Perfect Pork Chops

Pork chops frying in a skillet

The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Rest Time: 29 mins
Total: 44 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yields: 4 chops
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
104 Calories
7g Fat
0g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 104
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 458mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 13mg 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.

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.

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. This recipe is easy to scale down if you're cooking for one or two.

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Ingredients

  • 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.

    Ingredients for making perfect pork chops
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt 
  2. Twenty minutes before you start cooking, remove your pork chops from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature.

    Four pork chops on parchment paper
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt 
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  4. Thoroughly dry the pork chops with paper towels. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Paper towel for drying pork chops
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  5. Heat an ovenproof skillet (cast iron is ideal) on the stovetop for about 5 minutes. It's really important to get the pan as hot as you possibly can before adding the chops.

  6. Once the pan is preheated, add about 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. The pan will immediately start to smoke, but this is OK.

    Oil in a cast-iron pan
     The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  7. Add the pork chops to the pan and don't move them for 3 minutes.

    Seasoned pork chops cooking in a pan
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  8. Flip the chops over with a pair of tongs and transfer the pan to the oven.

    Browned pork chops in the pan
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  9. Roast 6 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven.

  10. 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
  11. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the chops to a plate, and cover with foil.

    Pork chops are covered with foil
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt 
  12. Let the chops rest for 3 or 4 minutes before serving.

    Pork chops resting on a serving dish
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt 
  13. Serve and enjoy.

    Cooked pork chops, ready to serve
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

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.

Tips

  • 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.

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.