So You Just Bought 20 Pounds of Pork Chops at Costco

No judgement. We've all been there.

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Giada De Laurentiis' Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops for Food Network

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

It happens. You got a little too excited wandering around the magical aisles of the wholesale mecca, Costco. It’s almost impossible to not get caught up in the deals. And by the time you get to the meat counter, it’s game over. Steaks and chicken thighs and organic ground turkey, oh my! You strut out with the confidence of someone who has got big plans to meal prep and save all of the money.

But now, staring at the massive container of pork chops you just scored (for a really great price!), you’re probably a little overwhelmed.

Can you even consume this many pork chops?

Of course you can! We have faith. But you probably won’t get to all of them in the next few days. If that’s the case you should probably keep out whatever you’re going to eat in the immediate future and store the rest of those bad boys in the freezer.

If you're freezing for more than a few days, remove the meat from the store packaging, then, grouped in single servings of the meat, wrap each serving twice with plastic wrap, waxed paper or foil. Finally, place those packets in a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. (Or, use a vacuum sealer, if you’re fancy like that.) Stored properly, your meat will keep in the freezer for 3 to 5 months. PSA: You *will* forget when you bought this meat. Label your bags with the purchase date so you know when they expire. Get more info on how to prep food for freezing here.

When it’s time to defrost, it’s best to plan ahead and place those pups in the refrigerator the night before you want to serve. In the very likely event that you completely forget to do that, here’s a tutorial on how to defrost meat when you’re in a time crunch.

Now that you know how you’re going to handle the bulk of the meat, onto some wonderful ways that we like to cook pork chops.

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops (pictured above)

Using grated Parmesan cheese as the first coating on the pork chops (before they get a dip in beaten eggs and breadcrumbs) adds a ton of flavor and helps create a super crunchy crust.

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PORK_CHOPS_MUSHROOM_022.tif

PORK CHOP MUSHROOM SAUCE FOOD NETWORKFood Stylist: Jamie KimmProp Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Antonis Achilleos

Antonis Achilleos

The secret to this 25-minute meal is thickening up the gravy with a bit of flour and sour cream for full-fledged comfort food that only tastes like it took hours to make.

Cut down on prep time by piercing the meat all over and then adding to the marinade (or in this case brine). You’ll get the flavor of hours of soaking in just a few minutes.

Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with herbs, spiced and flowers that was originally used as a medicine, but now is most often used as an ingredient in cocktails. Pork pairs well with the fruity, spiced flavors, but if you don’t have any vermouth, you can substitute with whatever white wine you have on hand.

Weeknight Cooking

Weeknight Cooking

Photo by: RYAN DAUSCH

RYAN DAUSCH

Don’t let the intensely funky smell of fish sauce scare you away! It adds depth of flavor to marinades (like the one for these pork chops), as well as dressings and sauces. Speaking of marinades, this one does double duty as both a marinade and, boiled down a bit, a super tasty sauce for serving.

Alton Brown brines pork chops overnight and then pops them into the slow cooker for a hands-off meal. Using bone-in pork chops adds extra flavor to the cooking liquids that you’ll want to serve over the top of almost everything.

Apples and pork chops go together like peas and carrots. This take on the classic flavors puts everything onto one sheet tray for minimal time spent making dinner and more time enjoying a glass of wine while everything roasts nicely in the oven.

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