Classic Pan-Seared Pork Chops: Juicy And Flavorful

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There’s something undeniably satisfying about a perfectly pan-fried pork chop. It’s a classic dish that’s quick, easy to make, and endlessly adaptable. Whether you’re whipping up a weeknight meal or a casual dinner party spread, pan-fried pork chops are a crowd-pleaser. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to achieve restaurant-quality pork chops right at home, no fancy equipment required.

Ingredients:

Pan Fried Pork Chops (with Pan Sauce!) - The Cozy Cook
Pan Fried Pork Chops (with Pan Sauce!) – The Cozy Cook

2 bone-in pork chops (about 1-inch thick)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Directions:

    1. Prep the Pork Chops: Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. This helps ensure even browning during cooking. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. If you’re using dried thyme or garlic powder, sprinkle them on the seasoned pork chops.

    2. Heat the Oil: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Let the oil heat up for about 30 seconds, until it shimmers.

    3. Sear the Pork Chops: Carefully add the pork chops to the hot skillet. Don’t crowd the pan – cook them in batches if necessary. Resist the urge to move the pork chops around right away. Let them sear undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom.

    4. Flip and Cook Through: Once the first side is nicely browned, use tongs to gently flip the pork chops. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C) for a slightly pink center, or 160°F (71°C) for well-done.

    5. Rest and Serve: Transfer the cooked pork chops to a plate and tent them loosely with foil. Let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful pork chop.

    Tips:

    Use a meat thermometer to ensure the pork chops reach the proper internal temperature for safe consumption.

  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. This can lead to uneven cooking and prevent the pork chops from searing properly.
  • If the edges of the pork chops start to brown too quickly, reduce the heat slightly.
  • You can add a pat of butter to the pan during the last minute of cooking for extra flavor.

  • Nutrition Facts (per serving)

    Calories: 300

  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 80mg
  • Sodium: Depending on how much salt you use
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein: 30g

  • These numbers are approximate and will vary depending on the specific cuts of pork chops used.

    Conclusion

    Pan-frying pork chops is a simple yet delicious way to prepare this versatile protein. With just a few key steps, you can achieve juicy, flavorful pork chops that are sure to become a regular in your meal rotation.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. What type of pork chops should I use?

    Bone-in pork chops tend to stay more moist during cooking than boneless pork chops. However, boneless pork chops can work too. Choose pork chops that are about 1-inch thick for even cooking.

    2. Can I use a different type of oil?

    Yes, you can substitute olive oil with other high smoke point cooking oils such as canola oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil.

    3. What if my pork chops are too thin?

    Thin pork chops can easily overcook. To prevent this, reduce the heat slightly and cook for a shorter amount of time. You can also try butterflying the pork chops (carefully slicing them partially through the side so they lay flat) to increase their cooking surface area.

    4. How can I add more flavor to my pork chops?

    There are endless possibilities for flavor variations! You can marinate the pork chops in your favorite marinade before cooking. Try a simple marinade of olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger for an Asian-inspired twist.

    5. What sides go well with pan-fried pork chops?