You are probably wondering what temperature you should cook pork chops at as well as how long you should cook them. Look no further. You have come to the right place. We have put in the work to be able to tell you what the best cooking methods are for pork chops.
The internal temperature of pork chops must reach 145°F. Generally, you can cook pork chops as quickly as 10 minutes to pan-fry or grill or between 25 minutes to an hour to bake. How long you should cook pork chops depends on the cooking method that you choose, chop thickness, and whether they are bone-in or boneless. Bone-in pork chops tend to cook longer than boneless.
Continue reading to learn more about the best ways to cook pork chops. We will talk about what food safety measures to take as well as how to end up with tender pork chops.
What You Need to Know About Cooking Pork Chops
Pork chops are an excellent source of protein. They work well for dinner, but you can make them for lunch if you so choose. You can find boneless and bone-in pork chops.
Bone-in pork chops take longer to cook than boneless pork chops. If your pork chops are less than one-quarter of an inch thick, they will cook in only about 15 to 20 minutes. The appropriate cook time varies, which we will discuss further ahead.
You should allow pork chops to rest or stand for three to five minutes before cutting into them. This is because the meat fibers relax, which causes the pork to be juicier. On the other hand, if you cut into pork while it is extremely hot all of the juices inside will spill out.
How to Cook Pork Chops
There are a few options when it comes to how you decide to cook your pork chops. You can either bake them, grill them, or sear them and then bake them.
The amount of time you spend cooking your pork chops depends on the cooking method. Thicker pork chops take longer to cook; thinner pork chops take less time.
Most people cook their pork chops in a skillet (it should be oven-safe if you are going to bake them in it) or on a baking pan. A cookie sheet is not the best choice because juices may run out of your pork chops and could overflow.
When your pork chops are done cooking, you should remove them from the hot skillet or baking pan and cover them with foil. This is when the pork chops rest in order to retain all of that yummy juice.
Searing Then Baking Pork Chops
This cooking method yields tender pork chops every time. This is the best cooking method when you have thick pork chops. Wet meat does not tend to sear very well, so you should either bread your pork chops or pat them dry with paper towels before placing them into a hot pan.
When you sear pork chops, they will not need to bake for as long. You can use one tablespoon of hot oil or butter to sear your pork chops. It will only take about three minutes to sear each pork chop side before putting it into a hot oven.
First, you will want to preheat your oven to 350°F. You can use an oven-safe skillet, a baking pan, or cookie sheet to transfer the seared pork onto.
It only takes about 15 minutes to finish cooking pork chops if you have seared them. Set the timer and work on your side dishes during this time. As always, check the internal temperature to make sure it is at least 145°F and allow them to rest before you cut into them.
Baking Pork Chops
If you decide to bake pork chops without searing them first, it will take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour for thick pork chops to reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Thinner pork chops only take about 25 to 35 minutes to bake.
You can bake pork chops with or without aluminum foil. Using aluminum foil underneath them on a cookie sheet will make for an easier clean-up. If you bake them in a dish, you can cover it in foil to help the meat retain moisture.
Grilling Pork Chops
You can grill pork chops by using a charcoal grill or a propane grill. This cooking method takes about eight to 12 minutes. Pork chops are to be grilled over direct heat and covered.
Keep the lid on your grill closed and flip the pork chops halfway through. When they are done, the middle of the pork chops should appear to be slightly pink in the middle.
Pan Fry Pork Chops
If you do not want to deal with the oven tonight, that's okay too. You can pan-fry pork chops whether they are breaded or naked. Just remember to pat them dry before placing them into the hot butter or oil.
Pan-frying pork chops is basically the same as what you do when you sear them, except you do it for longer. You can pan-fry pork chops for approximately 10 minutes total. Flip the pork chop every two minutes. Check the internal temperature before pulling them out of the skillet to let them rest.
How do you get breading to stick to fried pork chops?
You can either use an egg wash, a milk wash, or both. Some people do one or the other, and others mix milk and egg together. After you trim the fat off your pork chops, use a pair of tongs to dip them into your bowl of egg wash or milk wash or a combination of both, then dip into the breading on all sides.
After all sides of your pork chop are coated in breading, carefully place them into hot oil or butter. If you are baking them, remove them from the breading and place them onto whatever you will bake them in.
Do pork chops get more tender the longer you cook them?
Pork chops do not get more tender as they cook. In fact, pork chops become tough when they cook too long. Reaching the internal temperature of 145°F is the surefire way to yield tender pork chops.
How do you keep pork chops from drying out?
In order to keep pork chops from drying out, you mustn't overcook them. You should only cook them to an internal temperature of 145°F or slightly hotter. Allow them to rest after they are done cooking.
You can keep pork chops from drying out by covering them in foil when they are done and while they are still hot. Do not leave them out uncovered for an extended period of time.
How do you know when a pork chop is done without a thermometer?
If you lack a thermometer, you can be sure your pork chops are finished if the middle is white rather than pink. Sometimes you will see a little hint of pink right in the middle of your pork chop. That's okay too. Your safest bet without a meat thermometer is to stick to cooking out all of the pink.
Is it OK to cook pork chops medium rare?
It is not safe to cook pork chops medium rare. That is because pork must reach an internal temperature of at least 145°F for it to be safe to consume. Pork chops that are still medium rare have not cooked for long enough to reach the required internal temperature.
Can I reheat pork chops?
Yes, you can reheat pork chops if you do so at a fairly low temperature, such as 200°F, for six minutes. Flip them halfway through so that it is reheated evenly. You should not microwave pork chops unless you are in a pinch.
The reason you should not microwave pork chops is the same reason you should not reheat most meats in the microwave. Pork chops quickly become tough when they are reheated in the microwave.
If you insist on using the microwave to reheat your pork chops, set it to 50% power and check it after 30-second intervals until it is as warm or hot as you prefer.
Side Dishes for Pork Chops
One of the best side dishes for pork is sweet potatoes. There are several delicious options for how to cook sweet potatoes. Check out "How Long To Bake Sweet Potatoes – All You Need To Know For The Perfect Potato!" to learn more.
Another great option for a healthy side that pairs well with pork are carrots. Brown sugar glazed carrots are a delicious choice! If you are not feeling up to sweet potatoes or carrots, then savory mashed potatoes will work just fine too.
The best answer for what temperature you should bake pork chops to is an internal temperature of 145°F. How long you should cook them depends on the cooking method. If you are baking them, you should do so for 15 to 20 minutes for pork chops that are less than one-quarter of an inch thick.
If you have thick pork chops, you will need to bake them for 45 to 55 minutes. The best method for thick pork chops is to sear them on both sides then bake them. Thinner pork chops take less time to cook.