Pan Seared Pork Chops
These quick Pan Seared Pork Chops are a recreation of a breakfast I had during my first trip to Oklahoma. They’re easy, delicious, and take less than 15 minutes to make. Pair with Poached Eggs and a side of Hash Browns and you have a hearty and satisfying breakfast.
When it comes to my go-to cuts of meat to cook, pork chops were never on my radar for most of my life. And certainly not as breakfast food.
But both of those facts have changed, now that I’ve discovered how glorious pan-seared pork chops are, and what minimal effort they require.
Remember how last week I wrote about my visit to the Pioneer Woman’s ranch? One of the photos I shared with you was of this Oklahoma breakfast I had at a B&B in town, with a pan seared pork chop and a sunny side up egg:
This was my first time being served a pork chop for breakfast and I LOVED it! It was so good, I may or may not have been nibbling at the bone in front of my friends and the client. What can I say, I had to respect the food! I know, best excuse ever.
This new breakfast experience was served to me by Steven and Tiffany Poe, who run the Grandview Inn Bed & Breakfast in Ree’s hometown, Pawhuska. I asked Steven what he did to make the pork chop so magical, and his response was simple.
It’s just a thin sliced pork chop with Lawry’s seasoning salt (never heard of it), dredged in flour, and quickly seared until it’s cooked through, but not tough.
I went home determined to recreate this easy recipe, and I’m pleased to report the results were all I remember them to be.
Tips for Best Results
Look for marbled meat – I always like going to the store to pick out my meat because some pieces are usually more marbled than others. Marbling of fat means more juicy meat, so pick pieces with more visual fat.
Use bone-in pork chops – I’m a huge fan of cooking meat on the bone, because it always tastes better and stays juicier. While you can also use boneless pork chops here, I recommend trying bone in.
Cook to 145F – Pork only needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F in order to be safe to eat, so definitely don’t cook it beyond that! I always use an instant read thermometer so I can get the doneness exactly to where it should be.
How thick can the chop be?
Here I’m using thinner chops, no more than 3/4″ thick. This is ideal for this recipe. However, you can use thick-cut pork chops 1″ or 1.5″ thick, with certain adjustments. The cook time will be longer for thicker chops, closer to 8-12 minutes, and I recommend removing the meat from the fridge an hour before cooking, to start allowing the meat to warm up.
Step by Step Overview:
The first thing to do is pick your seasoning mix, unless you want to do sea salt and black pepper only.
Since my trip to Oklahoma, I’ve done a homemade version of this Lawry’s seasoning, as I found many recipes for it and discovered that its main components are paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
I also added thyme because I wanted an herbal component to this simple dry rub:
Feel free to customize this rub with any other spices you might like, such as cayenne pepper or chili powder. Other fantastic spice mixes with pork are Sazon Seasoning, Cajun Seasoning and this Pork Rub.
Blot the surface of the meat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Then season your bone-in pork chops all over with salt and your spice mix of choice.
Then, dip each piece in all-purpose flour.
The best way to do this for even coating is to put the flour in a flat dish or sheet tray, not a bowl.
Also, make sure to shake the excess flour off both sides for each piece of meat.
To cook the bone-in pork chops, heat a heavy-bottomed large skillet over medium high heat.
A stainless steel pan or cast iron pan is best, because the bones can scratch a nonstick coating. You also want something relatively thick that retains heat well, to ensure you get a good sear and golden brown color on the first side.
Next, get any high heat tolerant cooking fat you have, but if you can find lard, bonus points for you! I do not recommend olive oil, as it burns relatively easily.
Once you’ve added the fat to the hot pan, do a quick pan-sear of the bone-in chops, for 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.
Pork only has to reach 145F in interior temperature, so the cooking goes quickly. Make sure to measure in the thickest part using a meat thermometer. Also don’t be afraid if it’s a little pink inside, so long as the final temperature of 145 has been reached.
When I made these for my husband, he asked if the pork chops were brined. Nope! He was shocked when I told him they weren’t, as he was previously convinced that juicy pork chops can only be accomplished with brining.
This recipe really shows what a low-maintenance, tasty protein-option you can have with this cut and cooking method for perfect pork chops. I hope you enjoy!
How to Serve
This recipe pairs beautifully with a ton of different side dishes.
Recipe Tips and FAQ
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Yes, in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave in the fridge overnight. Know that the meat will not be as appetizing after freezing, but it’s safe to eat.
I generally try not to reheat meats, and will instead leave them at room temperature for a half hour before eating, and enjoy at room temperature. However, you can try reheating in a 300F oven for 8-10 minutes, until warmed through, or microwave in 30-second intervals at 50% power.
Pan Seared Pork Chops
- 4 bone-in thin-sliced pork chops
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tbsp cooking fat of choice for frying (lard is best, but light olive oil, avocado oil, or any other high heat tolerant oil will work)
- Lay the pork chops out on a board or plate, and start by seasoning both sides generously with the salt. I like to start by seasoning with the salt so I can see how much I’m applying. If you are not confident seasoning by eye, 3/4 tsp of kosher salt per pound of meat is a good guide.
- Next, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme, and rub this seasoning mix all over both sides of the meat.
- Dredge both sides of the pork chops in the flour, then give them a good shake to get rid of the excess.
- Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat, then add enough cooking fat to coat the bottom of the pan, usually about 2 tablespoons.
- When the fat is hot and shimmering, pan fry the chops in a single layer (you will probably need to do two batches), for about 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, until golden brown. You can check with an instant read thermometer that they are at least 145 degrees F inside. Serve while hot!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.