Learn how to cook those beautiful thick cut pork chops. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions. Add in some gravy and you’re in pork heaven again.
Editor’s Note: Originally published July 17, 2016. Now updated with improved text and instructions along with updated photos.
I love pork and gravy. And nice thick pork chop smothered in gravy is the ultimate comfort food for many.
Today’s pork is not yesterday’s pork. It is now a lean meat and can be part of a healthy balanced diet. But cooking 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick pork chops needs some special tricks. Let’s talk about some options.
It’s a little hard to give this a four instead of a five, but they are just too big for me.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes on Pan Seared Oven Roasted Thick Cut Pork Chops
What Is and What Is Not a Pork Chop
The pork chops we are talking about in this recipe will be one of the middle three in the above diagram. Usually the “thick pork chops” will be a boneless slice of a whole pork loin.
If you enjoy these thicker pork chops, then pick up a whole pork loin when they are on sale and cut it yourself. Half the price and they will freeze great for 3-4 months.
I didn’t brine in this recipe, but I would recommend it if you have the time. Combine 2 tablespoons of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar (brown or white) with 2 cups of water.
Add the chops and refrigerate for 30 minutes to a few hours. After brining, rinse well to remove extra salt.
If you brine, you have already salted the chops. Do not use the seasoning salt. Just some pepper and a sprinkle of paprika would be good.
Rest to Room Temperature
This is the real secret to getting thick pork chops done right. An old trick but a goodie.
This is not ground meat, so it is safe to rest at room temperature for an hour or so. It will cook faster, be moister and overall a good thing.
If you have the time to do this start looking at the temperature of the meat after about 10 minutes in the oven since it will be done faster. Remember you are cooking to a final temperature and not by time.
I so love gravy aka “The nectar of the gods”.
I like to use a pork gravy base from Penzeys to make “pork broth”. If you don’t have the gravy base, you can use chicken or vegetable broth.
There are two basic ways to make gravy. You can make a roux by mixing flour with the grease in the pan and cooking for a few minutes. Or our simple way of mixing flour in some liquid and adding that to boiling fluid.
Allow the pork chops to rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 convection or 400 conventional.
These center cut chops are 1 1/2 inches thick and weigh 12 oz each. If there is a fat ring, trim it to 1/2 inch thick and slice it at about 1-inch intervals.
Season to taste with a seasoning salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When shimmering add the seasoned pork chops. Sear both sides of the chops for 2-3 minutes until gettings some nice browning.
Transfer to the preheated oven and cook until internal temperature of 145-150. About 25 minutes for me. Total cooking time will be variable due to the thickness of pork and start temperature of the chops. Remove from pan and tent lightly with foil while doing gravy phase.
Using gravy base, mix 2 cups of pork broth. You can also use chicken or vegetable broth. 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 continuously whisking.
Continue to whisk until thickened about 2-3 minutes.
Do you want more recipes from 101 Cooking for Two? Sign up for the newsletter and get all posts delivered straight to your inbox!
Originally Published July 17, 2016