Are you looking for a delicious and easy way to cook thick bone-in pork chops in the oven?
Look no further!
In this article, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to make juicy and flavorful pork chops that are sure to impress your family and friends.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, this recipe is simple enough for anyone to follow.
So, grab your apron and let’s get started!
How To Cook Thick Bone In Pork Chops In Oven?
First things first, let’s gather our ingredients. For this recipe, you will need:
– 4 bone-in, thick-cut pork chops (ideally about 1 to 1.5-inches thick)
– Olive oil
– Optional: brine ingredients (1 cup water, 1 tablespoon salt, optional flavorings)
Now that we have our ingredients, let’s get cooking!
Choosing The Right Pork Chops
When it comes to cooking thick bone-in pork chops in the oven, choosing the right cut of meat is crucial. Ideally, you want to look for pork chops that are between 1 to 1.5 inches thick. Thicker cuts are much easier to cook correctly than their thinner counterparts, which can easily dry out or overcook.
In addition to thickness, it’s important to consider whether you want bone-in or boneless pork chops. While boneless pork chops are leaner, bone-in pork chops (specifically, rib chops or loin chops) have the most flavor. However, if you do opt for boneless pork chops, just be extra-careful not to overcook them.
When selecting your pork chops, be sure to also buy the freshest meat possible. Look for pork that is a deep reddish-pink or reddish-purple color, not grayish or white. The fat should be white and creamy, not dotted with dark spots. It should also be pretty firm, and not soft and squishy.
Lastly, consider brining your pork chops for added flavor and moisture. To make a simple brine, combine 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of salt (plus any optional flavorings you desire) and let your pork chops soak in the mixture for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
By choosing the right cut of meat and ensuring its freshness, thickness, and potential brining, you can ensure that your thick bone-in pork chops will turn out perfectly juicy and flavorful when cooked in the oven.
Preparing The Pork Chops
Before we start cooking, it’s important to properly prepare the pork chops. This will ensure that they are seasoned well and cooked to perfection.
If you have time, consider brining your pork chops. Brining involves soaking the meat in a saltwater solution for a few hours before cooking. This helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. To make a basic brine, mix 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of salt. You can also add other flavorings such as herbs, spices, or sugar if desired. Submerge the pork chops in the brine and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to overnight).
When you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven to 375°F. Take the pork chops out of the brine (if using) and pat them dry with paper towels. Season both sides of the pork chops generously with salt and pepper.
Next, heat up a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and let it heat up for a minute or two. Once hot, add the pork chops to the skillet and sear them for about 3 minutes per side until golden brown.
Once the pork chops are seared, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F. If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, you can transfer the pork chops to a baking dish instead.
Once done, remove the pork chops from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and ensures that it stays moist and tender.
And there you have it – delicious, juicy bone-in pork chops that are perfect for any occasion!
Seasoning The Pork Chops
Seasoning the pork chops is an important step in creating a flavorful and juicy dish. For this recipe, we will be using a simple yet delicious seasoning blend.
To start, pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This will help the seasoning adhere better to the meat. Next, drizzle some olive oil over the pork chops and use your hands to rub it evenly on both sides.
Now it’s time to add the seasoning. In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Sprinkle this mixture generously over both sides of the pork chops, making sure to cover them evenly.
If you want to take your seasoning game up a notch, you can also add some additional herbs and spices to the mix. For example, you could add 1 teaspoon of dried thyme or rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon of paprika or garlic powder. Be creative and experiment with different flavors to find your perfect seasoning blend!
Once you have seasoned your pork chops, let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This allows the meat to absorb the flavors and ensures even cooking.
And there you have it – perfectly seasoned bone-in pork chops ready for the oven!
Cooking The Pork Chops In The Oven
Cooking thick bone-in pork chops in the oven can be a bit tricky, as they tend to dry out if overcooked. However, with the right temperature and timing, you can achieve juicy and flavorful pork chops every time.
Here’s how to cook your pork chops in the oven:
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. If you have time, brine your pork chops beforehand to ensure they stay moist during cooking. To make a simple brine, combine 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of salt and any optional flavorings (such as herbs or spices). Submerge the pork chops in the brine for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
3. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the pork chops and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned.
5. Transfer the pork chops to a baking dish or a wire rack set on a baking sheet.
6. Bake the pork chops in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chop registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Once done, remove the pork chops from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
If you don’t want to sear your pork chops beforehand, you can skip that step and simply bake them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes (or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit). Just make sure to check them regularly to avoid overcooking.
Checking For Doneness
Determining the doneness of meat can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t have a meat thermometer handy. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to check the doneness of your pork chops without having to slice into them and risk losing their precious juices.
One such trick is the touch test, which is commonly used by skilled cooks to determine the doneness of a piece of meat. This simple technique allows you to sharpen your culinary senses by learning to feel for the pork chop’s firmness. It may take a few tries to get the hang of it, but as with any new skill, practice makes perfect.
To perform the touch test, start by feeling the palm of your hand just below your thumb. This is what raw meat should feel like when you touch it. Now bring your thumb to your pointer finger and touch that same part of your palm again. Did you notice how it’s slightly firmer? This is what a rare pork chop should feel like when you touch it.
Next, touch your thumb to your middle finger. Notice how that section of your palm tenses up a little more? This is what a medium-rare pork chop feels like. Move your thumb to your ring finger. Now the palm may feel slightly flexed. This level of firmness means your pork chop is cooked medium. Finally, touch your thumb to your pinky. That section of your palm will be fairly firm. This is what a well-done pork chop feels like.
When checking the doneness of meat in the oven, use a utensil like tongs or a wooden spoon to lightly press the surface of the pork chop to check its level of resistance, rather than pressing your hand directly to hot food. Follow the guide above to learn how to best utilize this tried and true technique.
Note that this method may not be as accurate as using a meat thermometer, but it can still give you a good idea of how well your pork chops are cooked. If you’re unsure about the doneness of your pork chops, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and cook them for a few more minutes. Remember, you can always cook them longer, but you can’t uncook them once they’re overdone!
Letting The Pork Chops Rest
Once your pork chops are cooked to perfection, it’s important to let them rest before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful chop.
To rest the pork chops, remove them from the oven or skillet and transfer them to a plate. Pour any pan juices over the top of the chops or reserve them for making a pan sauce or gravy. Tent the pork chops loosely with foil and let them rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
It can be tempting to skip this step, but resist the urge! Letting your pork chops rest is crucial for achieving a delicious and juicy result. If you cut into the meat too soon, you risk losing those valuable juices and ending up with a dry and tough chop.
Pro tip: While your pork chops are resting, take advantage of that time to prepare a quick pan sauce or gravy using the reserved pan juices. Simply whisk in some flour or cornstarch to thicken the sauce, and season with additional herbs or spices as desired.