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Baked pork chops are my go-to when it comes to pork chop recipes, but for when you don’t want to turn on your oven or need it for another dish, let me show you how to cook pork chops in a pan instead. These pan seared pork chops are a delicious and easy dinner that’s ready in less than 15 minutes. Serve them with a veggie side dish and dinner is done. I think this pan fried skillet pork chops recipe is one of the best ways to make them!
Reading: How long to pan fry pork chops
The beautiful thing about pan seared recipes is that they cook so quickly! There’s no need to wait for the oven to preheat or your protein to bake, so it’s a great fast dinner option. Try pan seared chicken breast, pan fried salmon, or pan seared scallops next and find your new family favorite.
Ingredients For The Best Pan Seared Pork Chops
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for skillet pork chops, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
How to choose the pork chops:
- Bone-in vs. boneless pork chops – This is always a big debate and it really depends on your preferences. Many people feel that the bone-in gets better flavor and more fat and can also help protect against over-cooking. And others prefer a leaner cut of the boneless pork chop.
- Cuts of pork chops – There are many cuts of pork chops: shoulder chops (darker meat with lots of fat and connective tissue), rib chops (a fattier cut that’s also very tender), loin chops (very lean and mild flavor), boneless chops (also very lean and mild), and sirloin chops (lots of pork flavor, but also very tough). I recommend rib, loin, or boneless varieties for making pan seared pork chops, as these are the most tender.
- Thickness – Pork chops come in a range of thicknesses, which will effect the cooking time. Thicker pork chops are great for a main dish, thinner chops work well for meals like sandwiches. Thicker chops are also harder to overcook, so I recommend at least 1 inch thick.
- Appearance – Fresh pork chops will be light pink and firm, with varying levels of marbling and fat.
- Humanely-raised or not – I prefer to buy humanely-raised pork, as I appreciate the farming practices and I think it tastes better! I get it delivered to my door from here.
How to season pork chops:
- Olive oil – Regular olive oil has a high smoke point, which is great for cast iron skillet pork chop recipes that require hot oil. Avocado oil works great, too. Some people use butter, but it has a low smoke point. If you want the flavor, you can add a tablespoon of butter to the pan toward the end of the cooking process.
- Pork chop seasoning – I like to make my own quick pork chop seasoning, which has just a handful of ingredients: garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried herbs (thyme and oregano), sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. These are all common pantry ingredients and it’s the best! Alternatively, you can also simply season your pork chops with sea salt (1 teaspoon per pound of pork) and black pepper (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per pound).
How To Pan Fry Pork Chops
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This section shows how to cook pork chops in a pan, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For instructions, see the full recipe card below.
- Bring to room temperature. If you have time, remove the pork chops from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking, which will help them cook more evenly.
- Make pork chop seasoning. Stir together the pork chop seasoning ingredients. (You can also make a batch of this ahead of time.)
- Pat dry. Patting the pork chops with a paper towel before seasoning will help the seasonings stick better.
- Season pork chops generously. Season both sides of the pork chop with the dry rub.
TIP: Use 1 tablespoon of seasoning per pound. My four pork chops were 8 ounces each, so I used 2 tablespoons of seasoning total.
- Cook pork chops. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet and add pork chops in a single layer to the hot pan. Sear until golden brown, then flip and continue pan searing until cooked through (see recommended internal temperature below).
TIP: Let them rest. Transfer pork chops from pan right away so they don’t continue cooking, then cover with foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes to let the juices settle before you cut into them.
How long to pan fry pork chops?
How long to cook pork chops in a skillet will vary depending on the pan you use, thickness of the chops, and whether you are using boneless or bone-in pork chops.
With this recipe for perfect pan seared pork chops, here are the approximate cook times over medium high heat:
- 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork chops: 2-3 minutes per side
- 1-inch-thick boneless pork chops: 4-5 minutes per side
- 1/2-inch-thick bone-in pork chops: 2-4 minutes per side
- 1-inch-thick bone-in pork chops: 4-6 minutes per side
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On average, cast iron skillet boneless pork chops will cook about 1 minute quicker than bone-in chops.
At what temperature are skillet pork chops done?
For perfect pork chops, use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. Pork chops are done when the internal temperature at the thickest part reaches 145 degrees F, but because the temperature rises as they rest, it’s best to remove then at 140 degrees F for the juiciest pork chops.
You can use either a probe thermometer like this (insert it after flipping), but for stovetop pork chops where I’m nearby during the cooking process anyway, I usually use this regular instant-read thermometer.
If you don’t have a thermometer, you can still use the time chart above as a guide.
- Store: Store cast iron skillet pork chops in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Reheat the pork chops in a hot skillet for best results, just until heated through so you don’t overcook it.
- Freeze: Freeze stove top pork chop recipes like this one in an airtight container for 2-3 months.
What To Serve With Pan Fried Pork Chops
Serve these cast iron skillet pork chops with a simple vegetable side dish:
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- Roasted Asparagus
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Green Beans Almondine
- Sauteed Cabbage
- Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad
More Pork Chop Recipes
- Baked Pork Chops
- Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Quick Pork Chop Marinade
- Smothered Pork Chops – Make this if you prefer your chops with a sauce.
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