Kick off Grilling Season with South Dakota Pork

Posted: 5/17/2012

May 17, 2012

For more information:
Stacey Sorlien, Program & Communications Director
Phone: 605.332.1600    
Mobile: 605.201.4631

SIOUX FALLS – Memorial Day is right around the corner, and that signals the official kick off to warmer weather, summer picnics and grilling season.

“South Dakota pork is a natural 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

 Grilled Pork Chops with Basil-Garlic Rub    


Prep Time: 30 minutes prep, Cook Time: 10 minutes cook


4 pork bone-in rib chops, 3/4-inch thick

Basil-Garlic Rub:

2 cloves garlic , peeled
1 cup fresh basil, packed
2 tablespoons lemon juice , fresh
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Directions:

With machine running, drop garlic through feed tube of food processor to mince. Stop, add fresh basil, and process until chopped. Add lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper and process to make thin wet rub. Spread both sides of pork chops with basil mixture. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in grill. Brush the grate clean and oil the grate. Grill chops, over direct heat, turning once, to medium rare doneness, 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a 3-minute rest time.

Makes 4 servings

Serving Suggestions:

Top the chop with shavings of Parmesan cheese (shave from a wedge of cheese with a vegetable peeler) and toasted pine nuts, if desired. Serve with slices of ripe tomatoes and mozzarella on a bed of arugula drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil or with the Pantry Basil-Garlic Rub.


Calories: 210 calories
Protein: 27 grams
Fat: 14 grams
Sodium: 620 milligrams
Cholesterol: 60 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Fiber: 0 grams

Random Safety Tip:

Do not use the same surface for cutting uncooked meat and vegetables. Use different cutting board for uncooked meat.

For more great summertime grilling recipes visit

500 N. Western Ave, Suite 500; Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Fax: 605-332-1600





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