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Jun 25, 2012 03:46 PM

How to cook a thick pork chop

I need to cook some pork chops that are 1 1/4 inch thick tonight; in fact, in just a few minutes.

I have oil heating in a cast iron skillet, but it just occurred to me I really don't know what I am doing. I haven't cooked a pork chop in decades.

Any quick advice will be appreciated. BTW, I simply want to cook the chops, not make a sauce or casserole.


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  1. For a thick chop you really need to use a combination of direct heat (to brown the outside) and indirect (to finish cooking it without the outside turning to leather). I would sear it in your cast iron skillet and then put the pan in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes. If your pan is deep and you have a domed lid, you can just cover it and turn the heat down to medium low -- the domed lid forms what is essentially a convection oven and traps the moisture so it doesn't dry out.

    If your chops have a nice bit of fat on the outside I like to brown them in their own fat: I use tongs to hold the fat against the bottom of the pan until enough renders out to coat the pan.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Ruth, you were right in the nick of time!

      I am doing exactly what you advised. Will have to use the oven as my pan is not deep, but I need to cook rolls anyway.

      Many many thanks and a big hug for your fast advice!

      1. re: laredo

        You're welcome -- hope it turns out well! Don't over cook it and don't forget to let it rest!

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          I couldn't have said it better myself. I like to cook a number of things using this same method.

          1. re: jpc8015

            I do, too. I find it much more reliable to cooked covered on the stove top than in the oven, and it's quicker, too!

    2. Too late for tonight, but yes you need to pan roast it. Ruth gave you the instructions above. Hope it came out beautifully.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

        Thank you, dirty. They were just right! I decided to do biscuits and gravy too. DH was happily surprised. :<))

      2. Not a new post, but i want to thank you folks for your help. I bought some moderately thick (just over an inch0 thick boneless chops and wanted to fry them because of guest preferences. I have a deep pan with a dome lid, so instead of putting the lid on and turning down the heat at the end, I left the heat on moderately high from the start, but put the lid on as soon as the chops went in. At the very end of cooking I took off the lid and gave each side another minute in the hot oil to recrisp the crust. Turned out beautifully, crisp on the outside, tender all the way through, not greasy/oily, and just barely pink in the very center. Without your hints i know they would not have been so good.

        1. Agree. Brown quickly cover and put in preheated oven 350 F Remove and most importantly let rest covered for at least ten minutes......depending on the chops' thickness. If you want to try something a bit different rub the chops with a good balsamic vinegar before putting them in the hot pan. You'll get a nice brown sear and a sweet flavor. Be careful of letting the chops get too brown though. The balsamic vinegar tip works great for steaks/BBQ chicken too.

          1. Sear both sides then braise in white wine for 20-30 minutes covered.