Pork chops are one of the most popular dishes being cooked in many places all over the world. They come from the loin, which runs from the hip to the shoulder, on the same part where you’ll find the tenderloin. Pork chops can be labeled with different names, such as center-cut loin, rib chop, loin chop, sirloin chop, and blade chop, among others. Each of them indicates where on the loin they were cut from, and some cuts are leaner while others contain more fat.
But overall, pork chops are tender and lean cut of meat that has a really great flavor. They are also quick to cook, making them versatile. This is the reason why they are one of the top picks for weeknight dinners. If you like pork chops, there are many ways to cook them. If you are thinking of serving pork chops for lunch or dinner, but you are tired of serving the same fried or breaded pork chops, then you’re in the right place. It’s because today, we are giving you more ideas and ways of fixing pork chops.
The Best Way to Cook Pork Chops
Before we give you different pork chop cooking styles, we are going to share with you first some steps on how to cook the perfect pork chop every single time.
- Brine to have more tender and flavorful pork chops: If you want your pork chops to be tastier when it’s cooked, then you can brine them in a simple mixture of water, salt, and herbs for 15 minutes before cooking. This will add extra flavor, and will also keep the meat extra tender.
- Allow the pork chops to sit at room temperature: Also, before cooking, especially if the pork chops are frozen or from the fridge, let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes first. This will give the meat a chance to warm up and will ensure more even cooking.
- Start with a hot pan when searing: If you want to achieve the coveted seared crust that makes any pork chop special, then make sure that the meat is patted dry and give the pan some time to heat up before putting the meat and cooking them.
- The amount of time to cook depends on the thickness of the meat: When cooking pork chops, the thickness is the primary factor that dictates total cook time. Thinner chops cook quicker compared to thicker chops.
- Cook the pork chops to 145°F: Using a probe thermometer, test the tenderness of the pork chops while cooking. When they are cooked to 145°F, the meat will be tender and juicy.
Different Ways of Cooking Pork Chops
Since pork chops are lean cuts with little fat content, they are quick to cook. Here are some of the different ways on how you can cook pork chops:
- Cook Pork Chops in the Oven
This is probably one of the best ways to cook pork chops. Whether you’ll be cooking boneless or bone-in, brined or not, rib or loin chops, this method will always give you tender and juicy pork chops. To do this, start with a quick sear in a screaming-hot pan on the stovetop. After that, place the pork chops in the oven and let them in the heat until the meat is cooked through.
- Stuff the Pork Chops with Fillings
When you’ve already mastered the basic method of cooking pork chops, and you’re looking for a more unique way to serve them, then you can try stuffing them with a flavorful filling to make them fancier. Just like their unstuffed counterparts, stuffed pork chops are also cooked first or seared on the stovetop and then finished in the oven.
Depending on the filling that you’ll be adding, it may need some extra minutes of cook time. Also, when making stuffed pork chops, size matters. Therefore, choose chops that are at least an inch thick. You can stuff them with whatever ingredients you like, such as mushrooms, nuts, veggies, and more.
- Cook Pork Chops on the Stovetop
This is a quick and simple way of cooking pork chops, and it can work for both bone-in and boneless pork chops. But this method is best for pork chops that are no more than an inch thick.
First, cook one side of the pork chops in a super-hot, oiled skillet. After that, flip them and cook the other side. You can also consider adding a rub to the chops once they are done. You can make a simple pan sauce or maybe serve them with a sauce, such as salsa, port wine sauce, and more.
- Cook Pork Chops in a Slow Cooker
You can also use your slow cooker to get your pork chop fix. This method is perfect for cooking bone-in blade, sirloin, and rib chops. Avoid cooking boneless pork chops here because they can get chewy. When cooking pork chops in a slow cooker, sear them if you like, then layer them over veggies in the cooker. Let them cook for two up to six hours for a one-pot meal.
- Stir-Fry the Pork Chops
If you are into cooking pork chops in a very unique way, then consider stir-frying them. Boneless pork chops are perfect for stir-frying. Slice the pork chops in half or thirds, depending on the thickness, and then cut them into thin strips. After cutting, you can start stir-frying them. You can also swap in pork chops in stir-fry recipes that ask for pork tenderloin.
- Simmer Pork Chops in Soup
When you slice pork chops into thin strips, you can also add them to a quick and hearty weeknight soup. There’s no need for you to pre-cook the pork chops because you can let the raw meat simmer and cook directly in the soup. For this style of cooking, you can use boneless loin or rib pork chops for the best results.
These are some of the best ways we can recommend on how you can fix pork chops. All of these cooking styles will surely give you tender, juicy, and flavorful pork chops that the whole family will love for dinner, lunch, or even for snack time, as well. We hope these will help you in cooking and serving the best pork chops for your whole family.