The Dish Bobby Flay Makes Every 4th Of July

Grilling and the 4th of July go hand-in-hand, and Bobby Flay — the guy behind "Grill It! With Bobby Flay," "Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction," and "Boy Meets Grill" — knows a thing or two about what to throw down for a great summer bash. For Flay, pork chops are always on the menu. He told Wondercade, "I love making these pork chops all summer long, and always include an iteration of them in my 4th of July spread." Though Flay likes to make different versions, he is particularly fond of a riff that relies on Italian flavors. He seasons the pork simply so that the other bright, sweet, and fresh flavors can shine. You can hit the chops with just some salt and pepper before grilling or, better yet, season them up to four hours in advance. Be sure to salt proteins from a distance for even distribution of seasoning.

The accoutrements include a balsamic vinegar reduction — Flay's version has a touch of honey as well — and a tomato salad dressed simply with olive oil, honey, fresh garlic, and Calabrian chili flakes. The nicely charred chops get drizzled with the reduction, topped with the salad, garnished with baby arugula, basil, and parsley and finished with a bright squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve these family-style, just like Bobby Flay prefers. This dish is smoky, complex, vibrant, and just sweet enough, and a glass of dry rosé or an ice cold hefeweizen is the perfect beverage to drink with these pork chops for full, rich flavors.

The best kind of pork chops for grilling

For a tender, tasty, easy-to-work with cut, rib chops are your best bet. They have more fat than loin chops, which helps them stay moist. Loin chops — also called center-cut, porterhouse, or top loin — are still a great choice, they are just a bit more challenging to cook evenly for a novice griller because the cut contains both a piece of the tenderloin and the loin, which require different amounts of time to cook. Avoid shoulder chops: Despite the higher ratio of fat, the meat is still on the tougher side and has too much connective tissue for this purpose. Shoulder chops benefit from a low-and-slow cook, not a quick sear on the grill.

Bone-in varieties provide extra assurance that the meat will not dry out, but boneless chops will work just as well. Because these cuts of pork are quite lean, it is better to get some that are at least a one-inch thick. Too thin, and the meat will overcook before it has a chance to brown nicely.

For his part, Bobby Flay uses 12-ounce center-cut bone-in chops that are about 1½ inches thick. With a properly preheated grill on high heat, they will take approximately 12 minutes to cook. To account for any variability due to the grill, cut of meat, or cook, it is best to use an instant-read thermometer. They are done when they reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit.