m concerned. Like most people, I prefer baby back ribs, but who can afford them? You can buy regular old spare ribs for less than a third of the price, and though they may be fattier, they’re nearly as delicious when prepared properly. Start by cutting the rack in half (at least, depending on the size of the rack and the surface area of your grill; you may have to cut the rack into thirds) and marinating the ribs in two parts white vinegar (I use cane vinegar) to one part water with about a tablespoon of tomato sauce (right out of the can is fine) mixed in for at least two hours; it’s best to let the meat soak overnight. This imparts a nice tanginess to the meat while it also tenderizes it. When it’s time to grill the ribs, rub your favorite rib rub seasoning into the meat (I have an excellent recipe for this that I’m not about to share, as it took me years to perfect; make up your own, you lazy schlub) and slap it on the grill.

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