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?
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Season pork chops with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1tablespoon of oil and heat for 30 seconds.
- 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.
- 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°.
- Remove the pork chops from the oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.