Kick off summer grilling season with South Dakota pork

Farm Forum

SIOUX FALLS – With Memorial Day behind us, we can look forward to the official kick off to warmer weather, summer picnics and grilling season.

“South Dakota pork is an ideal partner for the grill, thanks to its versatile flavor and easy preparation,” said Stacey Sorlien, Program and Communications Director for the South Dakota Pork Producers Council (SDPPC). “By mastering a few simple techniques and experimenting with new flavor-boosting recipes, rookies and home chefs alike will be well on their way to becoming VIPs on the grilling scene,” Sorlien said.

For a sizzling season that’s full of perfect pork on the grill, the South Dakota pork experts offer master grillers the following grilling tips:

· Marinate for flavor. Marinades typically consist of three key ingredients: an acid (such as vinegar or fruit juice), an oil (such as olive oil or Italian dressing) and herbs and spices. Shoppers can choose from store-bought selections or create their own at home, such as the one used in Calypso Pork Chops (recipe below). For even distribution, place chops and marinade in a re-sealable plastic bag or covered container and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 12 hours before grilling.

· Rub it in. Without any liquid, the punch packed into a rub stays with the meat. The flavors of a few crushed spices rubbed over the meat will unite in just 30 minutes and cook to a tasty crust on pork cuts.

· Watch your tail. When grilling with pork tenderloin, one end will be thinner than the other -almost like a tail. To keep the tail from overcooking, fold the end over and tie it with some household string. Many cooks also cut it off for use in soup or stews, or place the thin end over a “cooler” part of the grill.

· Cook to Medium. For juicy and tender grilled pork, cook to medium doneness over direct heat. Use a meat thermometer to judge doneness – 145 degrees F with a 3 minute rest time. For perfect, slightly pink-on-the-inside pork. For exact cooking times, please visit

In addition to pork’s flavor versatility, Sorlien said it is also a nutritious mealtime option. Pork contains many of the nutrients recommended by health organizations to build and maintain a healthy body, including six essential vitamins, four important minerals, protein and energy. Pork’s lean meat serves as an excellent source of thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus and niacin, and a good source of riboflavin, potassium and zinc.

Additionally, a study released in 2006 by the USDA reveals seven common cuts of fresh pork are leaner today than they were 15 years ago – on average about 16 percent lower in total fat and 27 percent lower in saturated fat. The leaner pork is the result of new technology in hog production and superior genetics.

The South Dakota Pork Producers Council (SDPPC) was created in 1954 to responsibly serve, support and enhance the success of the South Dakota pork production industry. Along with managing industry issues and improving the image of the pork industry, the South Dakota Pork Producers Council works to insure a safe, wholesome product for the consumer’s confident consumption.

South Dakota’s pork producers 170,000 sows and they have 339,000 farrowings per year. South Dakota is ranked #11 in pork production and ranks #2 in pigs per sow. South Dakota ranks 9th nationally in number of pigs born in the state. South Dakota’s pork industry contributes $2.1 billion overall economic impact of SD’s Swine Industry. Also, South Dakota pork industry contributes $17.4 million in total tax revenue.

For more information, or for delicious pork recipes, please visit or

Chipotle-Lime Marinated

Grilled Pork Chops

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Marinating Time: 4 hours

Servings: 4

For roasts, chops and tenderloins

Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest time


4 porterhouse (bone-in loin) pork chops, about 1-1/4 inch thick

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped OR 1 dried chipolte chile, rehydrated* and minced **

2 teaspoons oregano

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup lime juice

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking Directions

Place chops in a large self-sealing plastic bag; combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over chops. Seal bag and refrigerate for 4-24 hours.

Remove chops from marinade (discarding marinade) and grill over medium-hot coals for a total of 12-16 minutes, until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 145 F, followed by a 3-minute rest time.

* To rehydrate, cover chile with hot water for 10 minutes, let stand at room temperature. Drain and use as directed. Seed chile, if desired, to reduce piquancy a bit.

** Always wear rubber gloves when handling hot chiles.

Serving Suggestions

Bring the flavor of the Southwest to your grill with these chops. Serve with red beans and rice and Cheesy Calico Corn Custard.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 290 calories

Protein: 39 grams

Fat: 14 grams

Sodium: 370 milligrams

Cholesterol: 105 milligrams

Saturated Fat: 2 grams

Carbohydrates: 2 grams