There are many ways to cook pork chops, but steaming them leaves a moist and tender texture that is not easily achieved in the oven or on the grill. Steamed pork chops are healthier than fried pork chops, take only a few minutes and are easy to cut. The clean-up after cooking steamed pork chops also tends to be easier, since the water used for steaming keeps the meat drippings from drying up and sticking to the pan.
Marinate the pork for at least two hours prior to steaming in order to enhance the meat's flavor. Most grocery stores or butcher markets carry pork seasoning packets, but you can create your own marinade by soaking the meat in a small amount of vinegar, water and dry seasonings as well. Italian or Greek dressing also work well as a marinade. Keep in mind that the longer the pork sits saturating in marinade, the deeper the flavor will reach into the meat. Soaking the meat overnight is an ideal way to achieve maximum flavor.
Place the steaming rack on top of the sauce pan or fry pan with water in it. If you do not have an actual steaming rack, you can improvise by using a cookie cooling rack or small grilling tray that fits inside the pan. Just be sure that the lid of the pan fits securely over whatever type of rack you will be using for the meat.
Move the meat directly from the marinade to the steaming rack. Turn the heat on high in order to bring the water in the bottom of the pan to a boil. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to a medium heat where the water will continue to steam but not to the point that it will continue to boil, overflow or evaporate too rapidly.
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Close the lid over the pan so that the meat can obtain full moisture while cooking. Low and slow is an ideal policy, since pork needs to reach a temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit before it is safe to eat. Depending on the thickness of the cuts of meat you are using, this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes to achieve at a medium-high heat. Use a meat thermometer to avoid risky guesswork. Once the meat has reached the safe point of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, how long you continue to steam it is up to your personal preference.
Born and raised in western New York, Tonya Cunningham attended Niagara University until 1992 as a pre-law student. Today, Cunningham is a legal assistant and freelance writer looking forward to the completion of her first book.