Easy pan-fried pork chops prepared on the stovetop with delicious results. This recipe uses thick frenched bone-in cuts that sear in a hot skillet until a beautiful crust forms—topped with garlic butter for maximum flavor.
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Like my grilled pork chops recipe, the challenge when dealing with thick-cut pork chops is that they can dry out quickly because the meat is lean. There is some fat surrounding the outer edges for extra flavor, but focusing on the pan-frying technique is essential to nail the perfect doneness.
I keep the seasoning simple for this recipe to ensure that the pork properly sears. An herb and garlic compound butter is added on the top right before serving to bring this dish together. Pair with your favorite side dishes for a complete gourmet meal.
Buying the right cut
Look for Frenched bone-in pork chops with some marbling in the meat and around the sides. “Frenched” is a fancy culinary term meaning that the meat and excess fat has been trimmed away from the large rib chop for an excellent presentation.
The pork should be 1 to 1 ½-inch thick to ensure it does not dry out. Boneless pork chops can also be used. However, they will be even leaner and cook faster, so keep an eye on the doneness temperature.
How do you know when pork chops are done frying?
I recommend using an instant-read thermometer to measure the temperature after searing the sides of the pork for 1-minute. And then again about 4 minutes later, while it’s still cooking over medium heat.
Target an internal temperature of 140 to 145ºF (60 to 62ºC) for medium doneness. This range takes into account carryover cooking when resting the golden brown meat. It’s important to lift the chop off the pan and insert the probe through the side towards the center of the meat.
Add more flavor with compound butter
Compound butter is an easy and creative way to add extra richness, flavor, and aroma to cooked meats and vegetables. The key is to soften the butter, so it’s easy to stir with the other ingredients. This takes about 30 to 45 minutes at room temperature.
For pork, I think a combination of freshly chopped parsley, rosemary, thyme, and garlic holds up well to the pan-seared pork chops. I sneaked in some salt and pepper for extra savory seasoning. If you have leftover garlic butter, roll it up into a log shape using plastic wrap, then slice as you need it.
What to serve this with
The bone prevents the meat from drying out
The bone adds extra flavor and helps prevent the pork from becoming hard and inedible. The calcium-rich bone does not conduct as much heat, creating an insulated barrier that prevents the meat from cooking too quickly and drying out in the cast iron skillet.
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Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Garlic Butter
- Make Compound Butter – In a small bowl, combine softened butter, garlic, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Season the Meat – Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
- Sear the Surface – Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan. Once hot, add the pork chops.Lightly press the pork chops into the pan to get a nice sear, and cook for 1 minute. Flip and sear the other side, 1 minute. Cook the sides to render the fat, 1 minute.
- Finish Cooking – Turn the heat down to medium, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 140ºF (60ºC), 4 to 6 minutes depending on the thickness. Flip every minute for even cooking.
- Rest the Meat – Transfer to a cutting board, and rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing or serving it whole.
- To Serve – Top with garlic butter and serve warm.
- Using both the Stovetop and Oven: If the chops are very thick, they can be finished in the oven at 350ºF (177ºC) after searing both sides. Cook until internal temperature reaches 140ºF (60ºC), about 6 to 10 minutes. Rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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