How to Cook Pork Chops (2022)

Choose Your Chops

For most pork chop preparations, look for bone-in pork chops about 1.5-inches thick. Why go with bone-in? Well, the bone actually slows the cooking time. We're not talking long, just a few minutes. But even a few minutes can spell the difference between moist, tender pork chops with tasty sear marks and dry, tight-textured chops.

Of course, thinner, boneless pork chops are still a great option, just keep an eye on them; they'll cook fast. In fact, for stuffed pork chops and quick-cooking breaded pork chops, you might prefer boneless. Look for thicker (1.5 to 2 inches) boneless chops for stuffed chops and thinner boneless loin chops (about 1/2 inch thick) for breaded recipes.

Some Top Pork Chop Cuts

Cuts of Pork Chops on Butcher Paper

How to Cook Pork Chops (1)

Credit: Meredith

Loin Chops or Porterhouse Chops: Center-cut loin chops with a T-shaped bone; the loin is on one side of the bone, the tenderloin on the other. Great for grilling, baking, or broiling.

New York or Center-Cut Pork Chops: Boneless, top loin chops. Try frying, stuffing, or baking your New York chops.

Sirloin Chop: A less expensive cut from the back end of the loin. By comparison, a tougher cut; it's a great choice for slow braising.

Rib Chops: Tender, center-cut chops with a curved bone on one side. Great for quick-cooking methods like pan frying, grilling, broiling.

How to Fry Pork Chops

Here's how to cook pork chops on the stove. Before frying pork chops, first salt and pepper them on both sides. You can be very generous with the seasonings.

Meanwhile, heat a little vegetable oil, maybe two tablespoons, or a little butter (or both!) in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. The fat should be sizzling hot when you add the chops to the pan. Avoid crowding. Giving the chops some room means they'll brown before they overcook.

When one side is beautifully golden brown (about three or four minutes), turn, and then knock the flames down to medium so the middle can completely cook before the outside is overdone. As with grilled chops, when the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F, transfer the pork chops from the pan to a plate; they'll continue to cook — just make sure they reach 145 degrees F.

garlic honey pork chops

How to Cook Pork Chops (2)

Garlic-Honey Pork Chops

| Credit: Matthew Francis

(Video) Pan Fried Pork Chops - Ultimate Cookery season 1 episode 1 | Almost Anything

And don't forget, when you brown meats, you've entered into bonus territory — you'll have some caramelized browned bits (the famous fond) stuck to the bottom of the skillet. That's flavorful gravy in waiting!

Fried Pork Chop Recipes:

  • Garlic-Honey Pork Chops
  • Pork Chops with Apple Cider Glaze
  • Fried Pork Chop
  • Cajun Spiced Pork Chops
  • Chef John's Smothered Pork Chops
  • More Pan-Fried Pork Chop Recipes

How to Make "Blackened" Pork Chops

Here's a tasty way to fry chops. But caution is in order; one false move, and it's like tossing a burning tire into your kitchen.

To begin, season your pork chops with salt and pepper and Cajun spices. Then, in a hot skillet over high heat with a little vegetable oil, sear the chops. Chef John has a great method for "sorta blackened" chops. He starts with high heat, but as soon as he adds the chops to the super-hot skillet, he turns the heat down to medium...and sears them until almost done — about five or six minutes per side. That's trick #1.

The key is to get a serious sear without burning away all the flavor. Trick #2 is that after five or six minutes per side, he takes the chops from the skillet and wraps them up in aluminum foil. They'll complete cooking in the foil and produce a lovely natural sauce. Be sure to check the doneness with a meat thermometer — 145 degrees F.

Watch this video and try the recipe for Sorta Blackened Chili Rubbed Pork Chops.

How to Brine Pork Chops

For juicy, flavorful pork chops, try brining the chops before grilling or broiling — two high-heat cooking methods that can quickly dry out lean pork chops.

Brines are essentially salty, sugary water solutions; they'll keep the meat moist, while adding flavor. To make a basic brine, you'll need salt and a few flavor-making ingredients. Chef John combines kosher salt with cloves, molasses (the sugar element), and enough hot water to dissolve the salt and molasses. Then he adds enough cool water to make 2 quarts.

Refrigerate your chops in the brine from anywhere between 30 minutes to 12 hours — you can get away with less time in a pinch. Be sure to dry off the chops thoroughly before taking them to the grill or oven. Other seasonings to try: peppercorns, fresh herbs, garlic, cut lemons.

VIDEO: Molasses-Brined Pork Chops

In this video, Chef John explains why brining isn't just a gimmick but a critical step, necessary for getting moist grilled pork chops.

(Video) Perfect Pork Chops | Jamie Oliver

Get the recipe for Molasses-Brined Pork Chops.

A Few More Brined Pork Chop Recipes:

  • Beer Brined Pork Chops
  • Maple-Brined Pork Loin
  • Pork Brine

How to "Dry-Brine" Pork Chops

OK, yes, something that's dry can't simultaneously be a brine. But let's not get tripped up by "words" and their "meanings." Not when the result is something this delicious. Dry brine is essentially a salty dry rub preparation that requires about 24 hours in the fridge.

Oxymoronic or not, the technique produces brine-like results: super-tender, juicy, grilled chops. And now, let's get on with how to make pork chops, starting with the grill. Try this recipe for Chef John's Dry-Brined Pork Chops.

Dry-Brined Pork Chops_Photo by Chef John

How to Cook Pork Chops (3)

Dry-Brined Pork Chops

| Credit: Chef John

How to Grill Pork Chops

Start with high-heat, direct cooking just to sear the meat and create those gorgeous grill marks. Then switch to indirect grilling, pushing the coals to the side. There will still be plenty of heat to cook the pork, but you won't run the risk of having marinade or fat drip onto the coals, creating an inferno that turns your chops into torches.

Choose thick, bone-in chops, and finish with indirect medium heat, and your chops will take about 25 minutes to grill. Grill them until an instant-read thermometer hits 140 degrees F; they'll keep cooking as they rest on a plate for five minutes or longer. They're done when the internal temperature is 145 degrees F.

Grilled Pork Chop Recipes:

  • Best Grilled Pork Chops
  • Grilled Brown Sugar Pork Chops
  • Tropical Grilled Pork Chops
  • Smoky Grilled Pork Chops
  • More Grilled Pork Chop Recipes

VIDEO: How to Cook Pork Chops on the Grill

(Video) How To Make Juicy Pork Chops | Chef Jean-Pierre

If you don't have time for brining or dry brining, consider a quick marinade. Here's a terrific marinade for thick pork chops: a tasty combo of sweet, spicy, and sour ingredients, including three vinegars, hot sauce, and sugar. Get the recipe for Grilled Mongolian Pork Chops.

Braising Pork Chops

Braising takes pan-fried pork chops one delicious step further. Braising is also a forgiving cooking method. Because the chops finish by simmering in liquids, they won't dry out as easily. Just give them a quick high-heat sear in the skillet first.

Pork Marsala

How to Cook Pork Chops (4)

Pork Marsala

| Credit: KGora

Some Favorite Braised Pork Chop Recipes

  • Pork Marsala
  • Smothered Pork Chops
  • Modenese Pork Chops
  • Mushroom Pork Chops
  • More Braised Pork Chop Recipes

How to Bake Pork Chops

Cooking pork chops in the oven often starts on the stovetop. Because one of the best ways to bake pork chops is to start in an oven-safe skillet on the stove and then transfer them into a hot oven. High-heat frying sears them to a golden brown; and a moderately hot oven (400 degrees F) bakes the pork chops gently enough to keep them from drying out.

This "sear-roasting" method is a great way to cook pork chops in the oven: Fry one side to golden brown, then flip, and place the chops directly in the oven. The second side will brown beautifully as the heat from the oven cooks the middle to a tender finish.

Italian Breaded Pork Chops

How to Cook Pork Chops (5)

Italian Breaded Pork Chops

| Credit: Tricia Winterle Jaeger

(Video) How to Cook Boneless Pork Chops - NoRecipeRequired.com

Baked and Sear-Roasted Pork Chop Recipes

  • Italian Breaded Pork Chops
  • Gravy Baked Pork Chops
  • Marinated Baked Pork Chops
  • Tom's Down to the Bone Pork Chops!
  • More Baked Pork Chop Recipes

How to Make Stuffed Pork Chops

Wondering how to cook boneless pork chops? Stuff 'em! Of course, stuffing is also a great method for thick bone-in chops. Lay a thick chop flat on a cutting board, and with a sharp knife held parallel to the board, cut a pocket into the pork, going all the way to the bone (if there is one), but leaving the sides intact. Then stuff the pocket with yumminess.

Slice and Stuff Pork Chop

How to Cook Pork Chops (6)

Photo by Meredith

Stuffed Pork Chop Recipes

  • Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops
  • Pork Chops Stuffed with Smoked Gouda and Bacon
  • More Stuffed Pork Chop Recipes

Quick and Easy Pork Chops

Chops are tops in versatility. And once you know how to cook them to a tender, juicy finish, you won't even need a recipe. A perfectly cooked pork chop pairs wonderfully with condiments like pickled fruits, chutneys, mustards, kimchi, or sauerkraut. Or fry up some sliced apples, peaches, or pears — the caramelized sweet fruit is a delicious companion for pork chops. So keep a few chops on hand for quick weeknight dinners.

More: 15 Best Side Dishes for Pork Chops

Great Condiment Companions for Chops

  • Cherry Chutney
  • Spiced Apple Chutney
  • Nana's Southern Pickled Peaches
  • Catherine's Pickled Blueberries
  • Chef John's Dijon Mustard

Or start with a simple dry rub. Here are a few recipes that tell you how to season pork chops for an exciting flavor boost that takes almost no time.

Some Favorite Dry Rub Recipes

  • Herbed Pork Chops with Homemade Rub
  • Everything Pork Dry Rub
  • Pork Chop Rub
(Video) Pork chops so delicious I cook them almost every day

Find even more top-rated Pork Chop Recipes.

FAQs

What cooking method is best for pork chops? ›

High-heat frying sears them to a golden brown; and a moderately hot oven (400 degrees F) bakes the pork chops gently enough to keep them from drying out. This "sear-roasting" method is a great way to cook pork chops in the oven: Fry one side to golden brown, then flip, and place the chops directly in the oven.

How long should a pork chop be cooked? ›

Bake pork chops that are about 1¼-inch thick at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 to 17 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're concerned about the bake time varying because the chops are boneless or bone-in, stop worrying.

How do you cook pork chops so they aren't tough and dry? ›

How To Cook Pork Chops Without Drying Them Out
  1. Buy bone-in pork chops. ...
  2. Add a flavor boost with a simple marinade. ...
  3. Bring the meat to room temperature before cooking. ...
  4. Start them on the stove; finish them in the oven. ...
  5. Add a splash of chicken stock to prevent the meat from drying out in the oven.
8 Mar 2019

How do you keep pork chops from drying out in the oven? ›

The best way to keep your pork chops from drying out is to bake them at high temperature for a shorter amount of time. I bake my pork chops at 425° F. At this temperature, 1-inch thick boneless pork chops take between 15-20 minutes to cook.

Can you cook chops in the oven? ›

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, so the oven is hot before you slide in the chops. Let the baked chops rest. Pork is done when an internal thermometer reads 145 degrees F. The moment they are cooked, transfer them to a clean plate and loosely cover with foil.

How do I know if my pork chops are done? ›

The safe internal pork cooking temperature for fresh cuts is 145° F. To check doneness properly, use a digital cooking thermometer. Fresh cut muscle meats such as pork chops, pork roasts, pork loin, and tenderloin should measure 145° F, ensuring the maximum amount of flavor.

What spices are good for pork? ›

Some of my favorite herbs, spices, and seasonings to use as a pork chop seasoning are cumin, garlic, paprika, and chili powder. Some others that go well with pork are sage, rosemary, cayenne, thyme, and coriander. Brown sugar and clove are a great way to add in some sweetness.

How long do pork chops take on the stove? ›

It will take 5 to 6 minutes per side to completely cook them. If the temperature is below 145 degrees F., you have two choices: finish them in a hot oven until the internal temp reaches 145 or lower the heat under the skillet and continue to cook them in the pan.

How do you make pork soft and tender? ›

How to Soften Pork : Cooking With Pork - YouTube

Do you flip pork chops in oven? ›

There's no need to flip the pork chops in the oven as they cook nice and evenly. Can you eat pork chops a little pink? Pork chops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, which produces nice juicy chops that are a little pink inside.

Why are my pork chops always tough? ›

Because pork chops are such a lean cut, they are relatively quick-cooking and prone to overcooking. When they're cooked for even a few minutes too long, whether it's in the oven or on the stovetop or grill, they're quick to dry out, and — you guessed it — become tough, chewy, and less than appealing.

What herbs go with pork? ›

Some herbs that go with pork include:
  • Parsley. Parsley has a mild grassy smell and taste attached to it. ...
  • Coriander. Coriander is primarily used to add flavor to your meal. ...
  • Caraway seeds. Caraway is notorious for its medicinal properties. ...
  • Thyme. The aroma of thyme is warm, spicy, and agreeable. ...
  • Sage. ...
  • Dill. ...
  • Savory. ...
  • Garlic.
7 Jun 2021

When should you Season pork chops? ›

Tip #2:Season the chops with salt half an hour before cooking. This way, the salt has a chance to improve the flavor and texture of the meat. Pork chops are pretty lean, so seasoning with salt before cooking is essential for making the most flavorful chops.

Why do you soak pork chops in milk? ›

Milk is more effective in tenderizing meat than other marinades. The milk enzymes break the proteins, softening the fibers and making the meat more tender. And the milk-tenderized pork chops will remain juicier, the risk of them drying out during cooking reduces.

Do you have to brown pork chops before baking? ›

Pan-searing the chops before baking creates texture and flavor for a perfectly cooked, tender, juicy pork chop every time. And the flavor of the fresh lemon, garlic, oregano, and thyme are the perfect complements to the pork, which is somewhat bland on its own.

Do you cover pork when baking? ›

TIPS FOR A PERFECT PORK ROAST

For a crisp surface on your roast, be sure the oven is fully preheated before putting the roast in and don't cover the meat while roasting. Searing (quickly browning at high heat) the outside of a pork roast before continuing with cooking is a great way to seal in flavor.

How long does it take pork chops to cook in the oven at 350? ›

They required about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Bone-In pork chops require about 10% MORE cooking time, so make sure you factor that into your planning if you bought pork chops with bones. Thinner pork chops will take approximately 25-35 minutes, while VERY thin *under 1/4 inch* will be even less.

What temperature do you cook pork at in the oven? ›

Pork Roast in the Oven:

Pre-heat oven to 325F (163C). Bake pork roast in the oven UNCOVERED for approximately 25-30 MINUTES *PER POUND*.

How long should pork chops bake at 400? ›

For boneless center-cut pork chops, preheat oven to 400°F and bake for 25 minutes. For bone-in pork chops that are about 1-inch thick, preheat the oven to 475°F. Roast, turning the pork chops once, until the chops are just cooked through, about 25 minutes.

How long do you cook boneless pork chops in the oven for? ›

Bake at 400 F for 7 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness of the pork chops. Pork's internal temperature needs to be 145 F in order for the meat to be safe to eat.

Is it OK if pork chops are a little pink? ›

A Little Pink Is OK: USDA Revises Cooking Temperature For Pork : The Two-Way The U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered the recommended cooking temperature of pork to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. That, it says, may leave some pork looking pink, but the meat is still safe to eat.

Should you rinse pork chops before cooking? ›

Washing Meat and Poultry

However, washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb or veal before cooking it is not recommended. Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils and surfaces. We call this cross-contamination.

How can you tell if pork chops are done without a thermometer? ›

Method 1 (Without Meat Thermometer): Press your tongs into the center of the meat to check, if it is firm but not hard, it is done. If it is still soft, it needs more time and if the pork chop is hard that means it is overcooked.

What tastes good with pork chops? ›

  • 16 Best Side Dishes For Pork Chops. ...
  • Parmesan Roasted Mashed Potatoes. ...
  • Baked Cinnamon Apples. ...
  • Easy Stuffing. ...
  • Garlic Butter Mushrooms. ...
  • Jalapeno Cornbread. ...
  • Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts. ...
  • Cheese Rolls.

What is the most common seasoning? ›

The infographic above shows that, surprisingly, cumin is the most popular spice in the world, and coriander (or cilantro) is the most commonly used herb.

How long should you cook pork for? ›

How to cook a pork roast
Cut of porkCooking time
Leg of pork with rind (over 3kg)15 minutes per 500g
Rolled loin of pork with rind45 minutes per 1kg
Pork rack with rind45 minutes per 1kg
Pork scotch fillet without rind40 minutes per 1kg
2 more rows

How do I cook pork on the stove? ›

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot and just beginning to smoke. Add the pork chops and cook for 1 minute on each side — they should begin to brown and release some fat into the pan. Continuing flipping and cooking for 8 to 10 minutes.

What heat do you cook pork chops on the stove? ›

With this recipe for perfect pan seared pork chops, here are the approximate cook times over medium high heat: 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork chops: 2-3 minutes per side. 1-inch-thick boneless pork chops: 4-5 minutes per side. 1/2-inch-thick bone-in pork chops: 2-4 minutes per side.

How do I cook boneless pork chops on the stove? ›

Heat over medium-high heat until it's hot enough to sear meat, about 375F. Sear the pork chops on one side for about 3-4 minutes, until the side is deep golden brown. Flip and continue frying for another 3-4 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145F.

Should pork chops be cooked fast or slow? ›

For chops, we like to get our pan screaming hot...then take it down to medium. That first blast of heat helps get a good golden crust. But, if you keep it that high, the chop won't cook evenly through the middle. Medium heat helps keep the outer edges of the meat tender while the center reaches the perfect temperature.

How can I cook pork? ›

How to Cook the Perfect Pork Chop | Cooking Light - YouTube

How long do you leave pork chops in the oven? ›

Baking pork chops in the oven at 350 F, uncovered, will take 20 to 30 minutes, and it will take 18 to 25 minutes if you bake pork chops covered with aluminum foil. Bake the pork chops until the internal temperature are 145 F internally.

What are the most tender pork chops? ›

Rib Chop

There is a bone running along one side and sometimes a layer of fat on the outside. Rib chops from the blade end have more fat and connective tissue than chops from the shoulder end. What it tastes like: The chops are very tender, have a little more fat than loin chops, and have a mild flavor.

Why are my pork chops always tough? ›

Because pork chops are such a lean cut, they are relatively quick-cooking and prone to overcooking. When they're cooked for even a few minutes too long, whether it's in the oven or on the stovetop or grill, they're quick to dry out, and — you guessed it — become tough, chewy, and less than appealing.

Do you have to brown pork chops before baking? ›

Pan-searing the chops before baking creates texture and flavor for a perfectly cooked, tender, juicy pork chop every time. And the flavor of the fresh lemon, garlic, oregano, and thyme are the perfect complements to the pork, which is somewhat bland on its own.

How do I know when my pork chops are done? ›

The safe internal pork cooking temperature for fresh cuts is 145° F. To check doneness properly, use a digital cooking thermometer. Fresh cut muscle meats such as pork chops, pork roasts, pork loin, and tenderloin should measure 145° F, ensuring the maximum amount of flavor.

How long do you cook pork chops in a pan? ›

Four minutes per side is all it takes cook these thick, boneless pork chops in a skillet.

Can pork chops be a little pink? ›

A Little Pink Is OK: USDA Revises Cooking Temperature For Pork : The Two-Way The U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered the recommended cooking temperature of pork to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. That, it says, may leave some pork looking pink, but the meat is still safe to eat.

How do you make pork taste better? ›

Use garlic powder, minced garlic, or roasted garlic to give pork dishes more flavor. Garlic works well with Italian seasoning; or with any combination of basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

Do you cover pork chops when baking them? ›

Cook the pork chops uncovered in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, turning only once halfway through the cooking time. Turn the carrots and potatoes as needed. Check that the internal temperature of the pork chops is between 140–145 F. Once the pork chops are cooked, remove from oven.

What temperature do you cook pork at in the oven? ›

Pork Roast in the Oven:

Pre-heat oven to 325F (163C). Bake pork roast in the oven UNCOVERED for approximately 25-30 MINUTES *PER POUND*.

How long does it take to cook 1/2 inch pork chop? ›

Tips to cook juicy boneless pork chops:

Bake at 400 F for 7 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness of the pork chops. Pork's internal temperature needs to be 145 F in order for the meat to be safe to eat.

Why do you soak pork chops in milk? ›

Milk is more effective in tenderizing meat than other marinades. The milk enzymes break the proteins, softening the fibers and making the meat more tender. And the milk-tenderized pork chops will remain juicier, the risk of them drying out during cooking reduces.

What goes well with pork chops? ›

  • 16 Best Side Dishes For Pork Chops. ...
  • Parmesan Roasted Mashed Potatoes. ...
  • Baked Cinnamon Apples. ...
  • Easy Stuffing. ...
  • Garlic Butter Mushrooms. ...
  • Jalapeno Cornbread. ...
  • Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts. ...
  • Cheese Rolls.

Why are my pork chops chewy? ›

Under or overcooking your pork chops.

And, if you've ever encountered a dried-out, tough, chewy pork chop, that's a telltale sign of overcooking. Follow this tip: The most reliable way to test the doneness of pork chops is by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the chop.

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