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Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops

Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops on a white serving platter

Per­fect Pan Seared Pork Chops are a quick and eco­nom­i­cal way to enjoy a deli­cious fam­i­ly din­ner with­out a lot of fuss and hands-on kitchen time for you. The savory, seared to per­fec­tion pork chops are ten­der and juicy. My recipe is so easy and fla­vor­ful you’ll def­i­nite­ly want it in your reg­u­lar meal rotation.

Buying Pork Chops: Bone-In vs Boneless

My hus­band loves thick-cut bone­less pork chops whether I pan sear them or toss them on the grill. It’s one of his all-time favorite dinners. 

I’m sort of picky about buy­ing chops, though. Pork chops can have a LOT of fat. That def­i­nite­ly helps with fla­vor and mois­ture but I don’t like pay­ing for some­thing we’re not eating. 

Plus, if you buy the bone-in chops you’re also going to pay for the weight of that bone. Some will say that bone-in also helps retain mois­ture. How­ev­er, my per­son­al expe­ri­ence is that bone-in does­n’t cook as even­ly as bone­less. And if cooked cor­rect­ly, your scrump­tious bone­less pork chops will still be juicy.

Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops on a white serving platter

I’ve dis­cov­ered I can cre­ate juicy, ten­der pork chops with­out invest­ing in tons of fat and bone that will end up in the garbage. And I can make my Per­fect Pan Seared Pork Chops more eco­nom­i­cal­ly than the cuts you’ll find in the meat cas­es at your local gro­cery store.

Premium Boneless Pork Chops at Affordable Prices

If I went to my local gro­cery store, today, a thick-cut (at least one-inch thick), bone­less pork chop will cost me $4.78 per pound which is $4.98 for 2 pork chops. That’s $2.50 per chop!

If you’re only feed­ing one or two peo­ple for a spe­cial meal, that’s not such a big deal. But, what about a din­ner par­ty serv­ing 6 or 8 peo­ple? That adds up quickly! 

My afford­able solu­tion lets you have thick-cut, bone­less pork chops for only $1.88 to $2.24 per pound, depend­ing on the brand and any store spe­cials. Even at the full-price end of that price scale I can get 8 (yup, eight) 1‑inch or thick­er pork chops from a 4.5 pound pork loin roast. That’s only $1.26 for each bone­less pork chop at FULL price and even less when they’re on sale. Half price? Yeah! You bet I’ll take that!

two pork loin roasts

What You’ll Need

The tools and ingre­di­ents are sim­ple and basic. Per­fect Pan Seared Pork Chops are easy, mon­ey-sav­ing and per­fect­ly deli­cious! It’s a meal that can be served to com­pa­ny with con­fi­dence, as well as being a favorite fam­i­ly dinner.

A Seasoning Secret

glass salt and pepper grinders with stainless steel tops

The secret to bet­ter fla­vor isn’t always more sea­son­ing. Some­times, it’s more time for that sea­son­ing to do it’s job.

These per­fect pork chops cook up in under 30-min­utes — prob­a­bly clos­er to 20 min­utes, in fact. That’s not a lot of time for sea­son­ings to do their best work. 

You need to do the sea­son­ing por­tion of this recipe at least 4 hours in advance and my pref­er­ence is overnight for the deep­est, most savory fla­vor. My sea­son­ing secret is don’t wait to sea­son your chops (or your chick­en, for that mat­ter) after it’s already in the pan. Give your sea­son­ings time to per­me­ate and fla­vor the meat so you can savor and enjoy every deeply fla­vor­ful bite.

For most every­day occa­sions, I sim­ply salt and pep­per both sides of each chop. How­ev­er, sea­son­ing ideas are unlim­it­ed real­ly. Choose your favorite herbs to mix with the salt and pep­per as you sea­son your pork chops. Thyme and/or rose­mary would be my top two picks. Gar­lic pow­der, sage and mar­jo­ram are oth­er great options. Even sub­sti­tut­ing your favorite sea­son­ing salt, in place of plain salt, is fab­u­lous! Pick the fla­vor pro­file that fits you and your fam­i­ly best.

Left­overs are our friend! The rea­son I usu­al­ly go with just salt and pep­per is because left­overs are going to get used in a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent ways. And prob­a­bly quite a few dif­fer­ent fla­vor pro­files. Think of thin­ly sliced left­over pork chops in spicy tacos or que­sadil­las or even a bur­ri­to bowl. Or how about pair­ing the left­overs with rice and stir-fried veg­eta­bles and a sim­ple 5‑minute stir-fry sauce for a killer Asian din­ner? You have options my friend! Lots of options. So, I tend to keep the orig­i­nal sea­son­ing deeply fla­vor­ful but neu­tral enough to match a dif­fer­ent dish. 

What­ev­er sea­son­ing you decide to go with, the secret is in allow­ing the meat to rest with that sea­son­ing so the fla­vors go all the way through. Instinc­tive­ly, you are going to want to cov­er the dish you sea­son them in before you set it in the fridge. See how well I know you? lol Please, leave the dish uncov­ered. Allow­ing the out­side of the pork chops to “dry out” as they rest means you’ll get an even bet­ter sear when you cook them.

Making Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops

Pat the loin roast dry with paper tow­els. It makes it eas­i­er to get a good grip when you are cut­ting your pork chops. 

The pork loin will have one side with a thick­er fat cap. If it’s too thick you can remove some of it, but remem­ber that is fla­vor and mois­ture. Every­one expects pork chops to have some fat. So trim it to your pref­er­ence if necessary.

Loin roasts usu­al­ly have 2 wide sides and 2 nar­row sides. Most of the time, the fat cap will be on one of the wider sides. To cut the pork chops from the roast, I turn it onto one of the thin sides. As you push down, cut­ting through the roast, it will widen the pork chop slight­ly. Doing it from the thin side ensures that you have nice­ly shaped chops, not long and thin ones.

cutting Pork Chops from a pork loin roast

I tend to “eye­ball” it when I’m cut­ting the pork chops. I know how many I want to get from the roast and cut accord­ing­ly, so that I get even­ly thick pieces. 1‑inch is just about per­fect for our tastes, but slight­ly over or under isn’t going to hurt a thing.

Make sure your knife is very sharp. That will help you get smooth even slices, with very lit­tle effort. I’ve had my *Wusthoff chef’s knife for over a decade and will have it for decades to come. It sharp­ens to per­fec­tion, every sin­gle time and I know it will be up to what­ev­er task is in front of me.

Once the pork chops are cut, sea­son both sides of each one with your cho­sen sea­son­ing (I used only salt and pep­per, today.) Lay them in a bak­ing dish or a con­tain­er side by side. Leave the con­tain­er uncov­ered and allow them to rest and absorb your sea­son­ing fla­vors for at least four hours, up to overnight. I don’t rec­om­mend a met­al con­tain­er for this step. Glass or plas­tic is best to pre­vent a metal­lic taste on your meat.

Stor­age Tip: If you are only using a few of your pork chops, this is the time to sea­son the ones you’re using and then bag the rest for the freez­er and a deli­cious meal in the future. I like to flash freeze our extras in a sin­gle lay­er on a tray lined with parch­ment paper. It will only take a cou­ple hours for them to be indi­vid­u­al­ly frozen hard. Then toss them in a zip­top bag, labeled with the date and con­tents. You can use them all at once or pull them out one at a time. Since they were flash frozen, you don’t have to wor­ry about them being stuck togeth­er. They should keep well in your freez­er for up to 6 months.

Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops seasoned and resting to absorb flavor

Cooking Pan Seared Pork Chops

Once your pork has rest­ed and had time to absorb your sea­son­ings deep into the meat, you’re ready to cook them. If I am doing four or less pork chops, my go-to cook­ing ves­sel is my favorite cast iron skil­let. With more than four, I pre­fer the extra room that my elec­tric skil­let pro­vides. Leav­ing a lit­tle space between each chop helps to get a deep­er, more caramelized sear on the out­side instead of just “steam­ing” the meat.

I pre­heat my elec­tric skil­let to 375° (medi­um high on the stove top) with 2 or 3 Table­spoons of avo­ca­do oil. While it pre­heats I blot away any mois­ture off the chops that may have built up dur­ing the rest time.

Then I lay each dry and per­fect­ly sea­soned pork chop into the hot skil­let. Your skil­let and oil must be HOT to get the quick sear you’re look­ing for. When the meat is caramelized to a deep, rich brown (2 or 3 min­utes), it’s ready to turn.

Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops cooking in an electric skillet

Flip each piece over and allow them to brown on the oth­er side. Once both sides are per­fect­ly seared, I place a lid on the skil­let to com­plete the cook­ing. This step is so impor­tant. We want to bring the meat up to tem­per­a­ture quick­ly with­out over cook­ing it. 

Pork is safe to eat and should be removed from the pan when the inter­nal tem­per­a­ture is 145°. That is con­sid­ered medi­um rare but it is going to con­tin­ue cook­ing from resid­ual heat, as it rests. Trust me! I do NOT eat rare meat. But, if you cook beyond this point your meat will be dry and tough. After the sec­ond side is seared and the lid put on the pan, you could hit that tem­per­a­ture with­in 8–10 min­utes and sure­ly will with­in 15. I use a *dig­i­tal meat ther­mome­ter and begin check­ing around the 8‑minute mark, so I can be 100% sure I’m not over­cook­ing the meat.

At the point of a 145° degree inter­nal tem­per­a­ture, lift your pork chops out of the skil­let and onto a plat­ter to rest. This lets the chops con­tin­ue cook­ing and the juices to redis­trib­ute through­out the meat. It should rest for 10 to 15 min­utes. Fif­teen is usu­al­ly my go-to. 

After the rest time, I driz­zle any pan drip­pings over the Per­fect Pan Seared Pork Chops, gar­nish with a lit­tle pars­ley and serve them up. Oh my holy heav­en! They’re sooooo good! Enjoy, Friend!

Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops on a white serving platter
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Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops on a white serving platter

Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Rest­ing in Fridge Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 min­utes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pork chops 1x

Description

Per­fect Pan Seared Pork Chops is my go-to chops recipe.  It comes out ten­der, juicy and fla­vor­ful every time.  The chops are per­fect with all your fam­i­ly’s favorite sides and cook up in about 20 min­utes.  Left­overs are deli­cious, sliced thin and used in stir fries, tacos or oth­er dish­es.  The pos­si­bil­i­ties are only lim­it­ed by your imagination.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4.5  lb pork loin roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Table­spoons avo­ca­do oil (or your pre­ferred cook­ing oil)
  • option­al, your favorite herbs or sea­son­ings ( i.e. rose­mary, thyme, gar­lic, sage, mar­jo­ram or all pur­pose sea­son­ing)

Instructions

  1. Pat the roast dry with paper towels.
  2. Place the pork loin on a cut­ting board with one of the nar­row sides down.
  3. Use a sharp knife to cut 1″ thick pork chops from the roast.
  4. Sprin­kle both sides of each pork chop with salt and pep­per (or the herbs/seasonings of your choice).
  5. Place the sea­soned chops in a dish or tray, in a sin­gle lay­er.  Leave uncov­ered and rest in the fridge for at least four hours, up to overnight.
  6. Pull the chops out of the fridge 30 min­utes before you’ll be cook­ing them.  Hav­ing them at room tem­per­a­ture allows them to get a bet­ter sear.
  7. Pre­heat your skil­let with a cou­ple Table­spoons of avo­ca­do oil in it.  I heat my elec­tric skil­let to 375° or heat my cast iron skil­let on the stove top at the medi­um high set­ting (7 or 8 out of a range of 10).
  8. Use a paper tow­el to pat away any mois­ture that has been released from the chops and then place them in the already HOT skillet.
  9. Sear for 1 — 2 min­utes until the bot­tom is nice­ly caramelized and gold­en brown.  Turn the chops and sear the oth­er side.  Again, 1–2 min­utes will prob­a­bly be enough.
  10. lace a lid or cov­er over the skil­let and allow chops to con­tin­ue cook­ing any­where from 8–15 min­utes.  You are going for an inter­nal tem­per­a­ture of 145°.  Resist the urge to cook them longer than that or your pork will be dry and tough.  Use a meat ther­mome­ter and begin check­ing the tem­per­a­ture 7 or 8 min­utes after the sec­ond sear is com­plete.  Keep cook­ing and check­ing just until the ther­mome­ter insert­ed into the cen­ter of a chop reads 145°.
  11. When you hit 145°, lift the pork chops out onto a plat­ter to rest.  They will con­tin­ue to cook and the juices will redis­trib­ute through­out the meat.  Rest them a min­i­mum of 10 min­utes, though 15 is prob­a­bly ide­al.  Skip­ping this step can result in tough, dry meat.
  12. After the rest peri­od, pour any pan drip­pings over the chops and gar­nish with fresh parsley. 
  13. Serve with your favorite sides.
  14.  
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Main Dish, Meat, Pork
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

Key­words: pork, pork chops

What to Serve with Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops

Pork chops are deli­cious next to almost any of your favorite sides! Pota­toes, baked or mashed; sweet pota­toes, rice, or quinoa. We also love them with Pota­to Sal­ad.

Sweet Pota­to Casserole

Easy Bean Salad

16 thoughts on “Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops”

    • You sure can! And it’s deli­cious to boot! Thanks for stop­ping by, today, Heather. Have a won­der­ful­ly blessed week!

      Reply
  1. We love pork chops and your tip for buy­ing the loin and slic­ing it is awe­some. The sea­son­ings on these pork chops is perfect.

    Reply
  2. Pan seared pork chops looks deli­cious. I like that it is not only deli­cious but also com­fort­ing meal.

    Reply

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