Are you tired of dry and flavorless pork chops? Look no further than your trusty skillet!
With a few simple steps, you can achieve perfectly browned and juicy pork chops that will have your taste buds singing. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, this guide will walk you through the process of browning pork chops in a skillet.
From tenderizing to seasoning, we’ve got you covered. So grab your skillet and let’s get cooking!
How To Brown Pork Chops In Skillet?
Step 1: Tenderize the Pork Chops
Before cooking your pork chops, it’s important to tenderize them. This can be done by pricking the chops all over with a fork, about 1/8 inch deep. This will help the meat absorb the flavors and cook evenly.
Step 2: Season the Pork Chops
Once your pork chops are tenderized, it’s time to season them. Sprinkle them generously with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. This will add flavor and enhance the natural taste of the pork.
Step 3: Heat Your Skillet
Heat your skillet (preferably a cast iron one) to medium-high heat and add olive oil. When it’s shimmering hot and not a moment before, add your chops. Sear on one side, without moving them at all, until they are nice and golden brown on the first side, about 3-5 minutes.
Step 4: Flip and Sear the Other Side
Flip the pork chops and sear the other side until browned. The easiest way to check if the pork chop is done is to use a meat thermometer. When they reach an internal temperature of 135 F degrees they are done.
Step 5: Let Them Rest
Remove the pork chops from the skillet and let them rest on a plate for 10 minutes, during which time they will continue cooking with the residual heat and will eventually reach 145 F degrees.
Choosing The Right Cut Of Pork Chop
When it comes to choosing the right cut of pork chop for browning in a skillet, there are a few things to keep in mind. The thickness of the chop is important, as it will affect cooking time and temperature. Thin pork chops, around 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, are ideal for pan-frying and will cook quickly. These chops are perfect for a crispy or fried finish and can be boneless or bone-in.
For thicker pork chops, it’s best to use a lower heat and longer cooking time to ensure that the meat cooks evenly without burning on the outside. Thick pork chops are typically bone-in and can be either rib cut or center cut. Rib cut pork chops include a rib bone and a medallion of lean loin meat. Center cut pork chops include the same rib bone and loin meat but also have an additional piece of tenderloin on the other side of the bone.
When choosing your pork chops, look for cuts with a good amount of marbling, which will help keep the meat moist and flavorful during cooking. If you’re looking for a beautiful presentation, ask your butcher or meat counter to “French” your bone-in pork chops by removing the meat from the exposed bone for a high-end, professional look.
Preparing The Pork Chops For Browning
Before browning the pork chops in a skillet, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that they turn out perfectly. First, pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel. This will help remove any excess moisture on the surface of the meat, allowing it to brown more evenly.
Next, season the pork chops generously on all sides with your preferred seasonings. This can include salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Be sure to rub the seasoning into the meat to ensure that it sticks.
If your pork chops have a fat rim over 1/2 inch thick, you may want to trim it down to prevent cupping. Notching the fat through can also help prevent this.
If you plan on brining your pork chops, mix the brine in a 1-gallon freezer bag and place the chops in the bag. Submerge the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. After brining, lightly rinse and pat dry before seasoning and browning.
Finally, preheat your skillet (preferably cast iron) to medium-high heat and add olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbling, place the seasoned pork chops in the pan and continue cooking for about 5 minutes on both sides or until golden brown. Remember to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness before removing from heat and letting them rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Tenderizing The Pork Chops For Optimal Juiciness
One of the most important steps in getting juicy pork chops is to tenderize the meat. There are different methods to tenderize pork chops, but one effective way is to pound them thin before cooking. This can be done by placing a boneless chop between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and using the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin to pound the pork to a 1/4- to 1/2-inch thickness.
Tenderizing the pork chops makes them more receptive to the flavors and seasonings you add, and it also helps the meat cook evenly. When you pound the meat, it breaks down some of the connective tissues and fibers, which can make it more tender and easier to chew. Additionally, thinner pork chops will cook faster and more evenly, reducing the risk of overcooking and drying out the meat.
Another way to tenderize pork chops is by marinating them in a mixture of salt, sugar, and other seasonings for at least an hour before cooking. This will help break down the proteins in the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.
No matter which method you choose, tenderizing your pork chops is a crucial step in getting juicy and delicious results. So take your time and don’t skip this important step in preparing your pork chops for optimal juiciness.
Seasoning The Pork Chops For Flavor
To take your pork chops to the next level, seasoning them with a delicious blend of herbs and spices is a must. One great seasoning blend to try is a mixture of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar. The smoked paprika adds a smoky flavor and beautiful color to the chops, while the garlic powder and onion powder provide a savory base. The thyme and oregano add herbaceous notes that complement the pork’s flavor exceptionally well. The cayenne pepper gives just a slight kick of spice, while the brown sugar adds a delicate sweetness to balance out the savory flavors.
To season your pork chops with this blend, simply mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and then rub the mixture onto both sides of the meat. Be sure to use enough seasoning to coat each chop evenly. You can adjust the amount of seasoning based on your personal taste preferences.
Once you’ve seasoned your pork chops, it’s time to cook them up in a skillet. By following the steps above for tenderizing and searing your chops, and using this delicious seasoning blend, you’ll end up with perfectly browned and flavorful pork chops every time.
Heating The Skillet To The Right Temperature
When it comes to browning pork chops in a skillet, heating the skillet to the right temperature is crucial. A large cast-iron skillet should be heated over medium-high heat until hot and just beginning to smoke. This will ensure that the pork chops brown evenly and release some fat into the pan.
It’s important to note that the cooking time can vary based on the thickness of the pork chops. For thin pork chops, cooking them over medium-high to high heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side is just right for browning and cooking them all the way through. For thicker chops, it’s best to brown them on both sides and then check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer. It will take 5 to 6 minutes per side to completely cook them.
If the temperature is below 145 degrees F., you have two choices: finish them in a hot oven until the internal temp reaches 145 or lower the heat under the skillet and continue to cook them in the pan. By following these steps, you can ensure perfectly browned pork chops every time.
Browning The Pork Chops To Perfection
Browning the pork chops to perfection is key to achieving a delicious and juicy result. To achieve this, it’s important to follow a few simple steps.
Firstly, make sure your skillet is preheated to medium-high heat before adding the pork chops. This will ensure that they cook evenly and develop a nice crust on the outside.
Secondly, resist the urge to move or flip the pork chops too often. This can disrupt the sear and prevent them from browning properly. Allow them to sear on one side for 3-5 minutes without moving them at all, then flip and sear the other side until browned.
Finally, once the pork chops are browned on both sides, remove them from the skillet and let them rest for 10 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a tender and juicy chop.
By following these steps, you can achieve perfectly browned pork chops that are both flavorful and tender. Experiment with different seasonings and cooking methods to find your favorite way to cook this classic dish.