The Best Juicy Skillet Pork Chops
Say goodbye to dry and flavorless pork chops. With a few simple tricks, you can make juicy and tender pork chops with very little fuss. See our Juicy Skillet Pork Chops Recipe or read on to see our tips.
We are sharing more of a method, rather than a recipe. We highly recommend our spice rub and pan sauce, but you can use your favorite spices instead.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: This Perfect Roasted Pork Tenderloin Recipe with Apples. Our simple recipe makes juicy tenderloin that’s full of flavor. It has rave reviews!
How to Cook the Best Pork Chops
We cook the pork chops on the stovetop — hello, beautiful sear! If you’d prefer to bake them, you can still take advantage of some of the suggestions below.
Don’t cook chops straight from the refrigerator. Thirty minutes before you plan to cook, take the pork chops out of the fridge. The time out of the refrigerator lets you bring the meat up to room temperature, which helps the pork cook more evenly throughout. Use this trick for other cuts of meat like pork tenderloin or steak.
Season the chops with salt half an hour before cooking. This way, the salt has a chance to improve the flavor and texture of the meat. Pork chops are pretty lean, so seasoning with salt before cooking is essential for making the most flavorful chops.
Rub the chops with spices and a little bit of flour. Here’s where your favorite spice rub can come in. Alternatively, you can use our spice blend in the recipe below. Whichever you choose, add a little flour to it. Rubbing a small amount of flour over the chops helps to add a flavorful crust. We use this trick a lot. When cooking scallops, we add a little flour to the outside so they brown evenly.
Sear on one side, flip then cover with a lid. We use this trick a lot, in fact, it’s one of the only ways we cook chicken breasts so that they are juicy. First, we sear one side of the pork chops until browned then we flip them, turn down the heat to low and cover the skillet with a lid. The second side will slowly turn golden brown, and since we added the lid, the heat from the pan will gently cook the middle. By gently cooking the chops this way, they remain juicy and become tender.
Let the cooked chops rest. Pork is done when an internal thermometer reads 145 degrees F. The moment they are cooked, transfer them to a clean plate and cover with foil. After 5 minutes all the juices inside the chops will have distributed around the meat.
One note about cook time, depending on how thick the chops are, you might need to subtract or add a few minutes. If you look closely, the pork chop in the back of the pan (pictured above) is thicker than the one in the front. When we were cooking them, we removed the thinner chop first since it reached 145 degrees a few minutes before the thicker chop. So if your chops aren’t all the same thickness or size, it’s best to check the temperature of each chop and remove them as they finish cooking.
For the juiciest, tastiest chops, make a pan sauce. It’s easy! While the chops rest off of the heat, add chicken stock, a little bit of apple cider vinegar and some honey to the skillet. Bring everything to a simmer then reduce by about half. When it has reduced, slide the pan away from the heat and swirl in some butter. Grab your chops and place them back into the skillet. You can add them whole or sliced. We love adding them sliced since the pan sauce gets all over the meat.
And that’s it, our no-fail method for cooking juicy and tender pork chops. We hope you give it a try soon. If you do, try one of these side dishes to go alongside.
- This colorful coleslaw would be perfect and adds lots of crunch. With a generous amount of acidity from apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard, our favorite coleslaw is anything but dull.
- Add a healthy, low-carb side of mashed cauliflower. It takes about 20 minutes and would be excellent served with the pork.
- For a more traditional side, give our favorite homemade mashed potatoes a try.
The Best Juicy Skillet Pork Chops
Pork chops are a quick, healthy and simple dinner. Our method ensures juicy, tender and flavorful pork chops with little fuss. Check the notes section for our tips on which pork chops are best.
You Will Need
4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick and 6 to 7 ounces each, see notes
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chili powder, see our homemade chili powder recipe
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock, see our homemade chicken stock recipe
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey or brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, optional
- Prepare Pork Chops
- Make Pan Sauce
Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator and season on both sides with salt and pepper — we use just less than 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt per pork chop. Set the chops aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the spice rub. In a small bowl, mix the flour, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
After 30 minutes, use a paper towel to pat the pork chops dry then rub both sides of the chops with the spice rub.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet (with lid) over medium-high heat. As soon as the oil is hot and looks shimmery, add the pork. Cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pork so that the seared side is facing up. (If there is a fattier side of the pork, use kitchen tongs to hold the chops, fat-side-down until it sizzles and browns slightly; about 30 seconds.)
Reduce the heat to low then cover the skillet with a lid. Cook 6 to 12 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 145 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the chop. (Since cook time depends on the thickness of the chops, check for doneness at 5 minutes then go from there, checking every 2 minutes). If you do not have a thermometer, you will know they are done, if when cutting into the chops, the juices run clear.
Transfer pork chops to a plate then cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the pork rest for 5 minutes.
While the pork rests, make the pan sauce. Increase the heat to medium-high then add the chicken stock, vinegar, and honey. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan so that any stuck bits of pork come up. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half.
Taste then adjust the seasoning with salt, more vinegar or honey. Slide the skillet off of the heat and when the sauce is no longer simmering, swirl in the butter. Slide the pork chops back into the pan and spoon some of the sauce on top. Alternatively, slice the chops then place back into the pan. Scatter fresh parsley over the pork then serve.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- What pork chops to use: We call for 1-inch thick chops in the recipe, but you can use thinner or thicker chops as a substitute. Keep in mind that thinner chops will cook much quicker, so keep your thermometer close by. Bone-in chops are an excellent option, too. The bone will add a minute or two of extra cook time.
- Can I use my favorite spice rub? Yes, absolutely. Just make sure the spice rub is salt-free.
- Gluten-free: If you don’t want to use the flour, it’s okay. The crust won’t be as even, but skipping the flour and just rubbing the spices over the pork will still taste great.
- Make an onion-apple pan sauce: After removing the cooked pork chops from the skillet, add sliced onions, apples and a bit of fresh thyme. Cook until sweet and softened then pour in the stock, vinegar, and honey.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
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