Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (2024)

Prep: 5 mins

Cook: 10 mins

Preheat and Rest: 30 mins

Total: 45 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Yield: 4 chops

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This method for making perfect pork chops is simple—first, the chops are seared in a very hot pan for about 3 minutes, then they're flipped and cooked the rest of the way in the oven. Preparing them this way ensures that they're cooked through but not overcooked. No one wants tough, dry chops. Instead, you'll end up withjuicy, tender pork chops that will be the star of any meal.

The Key To Juicy, Flavorful Pork Chops

One key to success is choosing the right pork chops. For this cooking technique, go for bone-in pork chops that are 1 inch thick. They'll quickly overcook and be dry and tough if they're too thin or boneless. Thicker pork chops will take longer to cook, so plan for this. Bone-in chops add flavor and retain moisture, resulting in a juicy pork chop.

What Kind of Pan To Use

Because we sear the pork chops on the stovetop and then finish them in the oven, we need to get the pan very hot. A cast-iron skillet is ideal. This will ensure that the chops get nicely browned with a crisp crust and rich flavor. An ovenproof stainless steel pan is the second best option. Never use a nonstick skillet for this technique.

If you're just cooking for one or two, this recipe is easy to scale down. Serve these pork chops with homemade applesauce, garlicky mashed potatoes, and green beans.

Tips for Success

  • Room temperature meat—Make sure to bring your chops to room temperature before cooking to ensure a good sear. This will take about 20 minutes.
  • Perfect timing—Cook time is dependent on the thickness of the chops. If they're under 1 inch in thickness, they'll take less time in the oven; if over 1 inch, they'll need more time.
  • Cast-iron skillet preferred—If possible, use a cast-iron pan, as that'll enable you to cook the pork chops on the stove first and then transfer them to the oven without having to switch pans.
  • Avoid oil burns—Use caution when adding the pork chops to the pan and flipping them. The oil will be very, very hot and will sputter dramatically. Using long-handled tongs will keep you from getting too close to the pan.

"I used 1-inch-thick pork chops, and they were perfectly cooked following these instructions. I cooked the pork chops in a cast-iron skillet. Prep and cooking take only 15 minutes, but make sure to plan for those extra 20 minutes at room temperature and about 4 minutes of resting time." —Diana Rattray

Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (2)

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork chops

  • Fine salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons high-heat oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, or grapeseed oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Twenty minutes before you start cooking, remove 4 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork chops from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

    Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (4)

  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 F. Thoroughly dry the pork chops with paper towels. Season to taste with fine salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (5)

  4. Turn an exhaust fan on high or open a window. Heat a large, heavy-duty ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron (never nonstick), over medium heat for 3 minutes. It's really important to get the pan very hot before adding the chops.

    Once preheated, add 2 teaspoons high-heat oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, or grapeseed oil to the pan. The oil will immediately start to smoke, but this is OK.

    Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (6)

  5. Carefully add the pork chopsto the pan with tongs; don't move them for 3 minutes. If you have a splatter screen, use it to cover the pan.

    Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (7)

  6. Flip the chops over with the tongs, transfer to the oven, and roast until done, 6 to 7 minutes.

    Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (8)

  7. Continue to roast until the internal temperature registers 145 F with an instant-read thermometer.

    Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (9)

  8. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chops to a plate, and cover with foil.

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  9. Let the chops rest for 3 or 4 minutes before serving.

    Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (11)

    Feeling Adventurous? Try This:

    • Garlic rub—Slice a large clove of garlic in half. Rub the chops' surface with the garlic's cut side before seasoning with salt and pepper.
    • Quick pan sauce—While the pork chops are resting, make a simple pan sauce with the drippings.

    Why Are My Pork Chops Dry?

    Pork chops are a lean cut and prone to overcooking. A digital thermometer is the best way to avoid tough, overcooked meat. Insert an instant-read digital thermometer into the thickest part of the chops. The internal temperature should be 145 F, which is the FDA-recommended minimum safe temperature for pork cuts.

    Helpful Links

    • How to Cook Pork Chops
    • 7 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Pork Chops
    • Caring for Cast Iron
    • The 8 Best Cast-Iron Pans of 2021
  • Pork Mains
  • American Food
  • Pork Recipes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
7g Fat
0g Carbs
10g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g9%
Saturated Fat 2g8%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 100mg4%
Total Carbohydrate 0g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 0mg2%
Potassium 137mg3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Recipe Tags:

  • Pork
  • pork chops
  • dinner
  • american

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Make Perfect Juicy Pork Chops With This Easy Recipe (2024)


What is the secret to juicy tender pork chops? ›

Fat is key to keeping pork chops moist

Basting them with fat, such as butter. Add in aromatics while basting for more flavor — similar to how you might cook a steak — and then you have the added bonus of browned butter and crispy garlic and/or herbs to serve with the meat.

What is the best way to cook pork chops so they are not dry? ›

Try a Marinade or Brine. A marinade or brine can introduce more moisture or lots of flavor into your meat before you cook it. A marinade is a sauce that introduces extra flavor to your pork, depending on the aromatics or herbs you choose to include. A brine pulls more moisture into the meat, which keeps your pork juicy ...

What cooking method is best for pork chops? ›

Bake your pork chops at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. If you want to add an extra step, sear your pork chops in a pan first and transfer to a baking sheet to cook for about 6-8 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

How to make pork extremely tender? ›

How do you make pork soft and tender? Soak your pork in a salt-based brine before cooking it using your desired method. Pork chops need to soak between 12–24 hours, an entire pork tenderloin needs to soak for 6–12 hours, and an entire pork loin requires 2–4 days of soaking.

How to stop pork chops from going dry? ›

Brining pork chops is one of the best ways way to guarantee a juicy cooked pork chop. Even a quick 30-minute brine (or up to four hours) makes a big difference.

Is it better to bake or pan fry pork chops? ›

While there are a number of ways to cook pork chops for dinner, baking is arguably the easiest path to perfection. The hands-off cooking method cooks pork chops gently and evenly without the need for extra fat, resulting in juicy, healthier pork chops that pair well with practically any side dish.

What liquid should I cook pork in? ›

Aside from barbecue sauce, something tangy and sweet is a good go-to for slow-cooked pork. Apple cider vinegar has the right amount of acidity to break down the fattiness and is equipped with a bright flavor that pairs beautifully with pork. Using liquids you would normally drink is also a good choice.

Does soaking pork chops in salt water make them tender? ›

A brine is essentially just salt and water. It helps prevent moisture loss during cooking, and the salt also helps tenderize the meat from the inside out. If you want an extra juicy piece of pork, brine it before cooking. You can make an effective brine just with salt and water, but additional seasonings do help.

Should I cook pork chops in butter or oil? ›

Butter, with its luxurious richness and distinctive nutty flavor, is a classic choice for frying pork chops, whether they are breaded or not. As the butter melts and sputters in the pan, it imparts a depth of flavor to the dish.

How to cook pork chops like a chef? ›

  1. Rub about a tablespoon of olive oil over each of your pork chops. ...
  2. Heat an oven-safe heavy skillet over high heat. ...
  3. Sear the pork chops for 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer skillet immediately to the oven and cook until the internal temperature of the chop reaches 145 degrees, about 15 minutes.

What is the secret to making tender pork chops? ›

How to Make Tender Pork Chops
  1. Opt for Thick-Cut Bone-In Pork Chops. Thin-cut pork chops won't sear properly in the time it takes to cook them through. ...
  2. Skip the Brine, but Season Liberally. ...
  3. Let the Pork Chops Rest. ...
  4. Sear Pork Chops Over Medium-High Heat. ...
  5. Baste the Pork Chops. ...
  6. Let the Pork Chops Rest, Again. ...
  7. Serve.
Feb 14, 2018

What do you soak pork chops in before cooking? ›

Combine water, salt, and any additional seasonings in a large container. Stir well to dissolve the salt and sugar. Soak the pork chops in the brine solution, making sure they're fully coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

What is the rule for cooking pork chops? ›

“This is why whole muscle cuts of pork like roasts and chops are safe, juicy and flavorful at 145° internal temperature with a proper resting period.” If a medium-rare 145-150° isn't desirable, then try additional temperatures from the National Pork Board: medium (150-155°), medium-well (155-160°) or well done (160°).

What tenderizes pork chops? ›

Marinate the Pork Chops

Mild tenderizing is accomplished through the use of acidic ingredients. Lemon juice, flavored vinegar, red wine, and coffee are all recommended as marinade ingredients that can soften the meat a little.

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