Perfect Pork Chops

Perfect juicy pork chops cooked in a cast iron skillet

The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Preheat and Rest: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 chops
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
104 Calories
7g Fat
0g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 104
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 258mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 144mg 3%
*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.)

Making perfect pork chops is simple—first, they 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 with juicy, tender pork chops in no time 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 recipe, go for bone-in pork chops that are an inch thick. If they are too thin or boneless, they'll be overcooked, dry, and tough. Thicker pork chops will take longer to cook. Having the bone in contributes flavor and moisture, which means a juicy pork chop.

What Kind of Pan To Use

Because we cook the pork chops on the stovetop and then the oven, and we need to get the pan super-hot, a cast-iron skillet is ideal. This will ensure the chops get nicely browned with a crisp crust and good flavor. An ovenproof stainless steel pan is the second best option. Absolutely do not use nonstick.

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.


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"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

Perfect juicy pork chops cooked in a cast-iron skillet
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 bone-in pork chops, 1 inch thick

  • Kosher 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.

    Perfect juicy pork chops ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 

  2. Twenty minutes before you start cooking, remove your pork chops from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature.

    Four uncooked pork chops on parchment paper

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 

  3. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Thoroughly dry the pork chops with paper towels. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Pork chops on parchment with a paper towel to blot them

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  4. Turn an exhaust fan on high or open a window. Heat an ovenproof skillet (cast iron is ideal; do not use nonstick) over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. It's really important to get the pan very hot before adding the chops.

    Once preheated, add the vegetable oil. The oil will immediately start to smoke, but this is OK.

    Oil in a cast-iron pan

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

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

    Four seasoned pork chops cooking in a cast-iron pan

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  6. Flip the chops over with a pair of tongs and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast 6 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven.

    Pork chops browned on one side and cooking in a cast-iron pan

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  7. Test for doneness by pressing your thumb in the center of a pork chop. It should spring back firmly against your thumb. If it feels soft, let it roast for another minute. Check the internal temperature with a thermometer, making sure it registers about 145 F.

    Testing pork chops with an instant-read thermometer
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chops to a plate, and cover with foil.

    Pork chops covered with foil

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 

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

    Pork chops resting on a white serving dish

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt 

  10. Serve and enjoy.

    Cooked pork chops on a platter ready to serve and one on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt


  • Make sure to bring your chops to room temperature before cooking to ensure a good sear. This will take about 20 minutes.
  • Cook time is dependent on the thickness of the chops. If they are under an inch in thickness, they will take less time in the oven; if over an inch, they will need more time.
  • If possible, use a cast-iron pan, as that will enable you to cook the pork chops on the stove first and then transfer them to the oven without having to switch pans.
  • 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.

Recipe Variations

  • Slice a large clove of garlic in half. Rub the surface of the chops with the cut side of the garlic before seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • 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 chops. The internal temperature should be around 145 F, which is the FDA-recommended minimum safe temperature for pork cuts.