Pork chops are a versatile cut of meat that make dinner a breeze, even if you're not an experienced chef. Choose thick or thin chops, with or without the bone, and add your choice of seasonings to get started on a tasty, filling meal. Saute the chops on top of the stove for a quick week-night dinner, prepare them in the oven for a juicy, flavorful roast or grill them with your choice of marinades or barbecue sauce for your next outdoor gathering.
Pan-Fried Pork Chops
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel. Season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper or dried herbs and seasonings, if desired.
Add the pork chops to the hot oil. For thick chops, saute 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the chops occasionally during cooking to ensure both sides cook evenly and all the pink color is gone. Saute thin chops for 8 to 10 minutes, turning them over midway through. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow the pork to rest for 3 minutes to evenly distribute the juices and finish cooking.
Oven-Baked Pork Chops
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place an oven-proof skillet on the center rack in the oven as it heats to preheat the pan. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel. Rub each side of the chops with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and any desired herbs and seasonings.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven using mitts and place it on the stove over medium heat. Add the seasoned chops to the pan and sear them quickly to brown the underside, about 3 minutes. Turn the pork chops over and immediately return the skillet to the oven to finish cooking.
Bake the pork chops for 6 to 10 minutes. Use the pan juices to baste the chops during baking, if desired. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chop, away from the bone. Start checking the temperature at the 6-minute point and each minute thereafter -- the chops are done when the internal temperature registers 145 F. Place the chops on a warm serving plate, cover loosely with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Grilled Pork Chops
Coat the grill rack with vegetable oil or cooking spray to keep the meat from sticking. Set the grill to medium heat. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel. Season the chops to taste with salt, pepper and other seasonings, as desired.
Place the chops on the grill over the heat source. Grill them for 4 to 6 minutes per side. Baste with barbecue sauce, if desired.
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the pork chop. If grilling bone-in pork chops, ensure the thermometer does not touch the bone. When the temperature reaches 145 F, the chops are fully cooked. Remove them from the grill and place them on a serving plate to rest for at least 3 minutes before serving.
- Always use tongs when turning pork chops to avoid piercing them. This helps keep the juices in.