Find out how to cook pork chops perfectly so that they’re juicy and delicious every time.
- 4 bone-in, center cut pork loin rib chops, 3/4- 1 inch thick, about 1/2– 3/4 lb. each
- 4 cups cool water (for the brine, optional)
- 4 Tbsp. Morton’s kosher salt (for the brine, optional)
- 8 tsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. salt (only if not brining the chops)
- 1 tsp. coarse black pepper
- If brining the pork chops: arrange the chops in a 13×9 baking dish such that they are not overlapping. In a large bowl, combine the water and the kosher salt, stirring until dissolved. Pour liquid over chops. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours but no longer.
- Take the pork chops out of the fridge. If you were brining them, take them out of the liquid and discard the liquid. Pat the chops dry using a paper towel (dry them whether they were in a brine or not).
- Let chops rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before preheating your oven to 400°F.
- While the oven preheats, rub the chops with the olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle them all over with the pepper, and if you didn’t brine them then also sprinkle them with the 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Over high heat, warm a large oven-safe skillet that can fit the 4 chops without crowding them. When the oven is finished preheating, put the pork chops into the hot pan on the stove.
- Cook the chops without moving them AT ALL for 3 minutes. Then use a pair of tongs to try gently lifting one up. If it is a bit stuck to the skillet, let it go and let it cook for another minute or two, then try lifting again. When a good crust is formed on the meat, it will then release more easily from the pan. When they’re nice and brown underneath, flip them over.
- Transfer the skillet (uncovered) to the preheated oven.
- Bake until the interior temperature, as read on an instant read thermometer stuck through the side edge into the middle, reads 140°F.* That’ll be 4-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your chops.
- Transfer the chops to a plate and let them rest for 3 minutes. Discard any juices that accumulate on the plate and then serve.
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*The National Pork Board recommends that you continue to cook pork chops until they reach 145°F. It is therefore potentially unsafe to take them out of the oven and stop cooking them at 140°F. As with consuming medium-cooked steak, there is a risk involved here. Be aware that consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.