Baked pork chops are one of my favorite weeknight dinners. A quick sear, then finishing them in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes, produces reliably juicy, flavorful chops.
I serve these tasty pork chops to my family quite often. They are delicious, affordable, and so easy to make. The seasoning - garlic and paprika - adds wonderful flavor.
The thick chops are seared then briefly baked in the oven, and the thin ones need just quick searing. Even the leftovers are good!
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make baked pork chops. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: I like to use paprika and garlic powder. Smoked paprika is another tasty option. Make sure the spices you use are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Pork chops: They can be boneless or bone-in, though I do tend to buy boneless, and they can be thick or thin. I don't really have a preference and tend to buy whatever's on sale. Instructions for both are provided in the recipe card below.
Cooking spray: Avocado oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point, making it an ideal cooking oil.
How to bake pork chops
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Season the meat. Start by mixing the seasonings and rubbing the mixture all over the chops.
2. Sear them on the stovetop. Sear them for 2 minutes per side. If the chops are thin, they might actually be done at this point. Check their internal temperature to make sure.
3. Bake. If your chops are thick, your next step is to bake them in a 400°F oven until they are cooked through (145°F), about 10 minutes.
4. Rest. Let them rest before serving. This allows the juices to settle and redistribute, keeping the pork chops nice and juicy.
Don't overcook them!
When you bake pork chops in the oven, make sure you don't overcook them. Ten minutes at 400F, after a quick sear on both sides, should be perfect for a standard, 1-inch thick chop. When overcooked, they become tough and dry.
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 finishing for 10 minutes in the oven, works well to keep thick, 1-inch chops nice and juicy.
Bone-in chops taste better
It's best to choose bone-in pork chops for maximum juiciness. Boneless chops can dry out more easily. But since more often than not all I can get is boneless ones, I use the same method and they turn out just fine.
If your chops are thin, you could probably skip the oven
If your pork chops are thinner, around ½ inch, 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.
What to serve with baked pork chops?
One of my favorite sides to serve with them is roasted red onions. The two dishes complement each other beautifully. Apart from that, I tend to serve this dish with a wide array of vegetable recipes, including:
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, 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 on each side, and continue until they are heated through.
Another tasty pork recipe
I make these delicious baked pork chops almost every week. They are flavorful, affordable and filling! Another big hit in our household is this recipe for pork rind crusted pork chops. It's not as easy as this one, so I don't make it as often. But it's really good.
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Baked Pork Chops
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ tablespoon paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 pork chops (½ to 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 kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Rub the mixture on both sides of the pork chops.
- When your oven has reached 400 degrees, sear the chops: Heat a large, oven-safe, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, about 3 minutes. Spray it 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 ½-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 ¾ to 1 inch thick, place them in the oven and bake to a slightly rosy internal temperature of 145 degrees F. This should take between 8 and 10 minutes, depending on your oven and on the thickness of the chops.
- Transfer the baked pork chops to a platter, tent them with foil and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.