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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.

            2. Its never occurred to me to cook Pork Chops in the Oven. Are you talking about Gammon style Pork ? ie Salted?

              I'd probably cook them at 200 C - 220 C though (which is about 400F+) to ensure good browning then turn down a bit to 160C maybe

              1 Reply
              1. re: echoclerk

                No, I'm just talking about fresh pork chops, not salt pork. It's quite common for home cooks to cook pork chops in the oven in Canada and the USA. Sometimes they're baked in a sauce, sometimes they're just rubbed with oil and seasonings, then roasted.

              2. slow (low) oven after a quick brown on the stovetop. Some kind of liquid keep's em tender, braise style. They can't be too thin either

                1. The "other white meat" campaign started in 1987 and it was well before that that our pork ceased to taste like pork. All one has to do is sample some Berkshire/Korobuta pork and they will realize that what we've been getting from the grocery store is a whole different animal. No matter how perfect the preparation, it will never taste like your grandmas did when you were a child (assuming you are over 40). Recently, I cooked a few Berkshire chops (from MarxFoods) in my cheapo sous vide set-up and they were the 2nd best I've had in a long, long time. The best were Korobuta, also done sous vide, at the Admiral in Asheville. While I haven't tried it yet myself, I have to think this method would also produce a grocery store chop perfect in every way except taste.

                  1. The temperature of the oven for me would be determined by the thickness of the pork chops....then by the recipe being used. Dry rubs and thick chops I would use a lower temperature of 225*, searing either before or after. Something like a recipe for Smothered Chops I would use a more moderate heat of 325*. I would not bake or roast thin chops, but rather, preferring to pan fry quickly for better results.

                    With that said, my best advice is to purchase a larger roast, with bones or boneless....searing first, then roasted low and slow in the oven. You could slice the meat as thin or thick as you like and it will always be moist and tender.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: fourunder

                      Thanks. How long do you end up cooking a 2 inch thick chop at 225? I would think it takes over 90 minutes at that temp?

                      I buy both chops and roasts.

                      1. re: prima

                        Considering variables, e.g. lower rack as opposed to upper rack....I would expect the chops to be finished in 60-90 minutes range. I suspect the chops would weigh no more than a half pound, and in general, the rule would be 40-50 minutes per pound.....but in this case, the shape is more important to consider.. At 225*, the method is very forgiving and I do not believe the chop would suffer by over-cooking for 10-15 minutes after it hit your target temperature. I would also imagine, after 60 minutes, you could do a reverse sear to put a nice crust onto the chops and bring it to temperature as well.

                        I regularly section off whole loins into third for roasting at 225*....each roast is about 8 inches in length....and they never take any longer than 2.5 hours total time......The last one I did I brined for 8 hours and it finished in two hours......based on that, I would be surprised if it exceeded more than an hour. Ive done so many, I don't even use a digital probe thermometer anymore. I just use my finger to test the resistance and check the final temperature....at the two hour mark, it's always close to 140*.

                        If you would like to have the chops ready in an hour or sooner, I suggest you use the reverse sear process and roast at 275*. You could have them ready in 45 minutes including the resting period.

                        Last, my experience is Loin Chops take longer to cook than Rib Chops..specifically for the meat near the bone

                    2. It also depends on which cut you are using. I always buy "Sirloin cut" pork chops and they seem to come out better.

                      1. I put small boneless pork chops in crock pot on low 6-7 hours. mix 1 can of mushroom soup and 1 can of celery soup in a bowl and pour over chops. they come out so tender. I try to bake them but they come out dry every time.