Seared Pork Chops

Seared Pork Chops
JAHPorkysLogo

Best and Simple way to get Flavorful Juicy Pan Seared Pork Chops. Seasoned with Salt & Black Pepper or any way you’d like. Along with any sauce you prefer. Done in about 15 minutes.

This method can be applied to Beef, Lamb Chops, and Chicken as well. With the Cook time adjusted accordingly.

After the Pork Chops are seared you can serve it Seasoned with a variety of Seasonings or with a variety of Sauces.

Best thickness for Seared Pork Chops

Fatty Pork Chops that are about 1 inch thick yield the best results. Allowing a good Sear but not overcooking the meat. Thinner cuts are done much quicker and easier to over cook.

This can be from Pork Chops that are already chopped – Bone in, or Sliced from a Pork Loin with the fat included – Boneless.

Make sure the meat is completely thawed or at least very close to room temp.

Best Fat for Seared Pork Chops

The best fat for searing is the Natural Fat on the meat that you are searing. Not only does it seem to produce the correct amount of fat for the meat but also contributes significantly to the natural taste.

Another very interesting point with rendered fat is that the optimal searing temp for a specific cut of meat seems to be aligned with the smoke point of the rendered fat. They go hand in hand.

Trim and Chop into small pieces the excess fat from the meat. Place it into a Skillet over medium heat and cook until the fat renders and you are left with Crackling. Discard the crackling. At this point the pan is primed with rendered fat and hot enough to start searing.

Rendered Pork Fat
Rendered Pork Fat

Adding Butter

Butter Burns up fast so isn’t ideal for searing. Ghee on the other hand can be used for searing.

Although adding Butter to the Pan along with any Aromatics just as you are finishing up can be done and contributes significantly to the overall dish.

Add a good amount of butter to the Skillet with the heat shut off. The residual heat should be adequate and prevent burning. Keep the butter moving and scoop it up and over the meat just as you are finishing up on the searing.

When to Season Seared Pork Chops

Season with Salt but save the Pepper for after it has seared. This way you don’t burn up the Pepper and cause the flavor to be weaker. Seasoning with Black Pepper afterwards yields far more better results.

Enjoy it with Just Salt & Pepper or use additional Seasonings after the sear, when just finishing up.

Seasonings burn up fast and when excessive heat is applied a lot of them go extremely bitter. There is no point in seasoning and then searing since you are burning up all of the flavor.

Seasoning

Whether the Seasoning being used contains salt or not will determine if you salt the meat and let rest or just let rest without any salt.

Season the meat after it has seared. If you want some cooked on it then season just as you are finishing up to prevent burning the Seasoning.

Some of our favorites are listed below.

Searing Bone in vs Boneless

Boneless cuts of meats works best for Pan Searing as the meat is able to stay in full contact with the pan, somewhat. You may still have to press down on the meat a bit as the meat will sometimes lift up, especially on the second side.

With Bone in, the meat will always lift up and have no contact with the pan around the bone area. This is why the meat around the bone tends to take longer to cook. For this reason the Grill or Oven is better suited for bone in cuts. That’s not to say you can’t Pan Sear Bone in meat. You certainly can however it may take a bit longer.

Bone in vs Boneless for better flavor

Both yield the same results. It’s a myth that bone in produces better flavor.

It may be tied to the fact that the meat around the bone when pan searing is not as cooked as the rest of the meat. Which produces a juicier meat around the bones. But it isn’t really the Bone that’s contributing to the flavor.

Searing Pork Chops

Make sure that the meat is completely thawed and at room temp or very close. Cooking partially frozen or thawed meat actually causes the meat to cook up dry. Ensure that the meat is Dry and Seasoned with Kosher Salt or not if using Seasoning after the sear and the Seasoning already contains Salt.

Cook times will vary depending on the thickness of your Meat. In general you will start to see the juices just running clear. It takes about 10 minutes for a 1 inch boneless Pork Chops to reach about 155 F over medium heat after the Pan has been primed.

Adjust your time accordingly to level of doneness desired, the thickness of the Pork Chop and whether it is Bone in or not. Also the type of meat. Whether it is Pork Chops, Beef, Lamb or Chicken, since this technique is applicable to all. With only the cook times varying.

If the Cut is very thick and especially with Bone in, you may need to finish in the oven. This is a technique employed by numerous restaurants for thick cuts. This way a good sear is achieved without over searing or burning the Meat and it is cooked to the desired level of doneness.

Seared Pork Chops
Seared Pork Chops

Deeper Sear

For a stronger or deeper sear set the heat to medium high but watch the Fat. If it starts smoking, remove from the heat, when it stops smoking back on to the heat. The objective is to stay in that just before smoking zone. Adjust the cook time accordingly for the increased heat.

How to Sear Pork Chops

After you have rendered the fat from the trimmings and discarded the crackling. The Skillet is prime to start Searing. It has the hot rendered fat in the skillet and the skillet has been heated for some time.

Once the Rendered Fat starts smoking just a bit, place the room temp meat into the pan. Give the pan a shake or move the meat around as you place it in and cook 5 minutes. Once in while tilt the pan to move the Fat around. Flip and cook another 5 minutes. Optionally finish it off with some Butter or Compound Butter like Garlic Butter and additional Seasonings.

Searing Tips

Meat tends to lift up in the center when being seared so pressing down for the first few seconds can assist and ensure that all of the meat is in contact with the Skillet. Even more so on the second side where the meat has a tendency to lift up a bit.

Bone In Meats require a bit longer due to the meat lifting up from the pan during cooking. The trick here is to constantly baste and cook a bit longer. Optionally Cook for the same amount of time and finish in the oven.

The meat around the bone will take much longer to cook through with bone in cuts. You can press and tilt on the bone side to press the meat against the pan to assist in cooking through but this is somewhat difficult.

For these reasons Bone in meat is best done in the oven or grill. It’s not to say you shouldn’t Pan Sear Bone in meats. You most definitely can just be mindful of the differences between Boneless and Bone in meats.

  1. Use Rendered Fat from the meat you are searing.
  2. Ensure that your meat is at room temp, Dry and Salted for some time before searing.
  3. Place the meat into the pan on medium heat or just a tad higher just as the Fat starts to smoke. For a heavy sear. Sear on medium high – watch the smoke.
  4. Add Butter and additional Seasonings just as you are finishing up, if using.
  5. Allow the meat to rest 5 – 10 minutes.

How to tell when Seared Pork Chops are done

When Measuring with a Meat thermometer and followed by a minimum 3 minute rest.

  • 145 F – 150 F for Medium Rare
  • 150 F – 155 F for Medium
  • 155 F – 160 F for Medium Well
  • 160 F for Well Done

Another way to tell without a thermometer is just when the juices are starting to run clear. This happens at the Medium – Medium well Stage.

When the Juices start running clear, that is a very good indication of the meat being at it’s prime doneness. Remove the meat and allow to rest.

Sauce

There are all kinds of Sauce you can serve this with that will give a slight variations of Pan Seared Pork Chops.

  • HP Sauce
  • Pappy BBQ Sauce or other Kinds of BBQ Sauces
  • Cream of Soups (Cream of Mushroom Soup being the most popular)
  • Gravies
  • Check out my Sauce Collection on more Sauces for Pork Chops
Seared Pork Chops
Seared Pork Chops

Seared Pork Chops

Flavorful & Juicy Pan Seared Pork Chops in Rendered Fat. Seasoned with Salt & Black Pepper or additional Seasonings. Serve it up well Seasoned and optionally with various Sauces.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Pan Seared Pork Chops, Pork Chops, Seared Pork Chops
Servings: 2 portions
Author: JAH

Equipment

  • Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 inch Pork Chops – Fatty Pieces
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  • Completely thaw the Pork Chops. Trim away the excess fat around the Meat and Chop the Fat into small pieces. Salt the Pork Chops and set aside for now. If using seasonings afterwards that contain salt, then don't salt the Pork Chops.
  • Render the Fat from the Trimmings in a Skillet over medium heat. Cook until the Fat is rendered out and you are left with Golden Crisp Crackling. About 5 minutes.
  • Remove the Crackling and place the Pork Chops into the Skillet just as the rendered fat starts to smoke. Cook for 5 minutes. Tilting the pan once in while to move the Fat Around.
  • Flip over, Press and Cook another 5 minutes. Sprinkle Both Sides with Black Pepper or Seasoning and let rest 5 minutes.

Notes

A 1 Inch Boneless Pork Chop takes about 5 minutes per side in a primed skillet over medium heat to achieve an internal temp of about 155 F. Adjust your cook time accordingly to this thickness of the meat and whether it is boneless or bone in which requires a few minutes more on each side.
For a Heavy Sear set the heat to Medium High when Searing the meat. Watch the smoke and control the heat. If it starts smoking too much you’re too hot. Remove the pan from the heat and return. Repeat to stay in that sear zone just before the fat is smoking.
For Thicker cuts you may need to finish in the oven at 350 F – 375 F until desired level of doneness is achieved.
  • 145 F – 150 F for Medium Rare
  • 150 F – 155 F for Medium
  • 155 F – 160 F for Medium Well
  • 160 F for Well Done