How to Brown Baked Pork Chops

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Pork chops are a healthy, lean alternative to steak and other red meat.
Pork chops are a healthy, lean alternative to steak and other red meat. (Image: baked chops image by Witold Krasowski from Fotolia.com)

Brown ordinary pork chops over high heat before you bake them and you can wake up an otherwise unremarkable dish. Whether you pan sear pork chops on the stove top or brown them under the direct heat of your oven's broiler, you improve the flavor of the meat by locking in the meat's natural juices and simultaneously releasing the rich flavors of the rendered pork fat. Browning the baked pork chop enhances the texture, taste and visual appeal of the meat.

Things You'll Need

  • Ovenproof skillet, 12 inch
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Paper towels
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking tongs
  • Broiler pan
  • Meat thermometer

Stove Top

Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat, then add olive oil and butter to the pan.

Swirl the melted butter and oil around the bottom of the skillet to blend it and coat the cooking surface.

Pat the pork chops with a paper towel and season them on both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Place the pork chops in the pan, keeping a little space between them. Leave the meat undisturbed in the pan for two minutes. You will hear lots of sizzling and even see a little smoke.

Lift the meat in the pan and check it for a rich brown color. If the meat is sticking to the pan or if the color isn't noticeably brown, leave it for another minute.

Flip the meat and let it brown on the other side for one minute. Leave the pork chops in the skillet and transfer into a preheated oven to finish baking.

Oven

Preheat the broiler on the highest setting for 10 minutes and place the rack on the second-highest position.

Rub both sides of the pork chops with a pinch of salt and pepper and place them on a broiler pan.

Place the pork chops in the oven under the broiler and close the oven door. After eight minutes, flip the pork chops once they are nicely browned.

Turn off the oven, slightly open the door and leave the pork chops baking in the oven until they reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not rush the preheating step of the oven or the skillet. A hot cooking surface is crucial.
  • Select thick cuts of pork chops for best results. Pork has a tendency to dry as it cooks.
  • To coax out the meat's subtle flavors, brine or marinate the pork chops for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Herbs and seasonings you choose to add are best added toward the end of the cooking process.
  • Let the meat rest for five minutes before serving. This allows the juices inside to settle and incorporate throughout the whole cut of meat.
  • Meat cooked on a hot skillet or in a hot broiler can generate smoke and the oil can spatter. Ensure adequate ventilation is available prior to beginning.
  • Keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat. Don't bake pork chops beyond 150 degrees F or they will dry out.

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