Learn how to cook beautiful thick-cut pork chops that are juicy and perfect with only a little care. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions. Add in some gravy and you're in pork heaven.
Introduction and My Rating
I love pork and gravy. And nice juicy thick pork chop smothered in gravy is the ultimate comfort food for many.
Today's pork is not yesterday's pork. It is now lean meat and can be part of a healthy balanced diet. But cooking 1 ½ to 2 inches thick 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.
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 at least 1 ½ inches thick.
If you enjoy these thicker 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.
⏰🌡️Time and Temperature
After about 5 minutes of searing in a pan, the pork chop will take about 20-25 minutes in the oven to reach 140°-145° internal temperature.
There are a number of variables that will affect the cooking time of thick-cut pork chops. The thickness, the duration of searing, the temperature of both the meat and oven, and the searing time.
The final temperature for pork chops: When I was young, the recommendations for cooking pork was 170° to kill Trichinosis. This has not been a problem in the US for decades, but old ideas die hard.
Yes, I cook my pork butt to 200° plus but that is a taste thing not for safety.
I like to cook pork chops to 145°-150°. My wife does not like any pink in pork, so I tend to go even a little higher to 155°. The FDA recommends 145° minimum with a 3-minute rest.
Rest at room temperature. This is the first secret to getting thick 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 15 minutes in the oven since it will be done faster. Remember you are cooking to a final temperature and not by time.
The second secret is the oven temperature. Many people will assume with thicker meat, you should use a higher temperature. The truth is the opposite.
Normally, with thinner pork chops, I use an oven temperature of 425°. We want a temperature of 25°-50° lower so the meat has time to get to the right internal temperature while not overcooking the surface.
The pan-searing is still needed to create a Maillard reaction which is the browning that adds lots of taste.
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.
For more information on gravy, please visit How To Make Gravy at Home.
📖Pork Chop Recipes
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 ½ inches thick and weigh 12 oz each. If there is a fat ring, trim it to ½ inch thick and slice it at about 1-inch intervals.
Season to taste with 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 an internal temperature of 145°-150°. About 20-25 minutes. Total cooking time will be variable due to the thickness of pork and the start temperature of the chops. Remove from pan and tent lightly with foil while doing the gravy phase.
Using pork gravy base, mix 2 cups of pork broth. You can also use chicken or vegetable broth. Whisk 4 tablespoons flour into one cup of the 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.
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Pan Seared Oven Roasted Thick Cut Pork Chops
- 2 pork chops - 1 ½ inch thick or more - about ¾ pounds each
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Lawry's Seasoning salt - to taste
- pepper - to taste
- 2 teaspoons Penzeys pork gravy base - or you can use broth
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups water
- Allow 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 ½ inches thick and weigh 12 oz each. If there is a fat ring, trim it to ½ 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 an internal temperature of 145°-150° - about 20-25 minutes. 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.
- This is a recipe for thick pork chops which are at least 1 ½ inch thick. If less then use Pan Seared Oven Roasted Pork Chops.
- Use an oven-safe pan like cast iron.
- Brine if you have time. A suggested brine is 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons salt, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Be sure to refrigerate. If you brine, do not use any seasoning with salt.
- With thick pork chops, the most important tip is to rest to room temperature before starting to cook-30 minutes minimum.
- Sear to almost the final color you want.
- Never cook by time. Cook to the final temperature you want. Remember it will increase a few degrees after removed from the oven.
- The gravy is optional but very nice. I like to use pork gravy base but if you don't have that, use chicken or vegetable broth.
Editor's Note: Originally published July 17, 2016. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.