Baked pork chops are one of my favorite weeknight dinners. A quick sear, then baking them in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes, produces reliably juicy, flavorful chops.
I serve baked pork chops to my family almost every week. They are tasty, affordable and so easy to make. Before you scroll down to the recipe card, please take the time to read these important tips.
Don’t overcook baked pork chops!
When making baked pork chops in the oven, make sure you don’t overcook them. 10 minutes at 400F, after a quick sear on both sides, should be perfect for a standard, 1-inch thick pork chop.
It’s okay to cook pork to medium
Happily, pork is much safer and cleaner today than it used to be. As a result, the USDA has lowered its temperature recommendation for cooking pork, from 160 degrees (dry, tough, completely white meat) to 145 degrees (juicy, and slightly pink in the center) with a 3-minute rest period.
When overcooked, pork chops can become dry and tough. The two-step method outlined below, of searing them first, then baking them for 10 minutes in the oven, works well to keep thick, 1-inch pork chops nice and juicy.
Bone-in pork chops taste better
It’s best to choose bone-in pork chops for maximum juiciness. Boneless chops dry out faster. But if all I can get is boneless pork chops, I use the same method and they turn out just fine.
If your pork chops are thin, they may not need baking at all
If your pork chops are thinner, around 1/2 inch, like the pork chops pictured here, there’s actually no need to finish them in the oven – a quick sear on both sides should do it. Just make sure, with an instant read thermometer, that they are cooked through.
But is pork healthy?
There seems to be controversy on whether the meat of pork – even modern, lean and parasite free pork – is healthy. However, some research suggests that fresh lean pork can have positive health benefits. I tend to agree with Ellie Krieger, who thinks pork does have a place in a healthy diet.
What to serve with baked pork chops?
One of my favorite sides to serve with pork chops is red onion confit. The two dishes complement each other beautifully. Apart from that, I tend to serve this main course with an array of side dishes, mostly vegetables. Brussels sprouts gratin, butternut squash souffle and baked pumpkin are some of the side dishes I like to serve with baked pork chops.
What about leftovers?
Keep leftover baked pork chops in the fridge for 3-4 days. They easily dry out when reheated, so reheat them very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. Start with 30 seconds per chop per side, and continue until they are heated through. Here’s a handy guide to proper storage and reheating of cooked food.
I make these delicious baked pork chops almost every week. They are flavorful, affordable and filling! Another hit in our household are these pork rind crusted pork chops. Yum!
Baked Pork Chops
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 bone-in pork chops (1/2 or 1 inch thick, 6-8 oz each)
- Cooking spray (I use avocado oil spray)
- If your chops are around 1 inch thick, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture on both sides of the pork chops.
- When oven has reached 400 degrees, sear the chops: Heat a large, oven-safe, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, about 3 minutes. Spray with cooking spray. Add the pork chops. Sear 2 minutes per side, without moving the chops, until well-browned, even charred in spots.
- If your chops are 1/2-inch thick, they should be ready now (check with a thermometer - internal temperature should reach 145 degrees F). Transfer to a platter, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest 3 minutes before serving.
- If your pork chops are 3/4 to 1 inch thick, place them in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, to a slightly rosy internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Transfer the baked pork chops to a platter, tent with foil and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.