Pork chops have a lot of advantages as a lunch or dinner meat (you could even use them for breakfast, though that can be kind of heavy). They are somewhat thin, so they cook up quickly. You could cook them in a fraction of the time it would take you to cook a piece of chicken or beef.
The thick structure of pork chops allows them to be cooked in a number of ways that you might not try with other meats. You can dry fry them or pan fry them, and it doesn’t take too long. They are also really great beginner meats.
I remember when I was first learning to cook, the only meat I knew how to cook was pork chops. You can literally tell when they are ready to eat and there is almost never a need to check the internal temperature.
You can’t always do that with chicken, which most people find much more challenging. Chicken is thicker and denser, typically, so you may need to use an internal thermometer check to tell when it is done.
Pork chops just need to sear slightly on both sides and change color a bit, and then they are done. Even if you don’t bother to season them, they are still flavorful and a good pairing with lots of other foods.
They also don’t take long to cook the blood out of, so you aren’t left wondering if there is any blood inside after they are cooked, like you might with chicken.
I want to share with you a method you can use to pan fry pork chop. It’s so simple and great for beginner level cooks.
How to Fry Pork Chops in a Pan
You could do what is known as a dry fry and cook up the pork chops with no oil whatsoever. You may want to squirt some barbecue sauce on them or rub a bit of seasoning to give them some added flavor, but you can forgo the cooking oil entirely.
The chops come out a bit dry without some sort of sauce or oil to cook them with, but they are perfectly cooked through and through if you keep the heat to about medium and flip them over to cook on both sides evenly.
If you want to learn how to pan fry a pork chop in oil, though. I’ll share with you how to do that.
- 8 pork chops
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of cooking oil (canola, vegetable, etc.)
- Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
- Mix together salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and flour.
- Dredge the pork chops into the seasoned flour and then set them to the side.
- Pour your cooking oil into a skillet and warm on medium high heat. Add in the butter and allow the butter to melt.
- Then, place your pork chops in carefully. You can add as many as will fit comfortably into the pan. You don’t want to crowd them, and they should have enough room to cook, but you also don’t want to limit yourself to cooking one pork chop at a time if you don’t have to.
- Cook the pork chops for two to three minutes on one side and then flip them over and cook on the other side for about one or two minutes. You want to make sure that they’re not leaking anymore pink juices and that they have turned golden brown on both sides.
How Long Do You Pan Fry a Pork Chop?
This is really up to you, and it’s going to depend on how well done you want the pork chops. Usually, most people cook them until they’re golden brown and have an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to pan sear them and make them look a little blackened on either side, you can do that. Just be careful about overcooking them, drying them out, and making them tough and rubbery.
If you’ve turned the heat up in the pan to a medium high heat, and the pork chops should cook in about 5 minutes. Thinner pork chops will cook faster, so keep the thickness of your workshop in mind. Not all of them are the same thickness.
How to Pan Fry a Thick Pork Chop
Speaking of pork chops with a range of thickness, you may be wondering what to do if you end up with thick pork chops. Do you need to change the cooking time or temperature to accommodate them?
Because they are thicker, they’ll need to cook for longer, but you need to be careful about overcooking the outside and undercooking the inside of the chops. I would recommend lowering the temperature to a medium heat to cook thick pork chops. Make sure that oil and butter are hot before you add the pork chops. Ensure that your chops are fully defrosted as well, if you bought them frozen.
On a medium heat, pork chops that are the thicker side should cook in about 3-5 minutes on one side, and then you’ll need to flip them over and cook them for 2-3 minutes on the other side. It’s a good idea to check the internal temperature to make sure that they’ve been cooked adequately, and you shouldn’t see any pink juices running out if they are done cooking. They should have a golden brown hue all over if they’ve cooked well on the outside.
As you can see, none of these methods for cooking pork chops is really complicated. You could add rubs, seasonings, sauces, and other things to spice up your pork chops, but the key to making great tasting, tender pork chops is to not cook them too much. Look for the correct outer color and protect your dish by using an internal thermometer to check the temperature.
The real problem comes from overcooking them, which you can avoid by checking the pork chops constantly as they cook and not letting them cook too long.