I’m a little too excited about this blog post. I mean, what is so exciting about a pork chop? Well, there’s plenty exciting about this lean cut of meat, especially how delicious a well-cooked chop can taste in a matter of minutes.
First, I want to point out that knowing how to cook a pork chop well has really changed my eating habits. I like to call myself an “accidental vegetarian” or even vegan, because I tend to gravitate towards those types of foods. However, since learning how to cook a piece of meat well, I find myself craving lean cuts. I’ve found eating meat makes me feel full, and full for longer, and fuels my workouts more than other foods.
“The moment it leaves your fork, protein starts winnowing your waistline. High-protein foods take more work to digest, metabolize, and use, which means you burn more calories processing them. They also take longer to leave your stomach, so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. The cumulative effect has obvious benefits for anyone who is watching her weight.
In a study published in Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost about 11 pounds over the 12-week study without employing any other dietary measures.
And if, like most successful dieters, you’re burning calories as well as counting them, protein is doubly essential for making sure you lose fat, not muscle. Your body uses the amino acids in protein to build lean muscle, which not only makes you stronger and more toned but also fries calories even when you’re not active—unlike lazy fat. Ultimately, this keeps your metabolism humming along at high speed so you can burn off the occasional cookie, no problem.” (Women’s Health, 2010)
So, there’s a lot of positives for eating a good amount of protein. This post is dedicated to showing you how to make a pork chop juicy and delicious, so that getting that extra protein is that much more enjoyable.
The first step starts at the store. You want to buy bone-in chops, like the center cut chops pictured. I also like the bone-in loin chops. Second, you want to get them from the butcher. Not only will the meat be more fresh (and thus more delish), you can also get it cut thicker than the 1 inch usually prepackaged in the coolers. When ordering your chops, be sure to specify you want them 1.5 – 2 inches thick. This thicker cut will prevent the meat from drying out and will be that much more juicy and irresistible.
To decide on how to season the pork, you can use any prepacked rub you like. I usually concoct a rub of my own, usually from a combination of salt, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic, cumin, and cayenne. If you want to make your own, some ideas include this herby one, or this spicy one.
Other amazing pork recipes you might want to try are Garlic Herb Pork Roast, Curried Pork Tenderloin & Honey Roasted Carrots and this awesome Pork Tenderloin Mojo de Ajo & the Best Baked Beans of Your Life!
Juicy, Irresistible Pork ChopsPrint Recipe
- 2 bone-in chops, 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick
- Seasoning of choice
- 1 tbsp butter
Get your seasoning in order.
Bring the meat to room temperature. Usually when I home home from work I take the meat out of the fridge, so that when I'm ready to cook in a couple hours it's at room temp. This allows for a better, even cook!
Get your pan really, really hot, and preheat that oven to 350F. I like to use my cast iron, but stainless steel is also great. With stainless steel, you'll need a bit more fat, so just keep an eye on that. I would shy away from regular "non-stick" pans - I've never been able to get the same results with mine. Cast irons are not too expensive and a great investment! Either way, preheat the pan over high heat and get it really hot, we're talking almost smoking!
Sear the chops. Add fat to the pan (I prefer butter or vegetable oil). Rub the pork and sear it for about 5 minutes per side, or until a nice crust has formed. Then, put the pan straight in the oven.
Use that meat thermometer. Cook the chops in the oven to an internal temp of 135F. Temperature is crucial! It usually takes me 10 - 15 minutes, but all ovens are different.
Let it rest. Give the meat 5 - 10 minutes to rest on a cutting board before cutting into it. This seals in the juices.
Pair with an easy roasted veggie, like broccoli or brussel sprouts, for an all around awesomely easy and healthy meal.