How Long Do I Cook Pork Chops?

Pan to Oven Baked Pork Chops

It’s an age-old question – how long do you cook pork chops to make sure they’re safe to eat while still keeping a tender, buttery texture? When it comes to cooking pork, there’s a fine line between perfect doneness and the consistency of tack leather (which, sadly, seems to be a rite of passage for home cooks).

I get a lot of questions when people read my pan to oven baked pork chop recipe. It’s not hard at all to learn to cook perfect pork chops with your natural instincts. And if all else fails, cheat!

Pork cooking safety details

To kill the dreaded trichinella, salmonella and other nasties, pork must be cooked to 160°F 145°F! The USDA recently lowered their advisory for safe pork cooking temperatures, so that means more tender pork for all of us!

Trichinella is also killed when pork is frozen at -5°F for 25 days, or to -22°F for 25 hours. So you can keep than in mind if you’re freezing your pork before eating it. (Source: Center for Disease Control)

I prefer my pork a little pinker than 160°F, so I heat it to 155°F – meaning that I cook the meat to 150°F, remove it from the oven and let it rest for ten minutes covered with foil, which brings the core temp up to 155°F before it cools down.

How long do you cook pork chops?

So how long do you cook pork chops, and how do you know when your pork chops are done? It really depends on the cut you’re cooking, its thickness and the temperature of your oven. The best way to test how done your meat is… by touching it. This simple touch-test tutorial from the Exploratorium is really helpful for learning to gauge meat’s doneness by touch.

Behold, the digital meat thermometer

All that said, I cheat and use a digital meat thermometer that beeps when the meat is at a temperature I specify. I tend to multitask in the kitchen, and it’s completely characteristic for me to forget about what’s in the oven while I’m manning multiple pots and frying pans on the stovetop. My little $20 meat thermometer has drastically reduced the “oops factor” I tend to experience when short-roasting meats in the oven. Thank you modern technology.

How long do you cook pork chops for, and what are your favorite ways to tell when they are done?

5.0 from 1 reviews
How Long Do I Cook Pork Chops?
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
It's super easy to cook perfectly moist, juicy pork chops while the USDA's *new* lower safe pork temperatures, and enjoy pan to oven baked pork chops with white wine sauce.
  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Season pork chops with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1tablespoon of oil and heat for 30 seconds.
  4. Add pork chops, 2 at a time. Sear on each side until well browned. Once both sides are seared, remove from pan and sear the other two pork chops with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Once all the pork chops are seared, fit them all into the pan at the same time. Slide the frying pan into the oven. Cook the pork chops for 15 to 20 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted in the pork reads 140°.
  6. Remove the pork chops from the oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


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Comments from other ninjas:

  1. Melanie McMinn says

    I can’t say I’m even vaguely scientific about it. Still alive though, so I guess I’m doing OK.
    .-= Check out Melanie McMinn

  2. Jen says

    Great topic!

    Funny, today I actually cooked porkchops for dinner. I’d like to be more scientific in my cooking, but I was in a mad rush tonight so…I cooked the chops at medium heat for about 5 minutes each side. They turned out pretty good although I would have preferred just a TAD pink. I just got a digi thermometer and I was still too much in a rush to use it. I know I know, that’s just pure laziness. Next time for sure :)
    .-= Check out Jen

    • steph says

      The same thing happens to me – there’s like a one minute window between pink and brown. That meat therm will help for sure. :)

  3. MarthaAndMe says

    Great info – thanks. My mom is always complaining about how pork chops today don’t taste like they used to. She says they are too dry and flavorless. I always soak mine in a buttermilk, salt and herb mix for a few hours or overnight before I make them and she says that replicates the old fashioned pork chop.

    • steph says

      Buttermilk? That’s a great idea! Will definitely have to give that a try. Will probably try it with the goat we have in the freezer too.

  4. Alexandra says

    Pork chops in France were not as thick, so this issue was not a problem. I’m going to try soaking them since I agree pork chops don’t taste the same. That being said, when I lived in France, I cooked a mean pork roast in the pressure cooker, with onions, garlic, thyme, and prunes.
    .-= Check out Alexandra

    • steph says

      You know, I hadn’t thought to do them up in the pressure cooker. How long did you cook them, and at what pressure setting?

  5. Jennifer Margulis says

    Alexandra, that sounds AMAZING. I love the idea of putting prunes in the pork roast. Yum.
    .-= Check out Jennifer Margulis

  6. Steve says

    I guess the real answer to the question “How long do you cook anything?” is really till it’s done. There are so many factors involved from pan or oven temp to the type of pan you use. Dry heat, braise, low and slow or high heat. I hate cook books that put a time on a dish because if you don’t know and have a cooler stove you may eat something that gives you the funky tummy later.
    I rely on touch by learning the feel of rare to med rare, to well done. I go with an internal temp of 145 and then rest for at least 10 minutes under foil with a hole for steam to escape. That keeps them a bit more pink and be sure to use the juice that comes out while they rest for your pan sauce.
    .-= Check out Steve


  1. […] And in case you’re wondering how long you should cook your pork chops for, here’s a great post on pork chop cooking times. […]

  2. […] How Long Do I Cook Pork Chops? – The Culinary Life – Wondering how long you cook pork chops for? Learn how to make perfect pork chops every time with the USDA’s NEW lower (juicier!) cooking temperatures. […]