Juicy Oven Baked Pork Chops

Easy oven-baked pork chops! These pork chops are tender, juicy, and you can easily customize them with your favorite spices and seasonings. With a few simple tricks, you can make juicy and tender pork chops in the oven. Jump to the Easy Oven Baked Pork Chops Recipe

Juicy Oven Baked Pork Chops

How to Make Juicy Tender Baked Pork Chops

We’ve already shared our method for cooking the juiciest skillet pork chops. Many of you loved that recipe so much that you asked us to share how we cook pork chops in the oven. We are happy to help! Here it is, our no-fail method for the best baked pork chops. Let’s do this!

Juicy and Tender Bakes Pork Chops

As you read through the recipe, keep in mind that you can customize the seasonings for these chops. We love the lemon and herb combination shared in the recipe below, but you can use your favorite spices instead.

Whether you use our flavor combination or not, for the best baked pork chops, keep these simple tips in mind:

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 fridge 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 pork chops with salt 30 minutes 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.

You can think of this step as a more straightforward way to brine the pork (instead of a wet brine, the salt acts as a dry brine).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, so the oven is hot before you slide in the chops.

Let the baked 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 loosely cover with foil.

After 5 minutes, all the juices inside the chops will have distributed around the meat.

Our Best Baked Pork Chop Tip

The tips above are all important, but here’s our best advice for baking pork in the oven: Sear the chops briefly in a hot skillet before baking in the oven.

We’d love to tell you that lining raw pork chops on a baking sheet and sliding them into the oven to bake will make for a tasty chop, but after years of cooking proteins like pork and steak in our kitchen, we just haven’t had success with that method.

Instead, by taking an extra five minutes to preheat a skillet and sear one side of the pork before baking, the chops take on a beautiful golden-brown color, have a better texture (thanks to the seared crust), and are more interesting to eat.

Since we hate unnecessary dirty pans/dishes around here, we love to use our cast iron skillet to sear and bake the chops in.

However, if you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can sear the pork chops in a regular skillet (the heavier, the better) and then transfer the seared chops to a baking dish or sheet pan to finish them in the oven.

Another option is to continue to cook them on the stove. Here’s our recipe for stovetop pork chops.

Baked Pork Chops with lemon slices

What Seasonings Are Best for Pork Chops?

Similar to chicken breast, pork is mild in flavor, so you have lots of options for adding flavor. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep it simple and use salt, pepper, a fresh herb like thyme, and lemon wedges scattered around the pan. This is what we’ve done in our photos, and the recipe shared below.
  • For chili powder based seasoning, we love using a combination of ancho or our homemade chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Combine one teaspoon of everything listed, except use only 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. (We used this blend in our skillet pork chops recipe.)
  • We love using a blend of brown sugar, grated lemon zest, and smoked paprika for a sweet citrus rub. Use one tablespoon brown sugar, one teaspoon lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. (We use this blend to make our brown sugar baked salmon.)
  • A combination of fresh herbs, Dijon mustard, and lemon is classic. (Take a look at our lemon baked chicken thighs or our baked pork tenderloin recipe for inspiration.)
  • Italian seasoning, Za’atar seasoning, and taco seasoning are also excellent. (Here’s our homemade taco seasoning blend.)

What Kind of Pork Chops Should I Use?

When it comes to baking pork chops, the thicker, the better. Pork is easy to overcook, and when that happens, the results are less than ideal.

To prevent overcooking, choose pork chops that are at least 1-inch thick.

If you can buy bone-in chops, do it! The bone helps reduce the chance of overcooking, and personally, I think the result tastes better than boneless pork chops.

How Long Should I Cook Pork Chops in the Oven?

The cook time for baked pork chops will vary depending on how thick your chops are. That said, they won’t need very long in the oven.

For example, boneless pork chops about 1-inch thick will need a 2 to 3 minute sear in the skillet and then 8 to 15 minutes of bake time in the oven.

Thinner chops will cook much quicker, and thicker (or bone-in) chops may take a few minutes longer — a temperature thermometer is your best bet for checking doneness.

Pork is done when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you do not have a thermometer, you will know they are done if the juices run clear when cutting into the chops.

What Should I Serve With Pork Chops?

Thanks to the fact that pork chops are lean and affordable, we cook them quite a bit. Here’s a list of our favorite sides to serve them with:

Juicy Oven Baked Pork Chops

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

Baked pork chops are a quick, healthy, and simple dinner. Our method ensures juicy, tender, and flavorful pork chops with little fuss. Use our seasoning suggestions — we especially love the roasted lemon wedges — or substitute with your favorite spice blends (we’ve shared some tips in the article above).

We ask you to cover the pork with foil or parchment during baking. By gently cooking the chops this way, they remain juicy and become tender.

Makes 4 servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick and 6 to 7 ounces each

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil like grapeseed, avocado, or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Handful of tender herbs like parsley or dill, chopped

Directions

  • Dry Brine Chops
  • 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.

    • Cook Chops
    • Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190° C).

      Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet — such as a cast iron pan — over medium-high heat. As soon as the oil is hot and looks shimmery, pat the pork dry, and then add the pork. Cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. While the pork sears, scatter half of the thyme over the side of the pork chops that are facing up.

      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.)

      Scatter the remaining thyme over the seared side of the pork. Arrange lemon wedges around the chops, and then loosely cover with foil or tuck parchment paper around the pan. Slide the skillet into the oven to finish cooking. (If you do not have an oven-safe skillet, transfer the pork chops to a baking dish.)

      Bake 8 to 15 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 the juices run clear when cutting into the chops.

      Transfer pork chops to a plate, then cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the pork rest for 5 minutes. Serve with additional herbs, roasted lemon wedges, and a spoonful of pan juices on top.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Optional Pan Sauce: When the pork chops are resting, place the skillet over medium-high, then add 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, maple syrup or honey, and the juice from the roasted lemon wedges into the pan. 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 or more sugar/honey/maple syrup. Slide the skillet off of the heat and when the sauce is no longer simmering, swirl in a tablespoon of butter.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 pork chop / Calories 260 / Total Fat 10.4g / Saturated Fat 2.9g / Cholesterol 107.1mg / Sodium 689.2mg / Total Carbohydrate 1g / Dietary Fiber 0.1g / Total Sugars 0.3g / Protein 38.3g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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29 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Karole May 15, 2020, 6:29 pm

    I’m saving the recipe, looks great. Best of all is the tips, great tips.
    My go-to is, brush on olive oil, sprinkle chops with salt/pepper,garlic powder, onion powder and a hint of cinnamon. Search the chops in a (cast iron) skillet to a perfect amber color and lay them out on a baking sheet. Drape a sheet of parchment over the chops. No need to fuss or tuck, just lay it on top. You will get the juiciest chops ever! Also, if you skip the search, you can high broil the chops for a few minutes, um yeah, remove the parchment first.

    Reply
  • EE Gabriel May 13, 2020, 12:54 am

    Wonderful. My husband said it was the best. pork chop he’s ever had! The recipe and comments are going in my keeper binder. I used orange marmalade in the sauce (and added a bit of butter). I’ve always had a problem with pork chops. My mama floured and fried them, then made gravy, but they were never this tender. This also would be a pip for guests. Bravo on the methods and recipe. BUT … I understand why I had to wade through all the pitter-patter before finally getting to the specifics, but I still don’t like it.

    Reply
  • Deborah L. Mellis May 9, 2020, 6:49 pm

    Followed the recipe to the letter…. the pork was way over-cooked. Not dry exactly, but well done, very much overly well done.

    Reply
  • L Wolf May 8, 2020, 8:51 pm

    I was excited to try this recipe, as my boneless pork loin chops are always a bit on the dry side, but it did not work for me… I’d love to know what others did to achieve success. Even with a sear of two minutes and baking in the oven for six, my pork chops were tough and dry again. I will be looking for thicker chops for the next go around in the hopes that they will turn out better.

    Reply
  • Karen Wilson May 1, 2020, 11:55 pm

    I have struggled with getting oven back pork chops to come out moist. I followed the recipe – and wow… My family loved them. I made 6 boneless in my Red Copper pan (perfect for searing and baking), started testing temperature at 8 min, ended up taking 12 min. Let them sit as directed, and they really were fantastic. My family loved them. Looking forward to trying other recipes.

    Reply
  • Ella April 24, 2020, 8:09 pm

    Just tried this recipe and it was a hit! I’ve never taken all the steps you used for cooking pork chop, but it makes a huge difference. My wife said it’s her favorite meal of mine (and I’m a pretty good cook). We squeezed lemon over the chops as well as put slices on each chop, then used thyme, rosemary, and garlic (as well as the salt). I will definitely use this recipe again with different seasonings.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth April 11, 2020, 10:06 am

    Has anyone used the chili based season as suggested in the recipe and, if so, is it applied as a rub before searing the pork chops or is it added after the searing but before the pork chops are put in the oven to bake? Thanks!

    Reply
  • Celeste Johnston March 31, 2020, 11:51 pm

    For once in my life I actually cooked a pork chop that was not dry as a bone. Thank you. I tried the pan sauce method for me I think the problem was I don’t really know how long it takes to reduce a sauce so it was a little thin but it still tasted really good! I put over the pork chop and then over some left over rice I had and it made the rice taste really good as well! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Lilly Jane Barron March 27, 2020, 11:21 am

    I used the recipe for Baked Pork Chops and all these tips and had the best chops ever!!!! I used fresh crushed garlic and a small bouquet of fresh rosemary while searing and baking .. the parchment paper kept the oven clean .. will use this method always going forward ! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Simon February 19, 2020, 8:12 am

    I followed the recipe exactly, plus some extra spices that had salt included. I also brinded two 1″ thick chops for over three hours. We grow fresh thyme year-round, so I definitely put some on top the pork. Even though I baked the chops a little too long they were still juicy and tasty. My wife will not eat pork if pink in the middle.

    Reply
  • Maribel February 4, 2020, 5:58 pm

    OMG! I could not believe I managed to follow this recipe with success. This is the first pork chop (outside of a crock-pot) that I’ve been able to make that was juicy and tender. My husband loved them. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Sue Steele January 9, 2020, 6:19 pm

    Omg! I shouldn’t be this surprised considering this is the ONLY site I go to for cooking ribs. We haven’t tried these just yet, but we’re about to! I’ve always overcooked pork chops, & theres nothing worse than dried out overcooked meat of ANY kind. I’ll submit photos after we eat!

    Reply
  • Vicki Luker December 30, 2019, 8:25 pm

    Love the hummus. Making for New Year’s.

    Reply
  • Mary Burt October 19, 2019, 6:52 pm

    Delicious! Thank you!!

    Reply
    • M Daniel December 10, 2019, 3:26 pm

      Thank you so much! I haven’t been able to make Thick pork chops tender and the sauce is delicious. I’ll be looking for more recipes on your site!

      Reply
  • Theron Oliver October 3, 2019, 12:27 pm

    LOVE the lemon and pepper with the smoked paprika. Thank you.

    Reply

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