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pork chops in the oven- do you prefer a slow oven or a hot oven?

I find my pork chops dry out/toughen up if I bake/roast them at 350, and usually end up more tender if I bake/roast/braise at 300 degrees, or roast at 375 degrees.

Which temperature do you prefer to use?

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  1. I do mine at 350º, but with two preconditions: they must be on the bone, and have adequate fat. Rib chops or shoulder steak is all I ever do in the oven; unless you know someone who raises fat pigs loin is too lean. Two more things: the chops are salted on both sides at least an hour before cooking, and set on a rack in the pan (which is also how they're roasted) at room temperature until going in the oven. Another thing I do frequently is to coat them with something before cooking: equal parts Dijon mustard and olive oil whisked together; 2 Tbs each mayonnaise and olive oil beaten up with harissa paste (or sriracha); Trader Joe's wasabi mayonnaise. These all compliment the pork very well, and work with lamb chops too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      Thanks! I've been using boneless pork chops- maybe that's part of the problem.

      1. re: prima

        I should've mentioned that these get cooked for about 25 minutes, to an internal 140-45º F. If they aren't pink in the middle they're overcooked; I will eat them anyway, but I'd hate serving them to anyone else.

        1. re: Will Owen

          Good to know!
          I've been serving them to someone who won't eat pork chop with any pink in the middle, so I ended up leaving them in the oven an additional 5 minutes when I checked one chop and found it slightly pink in the middle. Apparently, I've been "overcooking" them to order!

          1. re: prima

            I run into that, too. Some people just want it "done." I can't imagine that it is for the flavor or texture, but fear of getting sick or something. I once went to a cookout and the host cooked relatively thin boneless pork chops for almost an HOUR in a fairly hot grill. Almost wanted to do a Seinfeld and slip it into the napkin.

            You could put the other person's chops in first, and then wait ten minutes before putting yours in. I did that just yesterday.

            Anyhow, I cook them on the stovetop or grill anyhow, unless they are the very thick bone-in.

    2. I think time is more important than temp. Cook anything too long at any temperature and it will be dry and tough. When I use an oven (I'd rather grill outdoors or use grill pan indoors) I use a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness. Coat the chops with a bit of olive oil and your favorite rub. I put them right on the baking sheet and flip half way. Comes out perfectly every time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        Thanks. I usually marinate in olive oil, lemon juice and some herbs. Will try flipping them next time.

      2. We usually cook pork chops under the grill or on the griddle pan - but when we do them in the oven it's quick and at a highish temperature (around 180 degrees)

        1 Reply
        1. prima, if you've got the time, I'd recommend brining the pork chops before cooking them...it could be a simple as a sugar and salt mix, or add aromatics to the liquid....this will increase the likelihood that the chops are moist. Second, I'd do at higher heat for shorter period.. I don't bake them so I don't know what is the best time to temp ratio, but I could see doing them at higher heat....450 F, say...for short stint in the oven, to ensure the meat is seared.

          2 Replies
          1. re: 280 Ninth

            Thanks! I think most fresh conventional pork sold in Canada (where I live) is already (somewhat) brined by the grocery store (not with anything beyond salt water), because most of the conventional pork has become so lean, but I might try brining further.

            I try to keep a low-sodium kitchen at home, so I haven't been brining, and I've been salting less than most cooks would. It sounds like brining or salting are the key to juicier pork chops.

            1. re: prima

              I agree with prima. Brining pervents porks chope from drying out to some extent depending how you prepare them. Personally I prefer my chops brined, breaded and done atop the stove in my black iron pan

          2. Low heat, and as slow as possible. A 225 degree oven to gently heat the interior to about 140 degrees, then finish with a hot sear on the stovetop. After searing and carryover, final interior heat should be no more than 150 degrees. Actually I think all quick-cooking cuts benefit a lot from being cooked this way. The meat seems to retain a lot more moisture with a slow, even initial heating.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RealMenJulienne

              thanks RealMenJulienne. I will give it a try.