The Best Way To Prevent Pork Chops From Curling

Did you know there's a word for what happens when the edges of a steak or pork chop start to curl up when cooking? It's known as buckling, and it's not a pretty sight since it means your meat isn't cooking evenly.

According to Cook's Country, the culprit is always the same — the band of fat around the outside of the meat. Essentially what happens is that when the fat gets hot it begins to render and loses moisture at a more rapid rate than the adjoining meat. Hence, the curl or buckle. The outlet explains that this issue is more common with thinner-cut pork chops, which don't have enough heft to keep themselves as flat as thicker ones.

Fortunately for grillmasters, pan-sear artists, and those who simply love a perfectly cooked cut of meat, there is an easy fix — call it a buckling antidote, if you like — which will keep your steaks and pork chops curl-free forevermore.

An easy fix to curling chops

If you're a steak fan (or at least, if you often cook for one), you may already be familiar with this meat curling fix. Before you do anything else, you'll want to take one simple step to ensure your pork chops stay flat while they cook.

The trick is to cut slits in the fat around your raw pork chop at intervals with a sharp knife, per Food & Wine. The outlet recommends making the incisions at half-inch intervals, cutting into the fat right to the edge of the meat. Cook's Country doesn't think quite so many slits are needed to prevent the phenomenon, suggesting home cooks place one every two inches, so you'll have to experiment and decide what works best for you.