How To Cook Pork Chops Perfectly, 3 Ways

Grilled or pan fried pork chops on the bone with garlic and rosemary

How To Cook Pork Chops Perfectly, 3 Ways

Pork chops are a popular meal choice that can produce a juicy and tender cut of meat for dinner. However, they can also be tough at times. The flavor and texture of pork chops depend on a few factors, from what part of the animal it comes from to how it cooks. If you are looking for the perfect cooking method to put the juiciest piece of pork chops on your dinner table tonight, you have come to the right place! Below, we will explore different ways to cook pork chops perfectly. Let's take a look below.

What are Pork Chops?

Pork chops come from a pig. You probably knew that. However, where exactly on the pig is the chop from? It comes from the loin. The loin of the pig goes from the shoulder all the way to the hip. Pork chops come from four different sections in the loin. Here are the sections:

  • Sirloin Chops: This comes from the hip of the pig and can be cheaper than loin chops. The meat is very flavorful but also tough. It does best when braised and slow-cooked. 
  • Loin Chops: Loin chops are from the back part of the pig, the loin and hip. Sometimes, the tenderloin is attached, which can affect the price. They are recognizable by the t-bone in the middle. 
  • Rib Chops: Rib chops come from the middle of the loin and typically have the bone attached. The meat is tender and mild in flavor. 
  • Shoulder Chops: These pork chops come from the shoulder of the pig. Plenty of connective tissues and fat give a ton of flavor. The texture, however, tends to be a bit tough. These pork chops are best when braised. 

There are also no-bone pork chops that are very popular for family dishes. These cuts have no bones and not much connective tissue. They do well with cooking in various ways because they are versatile. These different methods include broiling, searing and roasting, or grilling. 

What to Consider Before Cooking Pork Chops

Remember a few considerations before you dive into cooking the perfect pork chop. First, the leaner the pork chop, the easier it is to overcook. Therefore, if you are a novice, opt for a thicker cut of pork chops. This will provide you with more wiggle room. 

The USDA guide states that cooking pork chops between 145 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Before eating, it is an excellent idea to let them rest for a few minutes as well. 

If your pork chop has the bone in, it will lock in juice more so than pork chop without bone. Therefore, it may be easier not to overcook because of the juicy fat that comes from it. 

Now that we reviewed these considerations let's look at the best ways to cook pork chops perfectly. 

How to Bake Pork Chops Perfectly

Baking pork chops can be one of the simplest and least messy ways to cook this meat. The key to a juicy and tender pork chop is to cook quickly. It can be easy to overcook meat because you want to be sure it is thoroughly cooked. This is when a meat thermometer will come in handy. Check your baked pork chops for a temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 


  • Pork chops
  • Spice rub 
  • Olive oil


  • Oven
  • Baking dish
  • Bowl


First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind how thick your pork chops are. The thicker your chops, the longer you will cook them. However, it can be easy to overcook pork chops because they are lean meat. Therefore, the general rule is to cook boneless pork chops for seven minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness. For bone-in pork chops, cook for eight minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness.

Mix your spice rub in a bowl, or use a premade one. Some great spices that pair well with pork chops are garlic, onion powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika. 

Pour one tablespoon of olive oil slowly over the pork chops, rub the spices onto the pork chops, and then pour one more tablespoon of olive oil on each side again. 

Place the pork chops into the oven and bake uncovered at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The chops must cook for seven minutes per 1/2 inch of thickness, so measure just how thick your chops are. You will know they are done once they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least five minutes. Enjoy while it is hot!

Healthy Pork Recipes
Baking pork chops is one of the easiest and least messy ways to cook this meat!

©Jacek Chabraszewski/Shutterstock.com

Baked Pork Chop Recipes

How to Pan-Fry Pork Chops Perfectly

Another popular method of cooking pork chops is by pan-frying. To pan-fry, you can use either bone-in or boneless pork chops. The absence of a bone may mean the chops will have a mild flavor. However, it is possible to make delicious and juicy pan-fried pork chops! 


  • Pork chops
  • Seasoning of choice
  • Olive oil


  • Cast iron skillet or pan
  • Tongs or spatula
  • Stovetop


First, check the thickness of your pork chops. The thicker the pork chop, the longer they will have to cook. Then, rub them with your favorite seasonings.

Next, heat the cast iron skillet on the stovetop and add olive oil. Place the pork chops in the pan when the olive oil is hot.

During this time, do not move the pork chops around. Allow them to sear for at least four to five minutes. Then, flip them to the other side. Sear evenly on both sides until the sides are brown. 

Remove from the heat and allow them to rest for five to ten minutes. When the pork chops reach an internal temperature of at least 135 degrees Fahrenheit, it is generally safe to remove from heat and let rest. During the resting period, the chops will continue to cook and reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the pork chops with a meat thermometer to be sure. 

Pork chops cooked with garlic in a cast iron pan
Pan-frying pork chops is another popular method of cooking. It is quick, and the pork chops' versatility makes it easy to adapt each recipe.

©Elena Veselova/Shutterstock.com

Pan-Fried Pork Chops Recipe

How to Make Smothered Pork Chops Perfectly

Smothered pork chops are another excellent way to cook this lean meat because they add flavor and juiciness to your meal. Here is how to make simple, smothered pork chops perfectly.


  • Bone in pork chops
  • Seasoning of choice, garlic and onion powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt work well
  • Olive oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter 
  • Onion
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


  • Pan or skillet
  • Stovetop 
  • Tongs or spatula


The first step to making perfect smothered pork chops is to pat them dry and then season them liberally with your choice of herbs. 

Next, cover each pork chop in flour, being sure to remove any extra flour that doesn't stick to the pork chop by shaking. 

Then heat two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil in the pan.

After the butter and olive oil mixture is hot, place the pork chops into the pan and fry for four to five minutes. Then flip over and fry on the other side for four to five minutes. 

When the chops are brown, remove them from the heat. You will now be making the gravy for the pork chops. 

Heat more butter in the pan. Then add onions that have been sliced, and cook until brown. 

Add more seasoning, such as garlic and salt. Cook for one minute, add two tablespoons of flour, and cook for two more minutes. 

Next, add the chicken broth and cook for two more minutes until broth becomes thicker. Add the heavy cream and cook until thicker. This only takes a couple of minutes. 

After the gravy has thickened, add the pork chops and cook for five to ten more minutes until done. 

If the sauce becomes too thick, add more broth to thin. 

Remove from heat and enjoy while hot! 

Pork medallions with mushroom sauce in cast iron pan over white stone background. Top view, flat lay
Smothered pork chops are very versatile. Many types of gravy can be made, including ones with onions, mushrooms, or just plain broth!

©Tatiana Volgutova/Shutterstock.com

Smothered Pork Chops Recipes

In Conclusion

Pork chops can be a tasty and juicy meat for dinner when cooked perfectly. There are plenty of methods for this specific type of meat! Remember, pork chops are lean meat, so they do not require as much cooking time. This is because they are more susceptible to drying out while cooking. Cook the pork chops until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Allowing the chops to rest for five to ten minutes after removing them from the heat will allow them to continue to cook, reaching a higher temperature. Whether you prefer baked pork chops or smothered, you cannot go wrong with these cooking methods! 

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