Perfectly Pan-seared Pork-chop

January 5, 2010  •  Meat & Poultry, Popular, Technique

I’m on a pork kick. Not sure whether it’s because the half hog I got from my farm this year tastes so superior to any store bought meat I’ve ever purchased, or whether the incredible porchetta I had in San Francisco a couple months ago just launched me on this culinary trajectory. Who knows, but I’m hooked on all things pork. Pork shoulder slow cooked then turned into an incredible Green Chili Posole, thick slabs of bacon cooked on baking sheets in the oven and used to top Corn Chowder, or as I promised yesterday, the perfectly pan-seared pork-chop.Let’s get a couple of things straight. Perfectly cooked pork is still slightly pink in the center, cooked to a nice medium, not cooked to shoe leather well done as you might remember it being cooked in the ’60s. If you’re still concerned about diseases, buy your meat from a reputable local source and then enjoy cooking it to the right temperature. My husband thought he hated pork – turns out he just hates overcooked, dry pork. And really, who wouldn’t?Start by patting your chops dry and sprinkling them very liberally with salt and pepper. When the only seasoning to be added is salt and pepper, you want to be sure there is enough of it.Heat your skillet to medium high and add the olive oil. When it’s shimmering hot and not a moment before, add your chops. [Did I forget to put pepper on the second side of these chops or did I just snap the shot before I did?] Sear on one side, without moving them at all, until they are nice and golden brown on the first side, about 3-5 minutes. My chops come bone-in from the farm, and cooking anything bone-in creates the most flavor. I leave the bone and all of the fat while I cook them, then cut the meat from the bone and trim the fat before serving it.Flip and sear the other side until browned. At this point my mom used to cover the pan and let the chops cook all the way through, but I remove them from the heat and let them rest for a few minutes before cutting into them. Not sure how to tell how done a chop or steak is? The pros do it by feel and a steak or chop cooked medium should have a slight resistance when you press on it with your finger but not feel hard and solid. I know that’s hard to envision – it just takes practice.And that, my dear friends, is how you perfectly pan sear a pork chop! Serve it with Homemade Applesaucefor a real treat. You made the applesauce didn’t you?! Promise me you gave it a try!

4.6 from 26 reviews
Perfectly Pan-seared Pork-chop
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
  • 2 pork chops, preferably bone in
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, for searing
  1. Pat chops dry and sprinke them very liberally with salt and pepper. Heat your skillet to medium high and add the olive oil. When it's shimmering hot and not a moment before, add your chops. Sear on one side, without moving them at all, until they are nice and golden brown on the first side, about 3-5 minutes. Flip and sear the other side until browned. Remove them from the heat and let them rest, wrapped in foil, for a few minutes before cutting into them.



74 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. hungry dog says:

    This is a great post–very informative. I just made pork chops the other night and they turned out pretty well but ever so sligthly overdone. I’m with you…pork should be sligthly pink, otherwise it’s tough.

  2. Yummypork says:

    i got a bit dangerous and under cooked it…i also added seasoned salt and paprika to the spices…it was d-lish

  3. Josh P says:

    The USDA changed the cooking guideline for cooking pork from an internal temp of 160 to an internal temp of 145 with a 3 min rest.

    I personally do a minimum of a 5 min rest for any meats, the temp will continue to rise during the rest and it redistributes the juices. Ever wonder why you cut into a steak and your plate is then full of juice? You forget to let it rest!

    • jack says:

      hi josh, please don’t ever cook pork to 160! that went out years ago. all the bad stuff is killed at 138. so if you cook it to 140-145, let it rest. you are safe and have moist pork.

      • J.D. says:

        Haha Josh WAS saying that you don’t need to cook it to 160!!!! Read a little more carefully next time 😉

  4. Bridget says:

    I love this recipe. It was so juicy and flavorful. Thank you. I use to over cook mine.

  5. Tessa says:

    Hi Michele,

    We made the pork chops just as you suggested above. My husband stated that it was in fact THE BEST pork chop he’s ever eaten. We usually shy away from pork because my pork chops tend to be dry.

    Thanks for sharing!


  6. hannah says:

    thanks, I was unaware that pork no longer needed to be cooked to 160! I look forward to good properly cooked pork chops from now on.

  7. Samantha says:

    These were so good and juicy that I didn’t even need any kind of sauce like I normally do with pork chops

  8. kellypea says:

    Now I remember that you’ve also purchased a pig. We’ve been in pork heaven here, too. We don’t have chops all that often, but this is pretty similar to the way I cook mine as well. I’m laughing because the whole idea of the lid going over the pan to let them cook through is how my mother taught me to cook them as well. Definitely not a great idea for chops!

  9. daniel says:

    amazing! I’ve tried on several occasions to sear pork and each time it has turned out dry and leathery. This was perfect! So easy and it was delicious! many thanks.

  10. Donna says:

    Wow! Normally we grill our pork chops as we live in the South, but we ran out of propane – Disaster! I’m 52 years old and never pan seared a pork chop in my life. This was really good. I had two thick cut bone in chops. When done browning, I added some Paula Deen’s bourbon sauce to the top of the chops while they rested. Soooo good. Also tossed some seasoned and marinated zuchinni quarters into the skillet after I flipped them. They were crunchy and cooked perfectly after resting.

  11. rookie_foodie says:

    Just used this recipe for my spicy pork chops. Wow!

  12. Pete says:

    So simple and so good! Just cooked them for the first time tonight and they turned out perfectly! I will play with an apple relish next time!



  13. Jay says:

    Dude… It’s better to be safe than sorry when cooking pork. You can get it to 160 without drying it out.

  14. kayla says:

    Absolutely delicious! These were the best pork chops I have ever had. So moist and juicy, no sauce needed this time! Thanks for sharing the tips!

  15. Diane says:

    All I can say is W O W these were the best porkchops I have ever prepared. I purchased 2 bone-in THICK porkloin chops,came home & googled up this recipe. Must have been my LUCKY day! I only seasoned with salt, pepper, & a tad of garlic powder. Bye bye dry chops….these were a WINNER to our tastebuds. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  16. Brett says:

    Thank you so much… best chops ive ever been able to cook myself.
    So moist and juicy…. THANKS again!

  17. Virginia says:

    5 Stars! Used this recipe this morning and made the best pork chops ever!!
    Thank you for sharing.

  18. pete says:

    Also add some garlic powder and you will be amazed how it tastes.

  19. red says:

    I’m nervous to cook it slightly pink, but I’m willing to risk possible food sickness if it makes my pork chops any better lol. I understand could temps and I know what your saying is true. but coming from doing it one way for so long it makes me nervous lol.

  20. Laura says:

    Should I adjust the cooking time for super thick pork chops? Seems like the sear time would be the same due to surface area, but then to make sure they are not too rare, I should maybe do some more cooking……what do you think?

    • Michele says:

      Laura, if your chops are super thick you might try inserting a meat thermometer into them from the side and cook them to 145 degrees. Or just add a few minutes so they aren’t rare!

  21. Brandyn says:

    I personally love the crispy fat and bone to my porkchops. Nothing like scraping a little bit of that delicious marrow out too! 🙂

    I prefer to buy chops with the bone in, and I never “EVER” overcook the chops! DEEE-licious. Amazing next to toast and an egg in the morning as well!

  22. Matt says:

    Going to try this.. but instead I’ll cook at a higher heat for less time to sear.. then put the pan into a preheated 375 degree oven covered in peach preserves for 10 minutes. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  23. Tye Smith says:

    Great recipe and my family loved the pork chops. Very easy and simple!

  24. motheroftwo says:

    Turned out wonderful :-).

  25. Ad says:

    As a college student cooking pork for the first time, this was brilliant! Will make this a lot more!

  26. Dave Medlin says:

    How much olive oil do you use?

  27. Gray says:

    No wonder my pork chops are always tough and gross!! My meat thermometer says to cook them to 170!!! And I have been!! I’m sharing this with my hubs who is afraid of pink pork chops!! Thank you so much!!

  28. Nancy Thibodeaux says:

    OMG…thank you so much for this recipe! This was the best pork chop I’ve ever had in my life! I brined them first for 5 hours and talk about juicy and tender! Now I know how to cook pork chops! 🙂

  29. Bonnie says:

    Tried your recipe for pork chops , one word awesome 🙂

  30. Tina says:

    What I don’t understand is WHY pan searing the pork requires olive oil. I’ve seen this in more then one recipe for pan searing pork, yet I’ve been told by several people that using olive oil in a pan is a huge no-no and very dangerous as apparently you can inhale the chemicals through the cooking process and it can be very toxic. Can someone explains this??

  31. Krista says:

    These are the best pork chops! There’s no need to get all fancy shmancy and over season pork chops. Salt & pepper is all you need on these bad boys! Thanks for your recipe…my family loves them!

  32. Sherri says:

    I just made some pork chops. Seared them 2′ per side on cast iron skillet. Then removed pan from heat and covered it with foil for 10′. They were a little dry still. Should I have removed them from the pan and covered for 10′?? Also, can I use a regular skillet or must it be cast iron?

    • Michele says:

      Sherri, leaving them in the hot pan will definitely cause them to continue to cook – next time try removing them from the pan and wrapping loosely with foil. Also, every stove is different, every pan heats differently, and all chops are different thicknesses and with differing levels of fat marbling which can all affect the finished product. You still might need to adjust but once you get the knack, you’ll have perfectly pan-seared pork chops every time!

  33. Samuel says:

    Hi, how thick should the pork chops be that are in this recipe? And all of this looks very simple and delicious! I’m looking forward to trying this!

    • Michele says:

      Samuel, it doesn’t matter how thick, as that will just affect the cooking time. Follow the same technique, but just cook a little longer if your chops are thicker, or a little less if your chops are thinner. After trying it a couple of times you’ll get used to the technique!

  34. Rosemary Jaskierny says:

    Hi Michele,
    Are you saying cook to 145 by inserting meat thermometer, then letting them rest? What will be temperature after they’ve rested and still juicy? Is it safe to cook to 135 or 140 and then let them rest to 145?

    Thank you, Rosemary

    • Michele says:

      Rosemary, 145 finished temp is what is OK by the USDA for pork cooking temps – I actually kind of just cook by sight and feel, but if you are using a thermometer, you probably can cook to 140 as it will carry over cook the remaining 5 degrees. Enjoy!

  35. Mabaker says:

    Fixed these for supper tonight and they were delicious. Very juicy. Followed recipe… They turned out perfect. Topped them off with applesauce. Yum!

  36. Val says:

    I tried it tonight… deeeeeelish!!! I used thick cut boneless chops. I fried them exactly as the recipe says in my cast iron pan til my thermometer read 145*, then transferred them to tin foil and wrapped it for 10 minutes, they were slightly pink in middle …. oh boy, I never thought they’d be so good! thanks

  37. Jan says:

    How much oil do you use?

    • Michele says:

      Use just a little oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan – the pork chops will render fat as they cook and you’ll have plenty of fat that way, so don’t use too much!

  38. Allen says:

    Awesome! Followed the directions and the chops are great! Thx!

  39. Cyberdish says:

    Ok, gonna try it right now…sounds easy enough but I always mess up…I think combining butter with the oil may be my problem? I’m gonna try using just the oil…unfortunately I only have corn oil, I hope it works..I’ll let you know!

  40. Barbara G says:

    Trying this method tonight.

    Easy to prepare. I think the 2 minute resting in foil made the chops a little juicier, although we thought they were just a bit dry anyway. Possibly I cooked them a minute or two too long to begin with. Would use this recipe again.

  41. Marianne Reichelt says:

    I was so excited to try this recipe — I avoid cooking pork because it is always too dry. I followed the recipe with a five-minute-per-side sear and a 10 minute rest. It was just a bit too tough. Wondering whether the timings need to be adjusted because I used center cut boneless chops? Next time I may cut the searing time to 3 minutes? Thanks for any wisdom! I want to do these again!

    • Lizzy says:

      Marianne, do try 3 minutes next time. (Cook until they’re 135°-140°) Then rest 10, just like you did. Don’t trim the fat beforehand and bones are good! Sear on!!
      (I used veg oil bc olive has a smoke point of 135°-140° and I made my pan screaming hot).

  42. Kiersten says:

    I just made these for dinner but I accidentally left them on too long because I wanted to make sure they were all the way done and they dried out 🙁 I’ve never made pork chops on the stove before. The flavor was very good but it was very dry. Next time I’ll cook them way less.

  43. Maria says:

    I am wondering if this timing will work for thick pork chops.

  44. Maria says:

    I just noticed the other comments! No need to answer my previous question.
    Thanks for the recipe :).

  45. Sheila says:

    Omg, this recipe made the best and easiest pork chops I’ve ever had!!! Perfecto!! Thank you!!

  46. Joan Raubar says:

    I have been hungry for pork chops with the bone in so thank you for being explicit with your instructions.

    Next, I want to make roast port egg foo yung. If you are able to respond, what type of pork should I could for that dish?

    Joan Raubar

    • Michele says:

      Joan, egg foo young is really about the omelette and the vegetables used with the sauce for the topping – if you want to include pork, you could mince up any cooked pork, including a little left over from the pork chops.

  47. Rick says:

    If you are supposed to leave the pork chops in the frying pan without turning over until “golden-brown”; how do you know when they are “golden-brown”?

  48. Michele says:


    Would you recommend ghee or lard instead of Olive Oil? Olive oil is not recommended for high heat cooking and I usually reserve for salad dressings and drizzling over food or as dipping sauces?

    • Michele says:

      Michele, I use olive oil for everything except deep frying – and don’t have a problem with using it for searing like this recipe. But if you prefer, you can use any fat of your choice that you like for searing meat.

  49. a. charles says:

    I NEVER make pork chops because they always turn out like shoe leather. this recipe has given me courage and hope to overcome this issue! trying it tonight and can’t wait! thank you!

  50. Rae says:

    OMG!! Thank you so much….My hubby wanted a browned moist chop. So easy, followed the directions and the chops were amazing.(We raised the girls so knew they were tastier than store bought pork.) But the foil at the end of the “charring” was the secret. Very happy man and believe me I will use this a lot!!

  51. Fannie Overweg says:

    This blog about Perfectly Pan-seared Pork-chop helps me a lot in my diet.

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