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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30 comments… Leave a Comment
  • cindy martin September 7, 2021, 5:26 pm

    best pork chop recipe! Mine were always super dry but not anymore! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  • Debbie Aguilar July 19, 2021, 4:07 pm

    I am making these now, but wondering if you could please give some tips for reheating them later in a way so they won’t be dry?

    Reply
    • Adam August 2, 2021, 4:45 pm

      If you need to reheat we would recommend that you gently reheat in an oven or skillet.

      Reply
  • Michael Soileau July 7, 2021, 9:07 pm

    Your recipes sound delicious, looking forward to cooking them.

    Reply
  • Rob N June 8, 2021, 8:03 pm

    I cooked the chops according to your instructions and they were perfect. I’ll definitely make this again.

    Reply
    • Garron Slocum October 4, 2021, 12:17 pm

      Thanks again! This tastes amazing! Do juicy, and best pok chops I have ever baked!

      Reply
  • Wendy March 21, 2021, 5:02 pm

    Brilliant recipe , tips and instructions. Have not been a fan of pork chops as they always seem dry and sometimes tough. Our thick chops were tender and delicious. Definitely a ‘go to’ recipe. Maybe the previous problems were down to my cooking the chops for too long and not preparing, searing etc Thanks

    Reply
  • Jane January 25, 2021, 3:45 pm

    We gave up on pork chops for awhile as they were always dry. I decided to give this a try and were pleased we did. These were very moist delish and easy. Go for it

    Reply
  • Tom DiBerardino September 23, 2020, 6:29 pm

    Wow, can’t believe how tender these came out. Incredible flavor too.

    Reply
  • Linda September 14, 2020, 10:01 pm

    I’m trying your pork chop recipe tonight. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Larry August 30, 2020, 10:52 am

    I used 1 1/2 inch bone-in chops. Used cast iron skillet. Browned 3 minutes per side, then baked for 7 minutes, flipped and baked for additional 7 minutes. They were perfect.

    Reply
  • Jordan August 6, 2020, 8:47 pm

    I am so grateful that I came across this page. I used these directions to cook some very thin pork chops tonight and my family is begging for these to be on the menu again soon! Thank you for the info!

    Reply
  • Lizzie July 22, 2020, 9:03 pm

    I made this as the recipe instructed and they were juicy and so flavorful. I sliced the chops into strips and poured some of the pan sauce over them. I also made your mashed cauliflower, and along with some sugar snap peas, this made a beautiful dish. My boyfriend was super impressed! Your “Tips” section after each recipe makes this a great blog. I keep coming back to it.

    Reply
  • kirk July 21, 2020, 11:18 am

    Delicious!! Easy to make. Do it!

    Reply

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