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How To Cook Pork Chops Like A Pro

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Many people love buying pork chops from restaurants but learning how to cook them saves you money and time.

Besides being easy to prepare and cook, pork chops are versatile, meaning you can have them with anything. 

When you think of pork chops, you picture a bland, dry outcome that’s tough to bite. 

This article covers everything you need to know on how to cook pork chops that are moist and delicious, just as they should be.

Read on to learn from time-tested tips that give delicious results.

How to cook pork chops

There are various ways you can cook pork chops to get your desired results.

Regardless of the method you choose, ensure that your pork chops are at room temperature before cooking to make them cook evenly.

The different methods and recipes are.:

Using an oven

When cooking pork chops using an oven, they use their natural fats, making them moist and rich in flavor.

Below is the recipe: 

Ingredients

  • 2cm thick pork chops
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 395 degrees F
  • Rub all pork chops with olive oil
  • In a medium-sized bowl, pour salt, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper and mix.
  • Season the pork chops using the mixture and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.

On a pan

This is the quickest method of cooking pork chops.

It takes 5 to 7 minutes and is ideal when you need a quick-fix meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 bone-in pork chops each of 2cm thickness
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 3 cups of water
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 fresh thymes

Directions

  • Heat a pan on medium high heat
  • Place the pork chops and let all sides cook for 1 minute each. They’ll turn brown and release fat onto the pan
  • Cook and flip for 5-7 minutes 
  • Remove the pan and add the unsalted butter, garlic, and thyme.
  • Spread the butter over the pork chops
  • Let the pork chops cook to 145 degrees F

Using a grill

This method allows excess fat to drip from your pork chops, leaving you with a crispy and moist outcome.

It’s ideal for cooking pork chops from fatty cuts.

Ingredients

  • 4 thick bone-in pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika 
  • Olive oil

Directions

  • Preheat the grill to high heat
  • Spread olive oil on all sides of the pork chops
  • Cover the pork chops with black pepper, salt, and paprika, then place them on the grill
  • Sear all sides for about 5 minutes each
  • Once the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, your grilled pork chops are ready.

On an air fryer

An air fryer allows you to cook pork chops without the addition of extra oil.

Instead, it uses the natural fats in the pork chops.

Ingredients

  • 3, 1.5 cm thick pork chops
  • Seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Eggs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper

Directions

  • Pour salt, paprika, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and black pepper in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs.
  • Dip all pork chops in the beaten eggs until coated
  • Dip them in breadcrumbs and shake off the excess
  • Preheat the air fryer to 395 degrees F
  • Spray all sides of the pork chops with cooking spray
  • Place them inside the air fryer basket
  • Cook while flipping until they turn brown and crispy

How long do pork chops take to cook?

The time it takes for pork chops to cook depends on their thickness, the method of cooking, and the amount of heat.

You’ll find that thicker pork chops and bone-in chops take longer to cook than thinner ones.

Pork chop thickness (inches)Cooking time (minutes)
¾4-6
16-8
1 ¼8-10
1 ½10-12

Although most pork chops packets come with a cooking time suggestion which you can use, and it’s more accurate to use a meat thermometer.

You’ll know your pork chop is cooked once the internal temperature hits 145 degrees F. 

According to the USDA, pork chops should be cooked up to 145 degrees F and left to rest for about three minutes for food safety reasons.

Can you brine pork chops before cooking them?

Brining allows meat to soak in a salty and flavorful liquid.

It seasons the meat and changes its structure, making it absorb the brine. 

You can brine pork chops before cooking because they lack flavor on their own.

Brining adds flavor and ensures that the chops retain moisture to avoid a dry outcome.

Let them brine for not more than 12 hours since brining for longer breaks down the proteins, leaving you with a less flavorful result.

The correct brine ratio is one teaspoon of kosher salt to 1 cup of water.

This means that for 4 cups of water, you’ll need four teaspoons of kosher salt.

Ensure the salt has dissolved before submerging the pork chops into the solution.

Tips for cooking perfect pork chops

When cooking pork chops, the goal is to get tasty and moist results.

Below are tips you can use to achieve this.

Choose thicker cuts: Since pork is lean, overcooking is inevitable. For this reason, choose thick pork chops of about 1.5 cm above.

Brine: This eliminates the dry, bland taste in pork chops. It prevents overcooking, adds moisture, and injects flavor to your pork chops.

Avoid overcooking: When using quick cooking cuts, watch out not to overcook, as this will dry out your pork chops. Cook at a temperature ranging between 145 to 160 degrees F.

Don’t undercook: When cooking pork chops, don’t cook below 145 degrees F, as the inner parts will remain undercooked. This will put you at risk of food-borne illnesses.

Choose the bone-in variety: The bone-in chops contain bones that protect against overcooking. They also have layers of fat around them that provide added taste.

Which cuts of pork are best for cooking pork chops?

Pork chops are different; some are tender and are quick to cook, while others are tough and need time to cook.

Let’s look at the different cuts of pork chops.

Shoulder chops: Although tough, shoulder chops are flavourful and contain fat. Before grilling, baking, or pan searing, cook in liquid until tender.

Rib chops: They’re tender with a mild flavor and less fat. Since they’re lean, rib chops are ideal for cooking pork chops through grilling and pan searing. You can brine them to keep them moist and more tender.

Loin chop: This is a lean cut with a mild flavor. Cook them quickly using a grill or a pan for best results and ensure you don’t overcook.

Boneless pork chops: Also known as America’s cut, boneless pork chops are lean and contain less fat and no bones. The lack of bones means they can easily overcook, and the absence of fat makes them less flavorful. It’s recommended to brine these boneless pork chops to provide more flavor before grilling or pan-searing them. 

How do you cook frozen pork chops?

After storing pork chops in the freezer, it’s recommended to defrost them in the refrigerator or microwave before cooking.

However, sometimes you may be in a rush and wonder if you can cook them while frozen.

You can cook frozen pork chops using similar methods as the thawed variety.

However, you’ll need to double the cooking time.

When cooking, use a thermometer to monitor the pork chops to avoid drying out from overcooking.

Once the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, your frozen pork chops are cooked.

When a meat thermometer isn’t available, use a sharp knife to cut through the pork chops while observing the juices released.

The pork is cooked if the juices are clear and uncooked if they’re pink.

FAQs

Can you prepare pork chops ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare pork chops ahead of time, especially when running late.

However, the tastiest pork chops are those served immediately after preparation.

How do you store leftover pork chops?

Store leftover pork chops in a refrigerator or freezer using airtight containers, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil.

They can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator and six months in the freezer.

Can you reheat leftover pork chops?

You can reheat leftover pork chops using an oven, stovetop, or microwave.

When the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, your pork chops are ready.

Conclusion 

Pork chops are a tasty and healthy addition to your meal plans.

They contain zinc, iron, and proteins that support bodily functions.

For this reason, learning how to cook pork chops is important.

The challenge is choosing the ideal cooking method when you don’t know how tender or tough the different cuts of pork are.

With the right temperature and the above tips, you can go from making bland, dry pork chops to preparing moist and tasty ones that will leave you licking off your fingers.

How To Cook Pork Chops Like A Pro

Ultimate Pork Chops Recipe

Many people love buying pork chops from restaurants but learning how to cook them saves you money and time.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 139 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 395 degrees F
  • Rub all pork chops with olive oil
  • In a medium-sized bowl, pour salt, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper and mix.
  • Season the pork chops using the mixture and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 139kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0.3mgSodium: 3492mgPotassium: 80mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 870IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword How To Cook Pork Chops Like A Pro
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