Growing up I ate my fair share of fried pork chops. Y’all know the ones I’m talking about. Thin sliced, sometimes it included a bone, sometimes it didn’t. Either way it was breaded and fried to nearly shoe leather consistency. It was always over cooked. The crispy bits around the edges from the batter frying were always the best. I always would dunk my pork chop in ketchup. Perhaps that’s why I had no idea that it was over cooked. I am fairly certain that people were as scared of pork as they are of poultry. Cook it until it lacks all moisture, to keep from getting food poisoning.
The first time I had a pork chop that was actually cooked perfectly was years ago when Zack and I did an online cooking class with Robert Irvine. It was the one and only cooking event he’s ever done (I totally wished he would have done more), and I’ve never forgotten how to cook pork chops, thanks to that guy! We also stopped buying pork chops that were as thin as tissue paper. Now that I know what I know, why would they even slice pork chops less than an inch thick?! It makes no sense. Unless you have a specific recipe that calls for thin cut pork chops, ALWAYS buy pork chops that are at least one inch thick.
There are a few different ways that you can cook pork chops, frying, grilling, broiling, and then pan roasting (the way I cook them). There is one thing though that will remain, no matter how I cook them, and that’s the seasoning that I use. I have found a really great seasoning that goes so well with pork, and it doesn’t take much. You’ve heard me talk about Rodelle before, but that was with sweet recipes, this time it’s all about savory! Herbes De Provence is a blend of thyme, fennel, basil, etc. It’s so good on many things, but I think my favorite is probably pork chops.
Perfectly cooked pork chops are not hard to cook. It just takes a little knowledge. The first thing you need to learn is that a one inch chop literally takes less than 10 minutes to cook. <— Awesome! That means that this is a super achievable weeknight dinner! The second thing you need to know is the correct temperature – 145 degrees. Anything over that, and you are in over cooked, almost shoe leather territory. Resting your chop. Just like steak, you should always allow your chops to rest for 5 minutes. This resting time does a couple of things, this will allow the juices to stay intact, so when you slice, they don’t all drain out, and there is always a little carry over cooking. I pull my chops out before they actually reach 145 degrees. Mine are usually out at 140 degrees. I know that by the time we plate up that they are 145. If you choose to do this, make sure you double check that they are 145 before eating!!
I brine – should you? Yes! I brine for only 30 minutes, but you can brine over night. So if you know you’re having pork chops tomorrow night, brine them now, and they will be ready. If you’re having chops tonight, then toss them in the brine about 30 minutes prior.
Preparing your chops is essential. If you choose to brine, great, if not, great. Just a couple of things you need to do before cooking, and that’s patting them dry with paper towels, oiling both sides, and seasoning with salt, pepper, and Herbes De Provence.
The last thing you need to know is the proper way to cook your chops. Keep in mind that this is for one inch chops only. If you are cooking anything thicker, you will want to add additional time. I cook our chops, like I do steak. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with a cast iron skillet in the oven while it’s preheating. You want that pan nice and hot! When there is only just a few minutes remaining, turn on the stove top to medium high heat. Once the oven and pan are heated, place the pan on the stove, and sear one side for 3 minutes, flip and place in the oven. Set the timer 7 minutes. Check the temperature using a digital thermometer. Remove the pan from the oven, place the chops on a plate, and allow to rest. Now enjoy, because you’ve just made Perfectly Cooked Pork Chops!
Perfectly Cooked Pork Chops
Overcooking pork chops is a thing of the past with this recipe for Perfectly Cooked Pork Chops. These are tender, juicy, and perfect every time!
- 2 cups water, divided
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 4 one inch thick, boneless pork chops
- olive oil
- 4 teaspoons Rodelle Herbes De Provence
- salt and pepper
Bring one cup of water to a boil, and dissolve 2 tablespoons salt. Pour in the remaining cup of water, making sure that it's cold. (this is to bring the temperature of the water down). Set aside. Place your chops in a shallow dish. (I use a 9X9 inch baking dish) Pour the water over the chops, and allow to set for 30 minutes. You can cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
When ready to cook your chops, place a cast iron skillet in the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating, remove chops from brine, pat dry. Run olive oil on both sides of the chops. Seasons liberally with salt and pepper. Season each side with 1/2 teaspoon of Herbes De Provence. Set aside.
When there is only 3 minutes remaining, until the oven is heated, turn on the stove top to medium to high heat. When the oven has finished heating, remove the pan from the oven, place it on the stove top, and place the chops in. Sear one side for 3 minutes, flip, and place in the oven. Cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, check the temperature. (145 degrees) If temperature has been reached, remove the chops from the pan, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. If they aren't up to temp yet, continue cooking in one minute increments.