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.
Although leftovers are not as good as freshly cooked chops, they are still very flavorful. So sometimes I double the recipe to ensure I have some leftovers for the next day.
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 briefly seared and then baked in the oven, and the thin ones need just quick searing on each side and they're absolutely perfect - juicy and flavorful.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these oven-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. I don't really have a preference and tend to buy whatever's on sale. The instructions in the recipe card below work for both.
- Cooking spray: Avocado oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point, making it an ideal cooking oil.
Baking pork chops in the oven is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Season the meat. You start by mixing the seasonings and rubbing the mixture all over the chops.
- Sear the chops 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.
- 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.
- Rest. Let them rest before serving. This allows the juices to settle and redistribute, keeping the meat nice and juicy.
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, 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.
If your chops are thin, around ½ inch, such as these:
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.
Frequently asked questions
No. 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.
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.
The rest period accomplishes two goals: the first is allowing the internal temperature of the meat to climb up some more.
The second: allowing the juices to settle and redistribute, preventing them from bursting out of the meat as soon as you cut into it.
The best way to vary this recipe is to experiment with different seasonings. As mentioned above, smoked paprika is a good substitute for sweet paprika. You can also try a pinch of dried thyme.
Another variation is to use a different fat for cooking the chops. Instead of avocado oil, I sometimes use ghee. I love the rich flavor it adds to the dish.
As mentioned above, you can use boneless or bone-in chops in this recipe. The instructions outlined below work with both.
One of my favorite sides to serve with these tasty chops 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:
You can keep the 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.
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Juicy 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 for about 3 minutes. Spray it with cooking spray. Add the pork chops. Sear the chops for 2 minutes per side, without moving them, until well-browned, even charred in spots.
- If your chops are ½-inch thick, they should be ready now (check with a thermometer - their internal temperature should reach 145 degrees F). Transfer them to a platter, loosely cover them with foil, and allow them to rest for 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 chops to a platter, tent them with foil, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.