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How to Cook Thin Pork Chops Without Drying Them Out

How do you cook thin pork chops without drying them out? All too often, pork chops come out dry and tough. But with a few simple tips, you can cook up juicy, tender pork chops every time. Just follow these easy steps to avoid overcooking your pork chops.

One of the most popular methods of cooking pork chops is searing the meat in a hot pan and finishing the cooking process in the oven. This is a method that you will often find a chef doing in a restaurant.

It is all too easy to dry out thin cut pork chops. However, achieving a juicy pork chop can easily be done by the newest of home cooks. By the way, this works for pork tenderloin too.

How Do You Cook Thin Pork Chops?

The easiest way and probably the best way you can keep pork chops tender is by giving them a quick sear them first, then cooking in a warm oven. You may also want to try roasting or slow-roasting. Having the meat at room temperature before cooking helps the meat cook through evenly.  

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and add a little olive oil and heat until the oil is hot. After a minute on high temperature, the oil and pan should be hot enough. Add the pork chops into the pan. You will know if the pan is hot enough if you hear a sizzle when you add the meat.

Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes and flip the meat browning the other side. At this point you are cooking just until the meat is seared on both sides. Total cook time for browning should not be any longer than 4 minutes.

How to Cook Thin Pork Chops Without Drying Them Out

Next place the pork chops in an oven at medium heat and bake until they are slightly pink and juicy but still safe to eat. The safe internal temperature should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that you use a meat instant read thermometer to monitor progress throughout because nothing beats getting an accurate reading from start, so you don’t overcook your meat.

Allowing this dish rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature will help the juices stay inside the meat. Tent the meat with aluminum foil to help keep the residual heat in.

Why Does this Cooking Method Work?

Searing the meat in the hot pan seals in the juices, which will keep it moist, tender, and juicy.  Then finishing the pork chop in the oven at the lower temperature will allow the meat to finish cooking at an even rate. Use the thermometer to make sure that the internal temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, after removing the pork chops from the oven, allow the meat to rest before slicing. This helps all the juices stay inside rather than running out.

Pork Chop Marinade

Should I Marinate Pork Chops?

Yes, is a great way to tenderize the meat. While marinating pork chops is a great way to keep them moist, juicy, and tender when cooked, the benefit from the flavor enhancement might be the best reason to marinate.

It is easy to whip up a marinade and using a good acidic marinate will help break down the connective tissues and help produce a tender meat. This will work on thin cut pork, as well as the thicker cut pork chops.

A Great Pork Chop Marinade

If you want your marinade to help as a meat tenderizer, then make sure that it includes acidic fruit juice such as pineapple, lemon, or lime.

Often a marinade will include oil, sugar, herbs, and a fruit juice. Here is a lovely marinade using simple ingredients to try out. This will cover 4 pork chops.

  • 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, Pineapple Juice, or Lime Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ¼ Teaspoon Black pepper

Add the ingredients to a plastic bag or airtight container. Add your meat and cover in the marinade.

Restaurant Quality Pork Chops

How Long Should You Marinate Pork Chops?

The ideal time is 6-12 hours. As this will allow the marinade to absorb into the flesh and start to work as a tenderizer. However, if you are short on time. 3-4 hours will still give plenty of time for the flavors to enhance and develop. Even 1 hour of marinating will make a difference.

How Long to Bake Thin Pork Chops at 375?

In general, at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, boneless pork chop bake time should be 7 minutes per half-inch / 1.3 cm of thickness. 

Bone in pork chops need 3-5 more minutes of baking time than boneless pork chops.

If you pan sear your chops first, reduce the baking time by 2 minutes.

Baking Pork

How Long do You Cook Bone in Pork Chops?

Bone in pork chops are a delicious and succulent cut of meat, but figuring out how long to cook them can be tricky. So, how long do you cook bone in pork chops? The answer depends on the thickness of your chops and the temperature of your oven.

How long do you cook a bone in pork chop at 375?

In general, at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, Bone in pork chop bake time should be 9-12 minutes per half-inch / 1.3 cm of thickness. Therefore, a 1-inch chop would need 18-20 minutes of baking time.

Always check the internal temperature of your pork chops with a meat thermometer to be sure they’re cooked through. As soon as the temperature reads 145°F / 63°C, remove the pork chops from the oven. The temperature will rise a few degrees more while resting.

If your chops are stuffed or breaded add an extra 2-4 minutes.

How Hot Should Pork Chops be?

For food safety, the minimum temperature for pork chops should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit. To check doneness properly, use a digital cooking thermometer. Here are the internal temperatures and the level of doneness.

  • Medium-Rare: 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium: 150-155 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Medium-Well: 155-160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Well: 160 degrees Fahrenheit

How to Thin Pork Chops in Air Fryer?

With air fryer appliances becoming more popular, learning how to cook meat successfully in an air fryer is essential. In general, when the air fryer is pre-heated to 360 degrees Fahrenheit, the cooking time is just 4 minutes.

When using the air fryer, marinade and season your meat ahead of time. Add to the pre-heated air fryer, cook for 2 minutes, turn, and cook for another 2 minutes. Let the pork rest before serving.

Pan Seared and Baked Chops

How Long do Pork Chops Last in the Fridge

Uncooked pork should be refrigerated and will last up to three to 5 days. Once cooked, the pork will last an additional three days in the refrigerator.

Final Thoughts

We hope these tips help you never have dry pork chops again. There are so many marinades, dry rub selections, and choices of thick and thin chops. These cooking tips for delicious pork chops will make a huge difference in the outcome of your recipe.

How to Cook Thin Pork Chops Without Drying Them Out
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How to Cook Thin Pork Chops Without Drying Them Out

How do you cook thin pork chops without drying them out? All too often, pork chops come out dry and tough. But with a few simple tips, you can cook up juicy, tender pork chops every time. Just follow these easy steps to avoid overcooking your pork chops.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time9 mins
Total Time14 mins
Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30 minute meal, dinner recipe, restaurant recipe
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 251kcal

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Ingredients

  • 4 pork chops

Marinade (Optional)

  • 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice Pineapple Juice, or Lime Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • ¼ Teaspoon Black pepper

Instructions

  • Optional Method of Marinading the Pork before cooking.
  • Mix the marinade ingredients, soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, garlic, and black pepper.
  • Add the pork chops to the marinade.
  • The ideal time is 6-12 hours. As this will allow the marinade to absorb into the flesh and start to work as a tenderizer. However, if you are short on time. 3-4 hours will still give plenty of time for the flavors to enhance and develop. Even 1 hour of marinating will make a difference.
  • Proceed with the directions.
  • Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes and flip the meat browning the other side. At this point you are cooking just until the meat is seared on both sides. Total cook time for browning should not be any longer than 4 minutes.
  • Next place the pork chops in an oven at medium heat 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until they are slightly pink and juicy but still safe to eat. Approximately 5-7 minutes. The safe internal temperature should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Allowing this dish rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature will help the juices stay inside the meat.

Your Own Private Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1229mg | Potassium: 575mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

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