Easy old-fashioned pan-fried pork chops with gravy in less than 30 minutes. Moist and tender comfort food like grandma would make for a weeknight dinner on the stovetop. Sometimes the old ways are the best.
This recipe started with my wife. Now, she doesn't make requests very often, but she focused on the pork chops as we stared at the meat case. Not the lean center-cut loin cut ones I usually buy, but the bone-in nicely marbled ones. And she had one other request, just fry them and make gravy.
I hadn't done fried chops on the stovetop for over 20 years. I'm not sure why—I had just moved on. This needs to be a fast, done-from-memory type recipe. So I went from our memory—it came right back.
We now do this several times per month, and it is our most frequent "cooking for two" recipe. Please enjoy our "everyday favorite."
👨🍳How to make this recipe
- Choose and prepare your pork chops.
- Use a large fry pan (cast iron preferred) with oil over medium-high heat. Butter and olive oil will tend to smoke.
- When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the seasoned chops.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes per side until an internal temperature of 145° minimum for safety. You may need a bit longer, depending on thickness and pan temperature.
- Total cooking time is about 10 minutes but may vary by the thickness of the meat, the initial temperature of the meat, your pan's conduction of heat, and your stove.
- If cooking more chops than your pan will hold, cook in batches and place cooked chops in a preheated 200° oven on a sheet pan covered lightly with foil.
- Tent for 5 to 10 minutes, and make gravy if you want.
🐖Choosing your pork chop
A pork chop is a slice of pork loin. It is from ½ inch to 2 inches thick and may or may not include some bone. The pork loin is a lean section of pork from the upper side near the back of the pig.
The loin is very lean so does well with rapid cooking and brining is always good for any pork loin cut.
What pork chops to choose?
The "chops" at the front and rear end of a pork loin are not really pork chops and should be avoided unless you know what to do with them.
Either boneless or bone-in chops will cook nicely but bone-in will take a few more minutes.
¾ inch thick chops is the standard found in US stores. But you may use between ½ inch up to 1 ½ inch for this technique. If you are on the thicker end, rest at room temperature will help you get the correct internal temperature.
Preparing your pork chops.
Trim: Pork chops can have a large rim of fat. If it is thick, trim it down to ¼ inch. Also, slice through the fat every inch or so to prevent cupping of the chop.
Should you brine: Brine is used to add moisture to meat like pork or chicken. While brining is optional and requires some time and planning. Brining is recommended, especially if the chops have been frozen before.
How to brine: A standard pork brine is 2 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of salt. The salt is standard table salt. If using a different salt, you should adjust accordingly.
But if you are salt sensitive, cut the salt back some or skip the brine. Be sure to rinse the meat under running water before cooking. If adding more seasoning after that, it should not contain salt.
Most chefs will add some sugar to the brine at about the same amount as the salt. Other flavors like garlic can be added, and garlic is required by my wife.
How to season pork chops: I suggest your favorite seasoned salt along with some black pepper. I will frequently add an extra sprinkle of garlic powder to the seasoning salt.
If you brine, rinse off any surface salt and dry completely with paper towels. And if brined, you should not add any salt to the seasoning I use a sprinkle of paprika, black pepper, and garlic powder.
If you like a little hotter flavor, add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
🥣How to make gravy
I'm using a slurry method to make gravy here—not the more traditional roux method.
In the slurry method, you need 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour per cup of liquid. Dilute the flour with about a cup of liquid, and use a shaker or whisk to mix the flour with the liquid.
Pork broth is not readily available like other broths. You can usually get pork bouillon or gravy base. I like to use Penzey's Pork gravy base.
Use the juices from cooking the pork chops and add the remainder of the broth to make the amount of gravy you need.
See How To Make Gravy at Home for more detailed discussion.
❄️Serving and storage
For a starch, you will love mashed potatoes drowned in gravy, but rice, pasta, or noodles work well also.
This is a traditional old-fashioned dinner, so simple broccoli, corn, peas, or green beans match up well.
Refrigerate for 3-4 days, and the gravy, since it is made with flour, will also refrigerate and reheat nicely for 3-4 days.
Sealed correctly, both the chops and gravy can be frozen for 3-4 months.
145° with a three-minute rest is the minimum recommended by the FDA. My wife does not like any pink, so she is more of 155° here.
You must use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
For many years we were taught to cook pork to 165° but the pork was very dry. 165° is unnecessary and is no longer recommended as long as there is a 3 minutes rest. See WebMD for the discussion.
You can, but you may have a few issues. When I dredge in flour or use panko bread crumbs, I find it is easy to burn the coating. You will have better results if you season.
If you want breaded pork chops, please see Breaded Pork Chops.
If over 1 ½ inches thick, just stovetop cooking will not give good results. You should sear and then bake in an oven to the internal temperature you want. See Pan Seared Oven Roasted Thick Cut Pork Chops.
There are several ways to address this. A lid on the pan will help get the internal temperature up faster for this cooking.
In the future, resting the meat at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before cooking will help.
Also, some pans do not conduct heat well. Get better pans or cast iron.
📖Pork Chop Recipes
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Allow the pork chops to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes if you have time. The chops should be ¾ to 1 inch thick. They can have a large rim of fat. If it is thick, trim it down to ¼ inch. Also, slicing through the fat every inch helps prevent cupping of the chop.
Pat dry and season both sides of the chops with seasoning salt and pepper to taste. If you use a bouillon or soup base for your pork broth, then mix two cups now. You may also use vegetable broth.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the pork. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the bottom is nicely brown. Flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Continue to flip occasionally to an internal temperature of 145°. If you have a hard time getting a final internal temperature, a lid on the pan helps.
Remove from pan and tent lightly with foil while doing gravy phase.
Whisk 4 tablespoons flour into one cup of broth. Add the other one cup of your broth to the pan over medium heat. When boiling, slowly add the broth/flour mixture while whisking continuously. Continue to whisk until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
Pan Fried Pork Chops with Gravy
- 2 pork chops - bone in or boneless
- seasoning salt - to taste
- pepper - to taste
- 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups broth - may come from pork gravy base or bouillon
- 4 tablespoons flour
- Allow the pork chops to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes if you have time. The pork chops should be ¾ to 1 inch thick. They may have a large rim of fat. If it is thick, trim it down to ¼ inch. Also, slicing through the fat every inch helps prevent cupping of the chop.
- Pat dry and season both sides of the chops with seasoning salt and pepper to taste. If you use a bouillon or soup base for your pork broth, mix two cups now. You may also use vegetable broth.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the pork. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the bottom is nicely brown. Flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Continue to flip occasionally to an internal temperature of 145°. If you have a hard time getting a final internal temperature, a lid on the pan helps.
- Remove from pan and tent lightly with foil while doing gravy phase.
- Whisk 4 tablespoons flour into one cup of broth. Add the other one cup of your broth to the pan over medium heat. When boiling, slowly add the broth/flour mixture while whisking continuously. Continue to whisk until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
My Private Notes
- I suggest ¾ to 1-inch thick pork chops for this recipe. Bone-in or boneless either one is fine.
- Pork chips can have a large rim of fat. If it is thick, trim it down to ¼ inch. Also, slicing through the fat every inch or so helps prevent the cupping of the chop.
- I normally do not use a lid for this recipe but if you are having a hard time getting the final internal temperature you want, use a lid.
- The minimum safe internal temperature is 145° with a three-minute rest.
- Season to your taste. I like Lawry’s seasoning salt.
- For the gravy, I like to use Penzy’s gravy base to make 2 cups of “broth”. You may use pork bouillon. Or vegetable or chicken broth will work, also.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published January 23, 2016. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation. Welcome to one of our favorites we frequently do.