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Cooking Pork Chops 101

Posted by Julia Smith on

Pork chops, a tender, quick cooking cut of meat that you should be including in your weekly meal plan. They can be super easy to prepare, but they can also be super easy to destroy through over-cooking. We take pride in how tasty our pork is, so we also take pride in the way we prepare it. Here's a nearly fool proof way to cook our pork chops. The brining step is not necessary, but will definitely go a long way to guaranteeing a juicy pork chop, and added flavour, even if it's only for half hour. With or without the brine, I think you'll agree that this way of preparing our pork will leave you satisfied every time. 


For the brine (optional):

  • 3 cups cold water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt (or 2 1/2 tablespoons table salt)
  • Optional flavorings: 2 smashed garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf

For the pork chops:


  1.  If you have time, brining the pork for even a brief period adds flavor and ensures juiciness in the finished chop. Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil, add the salt and optional flavorings, and stir to dissolve the salt. Add 2 more cups of cold water to bring the temperature of the brine down to room temperature. Place the pork chops in a shallow dish and pour the brine over top. The brine should cover the chops — if not, add additional water and salt (1 cup water to 1 tablespoon salt) until the chops are submerged. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  2. Heat the oven to 400°F. Place an oven proof skillet in the oven to preheat as well.
  3. While the oven heats, prepare the pork chops. Remove the chops from the brine; if you didn't brine, remove the chops from their packaging. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub both sides with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set the chops aside to warm while the oven finishes heating.
  4. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and set it over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Turn on a vent fan or open a window.
  5. Lay the pork chops in the hot skillet. You should hear them immediately begin to sizzle. Sear until the undersides of the chops are seared golden, 3 minutes. The chops may start to smoke a little — that's ok. Turn down the heat if it becomes excessive.
  6. Use tongs to flip the pork chops to the other side. Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven using oven mitts.
  7. Roast until the pork chops are cooked through. Start checking the chops at 6 minutes and continue checking every minute or two until the chops are cooked through. Here's some info on pork doneness 
  8. Transfer the cooked pork chops to a plate and pour any pan juices over the top (or reserve for making a pan sauce or gravy). Tent loosely with foil and let the chops rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.



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