Perfect Pork Chop - A Family Feast

Before I met my husband, I avoided cooking pork chops – not because I didn’t like the taste of them, but because I could never cook them very well.  Most of the time my pork chops came out dry and tasteless, so rather than disappointing myself or my dinner guests, I steered clear of pork entirely.  Then Jack taught me how to cook perfect pork chops!

The trick to perfectly tender and juicy pork chops is to quickly sear or brown them first over high heat in a frying pan in order to lock in the juices, and then move the pork chops to the oven to finish cooking.  This cooking technique is a trick of the restaurant trade, and it works just as well at home in your own kitchen!

We cooked two-inch, butcher-cut pork chops for this recipe with just a few simple seasonings, and the results are perfect pork chops that are juicy and really delicious!

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Some cooks also suggest soaking pork chops in a brine before cooking to add moisture to the meat. We actually recommend against brining pork chops because it changes the texture and flavor of the meat (other meats such as poultry benefit nicely from a brine before cooking).  If you follow our recipe below, brining should not be necessary for you to cook perfectly moist and flavorful pork chops for you and your family.

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Perfect Pork Chop - A Family Feast

Perfect Pork Chops

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings

Description

Please do yourself a favor and go to your local butcher and have these chops cut for you. You will rarely find two inch bone-in center cut pork chops in your average supermarket. (This cooking technique will work for thinner pork shops as well.) The pork chops used in this recipe have two rib bones in each chop and were about a pound and a quarter each.


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 two-inch bone-in, center cut pork chops
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. For later in this recipe, place a cooling rack over a large dish or pan.
  2. In a large cast iron pan, or other oven-proof sauté pan (do not use a non-stick skillet), heat the oil over medium high heat until hot. Place the two chops in the pan, not touching each other, and let them cook – leaving them alone for three minutes. Turn and cook untouched for two more minutes. Then keep flipping every two minutes for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Remove the pan from the flame and insert a probe thermometer horizontally into the thickest part of one of the chops and set the probe to alarm at 135 degrees. Place the pan with the pork chops in the pre-heated oven and turn the chops every two minutes for about 14-15 minutes or until they reach 135 degrees. (They will cook further after you take them out of the oven so don’t leave them in the oven past 135 degrees. The internal temperature will rise to 145 degrees which is the USDA’s minimum recommended temperature for cooked pork.)
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and set chops temporarily on the prepared rack. Drain off oil from the pan and discard. Place the pan on stove top over medium heat and add butter, garlic and thyme. Cook for two minutes, scraping up any brown bits, then add the chops back to the pan and baste continually; flipping the chops two or three times to fully coat with butter sauce, about two to three minutes. Turn off the heat.
  5. Remove the pork chops to the rack again and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Cover loosley with foil.
  6. When ready to serve, place the chop on a cutting board vertically and with a long knife, slice down between the two bones. When you get to the connecting bone, snap it or cut it off. This will give you two portions of equal size for each chop for a total of four servings. Serve the pork chop with a little of the browned butter sauce and our Apple Pear Compote. Or if you are feeding large hungry men, just give them a single chop and let them have at it.

Notes

Eating pork with a little bit of pink color in the middle is perfectly safe these days according to the USDA.

Back in the old days, pigs were not fed processed feed and grain like they are today and as a result, many people became sick with trichinosis. To avoid trichinosis, years ago people were told to cook pork until it was very well done to kill any bacteria – and the results were dry and tough pork chops to eat.

But because pigs are now grain-fed for pork consumption, like cattle is for beef consumption, it is perfectly safe to eat pork that is still slightly ‘rare’ – and it will be more moist and delicious too!

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 Perfect Mashed Potatoes

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Meet The Author: Martha

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Comments

  • Made From Pinterest wrote:

    This looks absolutely scrumptious! I love pork chops, but I have never tried one this thick. I will be talking to my butcher soon.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • Julia wrote:

    I didn’t do much meat preparation until I met my bf…I learned quite a bit from him, but still I tend to be in charge of the vegetables while he tends to the meat. Pork chops happen to be his all-time favorite meal, so next time we get ahold of some chops, I’m coming straight to this recipe! Hope you guys had a fun weekend!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Julia!

  • Joe wrote:

    Actually, searing is a myth… Here is a good demonstration: http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/to-sear-or-not-to-sear/24511.html

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for sharing Joe!

  • Angela wrote:

    I think they were a hit. My husband wants me to put sticks in them and make them lollipops. My well behaved dog tried to steal a bone FROM THE TABLE. Thank u for the recipe. It has been put in the dinner rotation.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Angela – We’re so glad the recipe was a hit with your family! Thanks for letting us know – we love hearing from our readers!
      Martha

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious wrote:

    I’m not much of a pork chop person but that’s about to change VERY VERY soon!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Chung-Ah!

  • Terri wrote:

    THANK YOU for being one of the blogs that actually promotes cooking to only 135.. I’m tired of people believing even to this day that pork has to be cooked all the way through to be ‘safe’. Alton Brown (and other sources) say that there has only been a couple cases of trichinosis since WW2 due to home raised pork not fed the right feed, and a few due to people eating wild boar that of course hasn’t had that right feed.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Terri! (Nothing worse than dry overcooked pork chops!). Thanks for visiting our site!

  • Donna Y wrote:

    Lot of work. But, the flavor is very good. Only had the smaller thickness for my chops. But still tasted good. Lot of grease so made a bit of a mess to clean up.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Donna!

      • Mike wrote:

        Great Photo – looks professional !

        Would be helpful if you experimented w pan roasting techniques. (Sear 4 min per side and then roast in 400 degree oven 8-10 minutes.) This is just a guess, I’ve never tried it w 2″ chops.

        • Martha wrote:

          Thanks Mike!

  • Wanda McHenry wrote:
  • Jelka wrote:

    I really think the chops look great, but how do you turn them every 2 minutes with a probe in them while in oven? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jelka – You will need an oven-save probe thermometer and if you insert it in the narrow end/side of the chop versus the top or bottom – it should work!

  • Cindy wrote:

    Love your great recipes. There easy and always taste wonderful.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Cindy!! I appreciate you taking the time to write to us today!!

  • Joe & Helen wrote:

    Perfect pork chops should be called awesome pork chops. Best we have ever tasted. Because one comment indicated they spattered a lot, we used the spatter screen which was very helpful. It took both of us to read the recipe, flip the chops and set the timer. It was fun though and we can’t wait to make them again soon.

    • Martha wrote:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for writing to us!

  • Sheri wrote:

    Pork chops were extremely moist, and the flavor was very good. I didn’t have thyme, so I used some chopped rosemary – delicious! My son said, “I love the flavor and the moistness, but I’m used to the hard ones.” My husband and I laughed! The texture definitley does change using the brine, the mess was hardly one at all, and the flavor was intense. I watched the searing video, and I decided to sear the meat anyway, and I’m glad that I did. Thank you, I will surely make these many times in the future! ~ Sheri

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sheri – Your son’s comment made us laugh! Thank you for writing to us and we’re very glad you enjoyed the recipe! Have a great evening!

  • Patricia wrote:

    The port chops were indeed perfect! Thank you. The butter and thyme garlic sauce added so much as well. Now I’m going to try your steak recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Patricia!!

  • Carrie wrote:

    Has anyone tried this without the thermometer? I don’t have one and want to make them tomorrow. Any thoughts?

  • Glenna wrote:

    I made your Perfect Pork Chops for dinner tonight and they were deliciously perfect. Of all the pinterest recipes I viewed yours looked so easy. I usually use thin chops because the thick ones always get so dried out but this recipe was juicy and so flavorful.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Glenna – we’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Terri wrote:

    Going to try this for dinner tonight. Will be searing it because I love them browned like that. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you enjoyed the recipe Terri!

  • Terri wrote:

    Just an update. These chops were absolutely delicious. I did a few things different than the recipe. I did not have fresh tyme so used ground which works out fine and I added one tablespoon coconut oil in addition to the vegetable oil. Will definitely be cooking this again soon. Thank you for the time and effort you put in to giving us great recipes

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Terri! So glad your dinner was a success!

  • Kathy Page wrote:

    I’ve been cooking for 50 years and these were the absolutely best pork chops I have ever made! You are now my go-to web site for recipes!

    • Martha wrote:

      Awwww – thank you Kathy!! We’re very glad you enjoyed the recipe!!

  • vicki wrote:

    oh i have tried so many pork chop recipes and they’ve just been okay. this one though…… perfect! i only wish i’d run across this a long time ago. the pork chops i had on hand were boneless and about 1 inch thick. but, i prepared them according to the recipe. i never seem to have fresh herbs on hand, so i melted the butter and added garlic powder and powdered thyme. stirred until it all blended together. these pork chops were PERFECT. the best flavor ever, tender and i loved the crispiness of the outside of them. my husband said they were GREAT. so, thank you for taking time to share this with everyone. i could kiss you right now.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Vicki! So glad the recipe was a hit! 🙂

  • Susan wrote:

    My husband and I love to cook together and we made your Perfect Pork Chops on Sunday. The cooking technique and browned butter sauce resulted in the most gorgeous and probably the best tasting pork chops we ever had! Love your recipes and cooking lessons! We’re looking forward to trying your perfect pan seared steak… We may never go to a high end steak house again!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Susan! We’re so glad you enjoyed the pork chops and we hope you enjoy the steak just as much!

  • Barbara lett wrote:

    Thanks, I’m making these tonight. Very helpful for the monster porkchops.

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you love the recipe Barbara!

  • Ryan wrote:

    Don’t do the oven. Just keep on the stove top but put a lid on it after searing and turn down the heat a little. Juicy beyond belief!

    .

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Laura wrote:

    Love.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Laura!

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