Are you in a search for a perfectly pan-seared pork chop that is still slightly pink in the center? Or, do you hate pork because it’s always overcooked and dry? In this post I will walk you through the process of how to fry a mouth-watering pork chop to golden perfection.
These pan-fried pork chops truly have more flavor that you will ever guess. It’s a guaranteed way to make sure that every single bite of pork chop disappears from your plate. This basic recipe is living proof that a few simple ingredients can create amazing results in the kitchen.
I’ll walk you through best pork chop cuts, pork chop basics and how to achieve that perfect sear. Perfectly cooked pork chop is always cooked to a nice medium instead of the shoe leather texture and is pinkish inside.
Best Cuts of Pork for Searing
- Boneless pork chops are excellent for searing because they are thick and tender.
- You can also use loin chops because they are leaner than center cut chops.
- Center cut, bone-in chops work as well. They are also very lean.
Pork Chop Basics
- Either boneless or bone-in pork chops will do. I prefer the thick cut pork chops because they are easier to work with:).
- The lack of bone also means that they can be less flavorful, while the lack of fat can create a dry texture and it’s often recommended that you brine them prior to searing. However, I personally find that I don’t plan my meals very well ahead of time in order to brine them. Instead, I prefer to follow these tips and tricks on how to sear a perfect pork chop.
- Take your pork chops out of the fridge and let your them rest for 20 minutes on the counter before cooking them so they come to room temperature. This will ensure they cook on the inside and the center reaches the perfect temperature.
- Generously season your pork chops because pork chop crust is important for flavor. Being liberal with seasoning this will make for a delicious and flavorful pork chop crust.
- To properly cook the pork chops, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, don’t rely blindly on cooking time.
- Let the pork chops rest on a plate for 10 minutes – they will continue to cook and the residual heat will bring them to the recommended 145 F degrees.
- Cooking time can vary based on the thickness of the pork chops.
How to sear pork chops to golden perfection
- Start by patting your chops dry and sprinkling them very liberally with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Use a cast iron for a nice, golden sear. It conducts heat the best and will give the pork chops a nice even color.
- Preheat your skillet to medium high and add the olive oil. When it’s shimmering hot and not a moment before, add your chops.
- Sear over medium-high heat without moving the pork chop.
- Resist the urge to move the pork chops around or look underneath as they cook, it will disrupt the sear. Once the pork chops are golden brown on the first side, you can flip. Do not sear more than 5 minutes.
- If the pork chops are stuck to the pan, try giving them more time. They generally release from the pan when they’re crisp on the outside and ready to flip. This takes about 4 minutes per side.
- Flip and sear the other side until browned. Remove them from the heat and let them rest for a few minutes before cutting into them.
How to tell if the pork chop is done
Not sure how to tell how done a chop is? The pros do it by feel and a steak or chop cooked medium should have a slight resistance when you press on it with your finger but not feel hard and solid.
The easiest way to check if the pork chop is done is to use meat thermometer. When they reach an internal temperature of 135 F degrees they are done. Remove them from the skillet and let them rest on a plate for 10 minutes, during which time they will continue cooking with the residual heat and will eventually reach 145 F degrees. Do remember that cooking time can vary based on the thickness of the pork chops.
More pork chop recipes
10 Best Pork Chop Recipes
Instant Pot Pork Chops in Creamy Wine Sauce
Honey Balsamic Pork Chops
Best Pork Chops in Creamy Herb & Wine Sauce
Easy Pan Seared Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops, (thick in size)
- Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for searing
- Pat chops dry with the paper towel and sprinkle them very generously with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Heat your skillet (I recommend cast iron one) to medium high and add the olive oil. When it's shimmering hot and not a moment before, add your chops.
- Sear on one side, without moving them at all, until they are nice and golden brown on the first side, about 3-5 minutes. Flip and sear the other side until browned.
- The easiest way to check if the pork chop is done is to use meat thermometer. When they reach an internal temperature of 135 F degrees they are done.
- Remove them from the skillet and let them rest on a plate for 10 minutes, during which time they will continue cooking with the residual heat and will eventually reach 145 F degrees.
- Do remember that cooking time can vary based on the thickness of the pork chops.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. This information comes from online calculators. Although whatsinthepan.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Teresa OBrien says
I don’t have a cast iron frying pan, however I do have a great aluminum frying pan that is triple coated, would that work, I hate cooking pork chops, because they always come out dry and over one, so I’m hoping that this will work, I’m almost 70, and have had alot of practice, but they just don’t like me, neither do homemade biscuits.
I personally don’t use aluminum. It is a good heat conductor which is a plus, but the fact that it is thin (I believe aluminum pans are thinner than cast iron) and not coated – the pork will get stuck to the bottom. Definitely use plenty of butter and oil.
I made them accordingly to your recipe. They were great! Thank you!
I am glad you enjoyed them!
Very juicy after thank you
Use a brine overnight or at least 4 hours……very simple brine ( 4 cups water,1/4 C apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, 2Tbsp salt, & pepper. ) take out of brine ,rinse and pat dry…..no matter how u cook them after this you’ll never have a dry pork chop again;)
That’s a great recipe for a brine, Melissa!
The brine recipe… is it 4 cups of water, 1/4th cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4th cup of lemon juice, 2T of salt and 2T of pepper?? I’m a little unclear on the amounts for lemon juice and pepper. Thanks.
Love this. I am just now “learning” to cook and I needed something simple – this fit the bill. THANK YOU
Exactly! And that’s a perfect simple way to cook pork!
Joyce from NJ says
FAB-U-LOUS! I have been seriously overcooking pork chops for 30+ years. FINALLY, THIS IS THE WAY. Now, I must admit, as a PA Dutch Cook (Mom was, Grandma was, Great-Grandma was….) my true heart lies in pork chops, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. BUT, this runs a close second. I also took 2 tbsp of flour mixed with 4 tbsp of beef broth, until smooth. Then when the chops came out to rest, I poured in 2 cups of beef broth to ease up the twiddly bits, cooked for 5 minutes, then added the flour mixture. LAWD AWMIGHTY! GRAVY TO DIE FOR. So, thank you for this recipe. I didn’t add any more salt or pepper to the chops, as the Italian seasoning was fine and didn’t need it. You could do this recipe with placing the chops back into the gravy if you wanted to – I mean you can’t screw it up. WELL DONE! (To the cook – not the chops.)
My pleasure Joyce! Sounds like you were cooking up the storm with the pork chops and gravy!
Your recipe works beautifully – thank you for sharing. I’d been seeking flourless pork chops that don’t ask for a marinade bath or a ton of seasoning. One thing that I tend to do is start with the cooking heat as called for then, based on how the cooking is going, regulate the heat – every single time. Keeping an eye on the heat and how the cooking is progressing will save the chops from being dry and over-cooked. Again, this simple and successful recipe is a winner – thank you!
My pleasure! Heat regulation is so important – humidity, type of pan – it all matters.
I tried this as my chops always are overdone..I did 4 min on each side..the interior was very red. I put them back for 2 minutes, let them rest but still dry and overdone. I have never found the secret to juicy chops. I’m so discouraged.
That’s a disappointment! I usually let the pork chops rest and they finish cooking while resting.
The secret is the meat thermometer. I grew up with leather chops. My family was afraid of underdone pork, for a good reason, at the time. Your chops may have been a bit bigger than the average one inch thick. The meat thermometer is key to a juicy chop. Regardless of how thick it is, just leave it in the pan until it registers 135 or 140 if you like it medium. It will cook more as it rests. You can always put it back in the pan but it needs to rest to come up to ideal temperature and juiciness. You can play with spices and such but this is a perfect starter recipe. I use a cast iron, medium high is put on the vent and disarm the smoke alarm until after dinner. Hope this helps.
Perfect tip, Melissa! Thank you for being so eloquent!
Have you tried making them using butter and vegetable oil mine are juicy everytime!
Jean, The trick to pork chops is, never to over cook them. A little pink will not hurt you and will be super tasty. Try again, using thick chops. Good luck!