How Do You Make That: Tender Pork Chops

 

I love pork chops, but I really dislike pork chops the consistency of shoe leather. Fortunately, I did not have to eat leathery pork chops while Janet was alive, and I learned her technique for cooking them before she died. Pork chops have become one of my go-to meals when I have company over, and they all marvel over their tenderness. Yet making them is ridiculously easy. Here is how.

You will need:

  • An oven
  • A cooking sheet or casserole large enough for one layer of pork chops. Make sure there is at least a 1″ rim.
  • Pork chops. (With large chops, one to a customer is fine, but throw in a few extra.)
  • Non-stick oil spray
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings (I use pepper. garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash’s Garlic and Herb or Onion and Herb. Pick whatever tastes good to you.)
  • One whole onion
  • Grated Parmesan cheese.

Do the following:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (Yes, 425)
  2. Peel a whole onion and slice into thin slices. Set aside.
  3. Spray the baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  4. Rinse off the pork chops and pat them dry with paper towels.
  5. Coat each pork chop with olive oil. Cover both sides and the edges with olive oil, and place each chop on the baking sheet.
  6. Season the chops by sprinkling your favorite herbs and spices. I cover each chop with coarse pepper, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash’s Onion and Herb or Garlic and Herb (or both). If you prefer something else go for it.
  7. After seasoning one side, flip the chops and cover the other sided with seasoning.
  8. Take the sliced onions and put a layer on the top of the chops.
  9. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top of the pork chops over the sliced onions.
  10. When the oven reaches 425, put the tray with the pork chops into the oven. Cook 40 minutes.
  11. Pull the chops out of the oven and serve.

The secret is the olive oil. It seals in the natural moisture of the meat, so the chops do not dry out. The result is tender, moist pork chops despite the high heat.

You will need to experiment with the time because it does vary from oven to oven. Forty minutes works in my oven, but it can vary from 35 to 40 minutes.

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There are 40 comments.

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  1. Front Seat Cat Member

    Does the thickness make a difference in the results following these instructions?

    • #1
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:24 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. JustmeinAZ Member

    Sounds great and I’m going to try it. But one question – how thick are the chops you use?

    • #2
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:25 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Douglas Pratt Member

    Dang. That sounds fantastic. It’s a little like the iron skillet to oven method for steaks.

    We have an excellent Amish butcher shop here, and I was admiring their pork chops. Going to have to pick some up for the weekend.

    Book reviews and recipes…you’re a man of many talents.

     

    • #3
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:33 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Qoumidan Member

    This sounds wonderful! I need to try it!

    • #4
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:34 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. PHenry Member

    Sounds tasty! I am of the opinion that overcooking is the most common cause for dry, tough pork chops. When I learned to cook, pork was declared unsafe unless cooked well done. This resulted in pork being cooked and cooked until there was little moisture left. My mother made her pork chops way beyond just well done, to very very well done. Might as well eat charcoal…

    These days, the reasons for the cook pork to death or risk death warnings are not valid, so I have backed off, and cook my pork medium. It has made my chops and roasts much more enjoyable! 

    • #5
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:54 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Does the thickness make a difference in the results following these instructions?

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Sounds great and I’m going to try it. But one question – how thick are the chops you use?

    Whatever thickness Kroger cuts thee chops I buy when they are on sale. As far as I know, the only difference thickness makes is a slight increase in cooking time. Five minutes or so extra. Best thing is check the pork chops before you take them out of the oven, and leave them in another five minutes if they look underdone.

    • #6
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:56 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    Book reviews and recipes…you’re a man of many talents.

    Me and Nero Wolfe. If you have ever seen a picture of me, reading and cooking goes a long way towards explaining my appearance.

    • #7
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:57 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  8. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Sounds tasty! I am of the opinion that overcooking is the most common cause for dry, tough pork chops. When I learned to cook, pork was declared unsafe unless cooked well done. This resulted in pork being cooked and cooked until there was little moisture left. My mother made her pork chops way beyond just well done, to very very well done. Might as well eat charcoal…

    These days, the reasons for the cook pork to death or risk death warnings are not valid, so I have backed off, and cook my pork medium. It has made my chops and roasts much more enjoyable!

    These chops are cooked through. They are still moist and tender. Undercooking leaves them chewy. They do not taste quite a good then.

    • #8
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:59 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. The Great Adventure! Member

    Alternative – I prepare and season them similarly (I’m notorious for never using the same spice mixture twice). Fill half the Weber to just below grate level with briquettes and let them get nice and hot – all grey, no black. Sear the chops over the briquettes for 2-3 minutes each, move them to the empty side and put on the lid. If you have a thermo it should be pegging up to around 600 within the first minute. Leave them in there for 10-14 minutes depending on thickness.

    And get that silly gas grill outta my face!

    • #9
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Aaron Miller Member

    Alternate alternative: Season them with black pepper and rosemary, then fry them in lard. 

    I had never heard of cheese on pork chops before. I used to buy a long pork loin and divide it into chops.

    • #10
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:15 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Douglas Pratt Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    Book reviews and recipes…you’re a man of many talents.

    Me and Nero Wolfe. If you have ever seen a picture of me, reading and cooking goes a long way towards explaining my appearance.

    Flummery!

    Have you ever tried scrambled eggs as described in the Nero Wolfe Cookbook? My daughter has made Fritz’s Bread and it is awesome.

    • #11
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:20 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. EB Thatcher
    EB

    That recipe sounds great!

    My mother brought me up to worry about trichinosis from pork. So my poor husband suffered tough, dry pork chops from overcooking until I made this discovery. If you don’t have 40 minutes and want pork chops, use this digital instant-read thermometer. Pork needs to be 145 in center. Your chops will come out moist and not overcooked. Amazon link

     

     

    • #12
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:21 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  13. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    Have you ever tried scrambled eggs as described in the Nero Wolfe Cookbook? My daughter has made Fritz’s Bread and it is awesome.

    I’ve made it as described a the end of either The Mother Hunt or The Father Hunt. Jan thought I was being silly. Maybe she was right, because although they tasted great, I am still not sure it was worth the time. (As Stout admits.) 

    • #13
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:45 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Arahant Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    a long pork loin

    Long pork, you say? That comes up in the PIT quite often.

    • #14
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:46 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  15. Arahant Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    Me and Nero Wolfe. If you have ever seen a picture of me, reading and cooking goes a long way towards explaining my appearance.

    I resemble that remark.

    • #15
    • February 5, 2019, at 8:07 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Alternative: Slow roast them in a white wine and pineapple mixture at about 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Lay down just one layer of butterfly chops in a glass baking form (about 2 inches deep- typical casserole form) and really almost submerge the chops in a mixture made of sweet white wine and crushed pineapple. 

    • #16
    • February 5, 2019, at 11:12 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. Basil Fawlty Member

    What’s wrong with Shake ‘n Bake?

    • #17
    • February 5, 2019, at 2:05 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Shauna Hunt Member

    Now I want pork chops for dinner tonight!

    • #18
    • February 5, 2019, at 4:11 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Arahant Member

    Shauna Hunt (View Comment):

    Now I want pork chops for dinner tonight!

    I had meatballs and fried apples.

    • #19
    • February 5, 2019, at 4:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Shauna Hunt (View Comment):

    Now I want pork chops for dinner tonight!

    I had meatballs and fried apples.

    Burgers. I made pork tenderloin Sunday and had leftovers yesterday. My nephew took some for lunch today, and I wanted a change.

    • #20
    • February 5, 2019, at 4:21 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. JustmeinAZ Member

    OK. Today I followed the instructions exactly. I had bone-in center cut loin chops in the freezer and kind of suspected that they were a little thin for the cooking time (probably about 3/4 inch) but I cooked them for 40 minutes anyway. First of all, they were delicious, even if a little overdone. And they were relatively tender. So I would say a success for the first time around. I will definitely try again with thicker chops.

    We are watching carbs for my husband so we had whole canned tomatoes baked with a dab of butter and some shredded mozzarella on top as a side dish. He pronounced the whole combo delicious.

    • #21
    • February 5, 2019, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  22. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    OK. Today I followed the instructions exactly. I had bone-in center cut loin chops in the freezer and kind of suspected that they were a little thin for the cooking time (probably about 3/4 inch) but I cooked them for 40 minutes anyway. First of all, they were delicious, even if a little overdone. And they were relatively tender. So I would say a success for the first time around. I will definitely try again with thicker chops.

    Or just cook them a few minutes less with thinner chops.

    • #22
    • February 5, 2019, at 4:46 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    A mouthwatering answer to “how do you make that.” Variants in the comments sound intriguing as as well.


    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the February 2019 Theme Writing: How Do You Make That? There are plenty of dates still available. Tell us about anything from knitting a sweater to building a mega-structure. Share your proudest success or most memorable failure (how not to make that). Do you agree with Arahants’ General Theory of Creativity? “Mostly it was knowing a few techniques, having the right tools, and having a love for building and creating whatever it was.” Our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    I will post March’s theme mid month.

    • #23
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Slow on the uptake Thatcher

    Why rinse them unless they fall on the floor? Even then what about the five second rule? I mean, it isn’t like it’s broccoli or kale or something!

    • #24
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:29 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    EB (View Comment):

    That recipe sounds great!

    My mother brought me up to worry about trichinosis from pork. So my poor husband suffered tough, dry pork chops from overcooking until I made this discovery. If you don’t have 40 minutes and want pork chops, use this digital instant-read thermometer. Pork needs to be 145 in center. Your chops will come out moist and not overcooked. Amazon link

     

     

    That don’t look natchurl. 

    • #25
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:34 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    OK. Today I followed the instructions exactly. I had bone-in center cut loin chops in the freezer and kind of suspected that they were a little thin for the cooking time (probably about 3/4 inch) but I cooked them for 40 minutes anyway. First of all, they were delicious, even if a little overdone. And they were relatively tender. So I would say a success for the first time around. I will definitely try again with thicker chops.

    Or just cook them a few minutes less with thinner chops.

    I suspect she was cooking Statistical Control chops. 

    • #26
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Seawriter Member
    Seawriter Post author

    Chuckles (View Comment):

    Why rinse them unless they fall on the floor? Even then what about the five second rule? I mean, it isn’t like it’s broccoli or kale or something!

    Store-bought pork chops often have bone chips from the cutting process at the store. Rinsing gets rid of them. I don’t like gritty pork chops.

    • #27
    • February 5, 2019, at 5:40 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  28. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Great tips you included. One other tip: if you need to freeze pork chops, make sure they are in a container that is intact. For years, I wondered why my pork chops were dry. Then I learned that freezing a meat package with an edge where the plastic is broken is a blueprint for disaster. Now before freezing I wrap the chops with extra layers of plastic and always make sure they are used within a week or two of purchase. (Freezers don’t simply freeze but also dehydrate the food that is not adequately protected from the cold dry air.)

    • #28
    • February 5, 2019, at 6:55 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. The Great Adventure! Member

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    Great tips you included. One other tip: if you need to freeze pork chops, make sure they are in a container that is intact. For years, I wondered why my pork chops were dry. Then I learned that freezing a meat package with an edge where the plastic is broken is a blueprint for disaster. Now before freezing I wrap the chops with extra layers of plastic and always make sure they are used within a week or two of purchase. (Freezers don’t simply freeze but also dehydrate the food that is not adequately protected from the cold dry air.)

    I don’t like to freeze any chops or steaks. Confessions though – the 20 lb bag of frozen chicken breasts from Costco is hard to pass up…

    • #29
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:07 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  30. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    UMMMMMMM!

    • #30
    • February 5, 2019, at 7:20 PM PDT
    • 1 like
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