Seared Pork Chops

Seared Pork Chops
Seared Pork Chops Header

Pan Seared Pork Chops in Rendered Pork fat from the trimming off a fatty Pork Chop. Seasoned with Salt & Pepper and left out to reach room temperature. Just trim the fat from the Pork Chops and render it out, then the Pan is primed to sear the Pork Chops.

Pork Chops

Any Pork Chop will do, Bone in or boneless, or sliced from a Pork Loin with the fat included for Boneless Pork Chops of any desired thickness.

A key thing to keep in mind or watch for, is an even thickness through out the Pork or Steak. If one side of it is thick and the other side is thin, you will get an uneven cook. It stands to reason but is easily overlooked.

Make sure the meat is completely thawed and at room temp before cooking. Cooking meat partially frozen or very cold will result in a dry end product. At room temp the end results is nothing but juice.

Salt & Pepper Pork Chop

I use the same Salt & Pepper that is used for the Salt & Pepper Chicken. Which is a blend of Sea Salt and both Black & White Pepper. The ratios are below.

Salt & Pepper Blend

Salt & Pepper Blend Ingredients

  • 1 Tbl Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper

Preparing Pork Chops for Searing

Season the Pork Chops and set them aside to reach room temp. Optionally season the Meat and place them on a wired rack and refrigerate overnight. Then take out the Pork Chops for 30 minutes to an hour to reach room temp before cooking.

Allowing the salt to work and draw the moisture out so that the surface is dry will create a much better and darker sear. If you salt the meat and then cook right away or shortly after, you are drawing the water to the surface but not allowing it to dry out which hinders searing.

Season the meat and allow ample time for it to work, drying out the surface. Then bring the meat to room temp before cooking for the best Sear & Juicy Pork Chop.

Salt & Pepper Pork Chops Resting
Salt & Pepper Pork Chops Resting

What is Pan Searing

Pan Searing is the process of cooking meat over high heat in fat, between 300 F – 450 F to promote browning and crusting. It works best with dried meats. Which is why you often pat dry the meat being seared and additionally salt the meat well in advance to help the exterior dry out.

It is meant to develop a crust on the exterior and add an extra dimension of flavor through texture contrast and browning. With thinner cuts of meat it will cook the meat through and with thicker cuts the meat will have to be finished off in the oven or through other cook methods.

Searing is really all about developing a crust and not really focused on cooking the meat through. The same searing time would be applied to a roast, steak or cubed meat of the same type of meat. In the case of the roast, the meat would definitely not be cooked through, with steak it depends on the thickness and with cubed meat it would cook the meat through. It’s main focus is on the browning of the meat and creating a crust, whether it cooks through or not is a secondary outcome.

Best Fat for Searing

The best fat for searing is the Natural Fat on the meat that you are searing, it contributes significantly to the natural taste. For more information, check out my post on Rendered Fat.

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, and is commonly done to add flavor to the meat. Add a good amount of butter to the Skillet with the heat shut off, after searing the meat. 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. Keep in mind and an eye on the butter. There is a fine line between browned & burnt Butter.

Searing Pork Chops

Make sure that the meat is completely thawed and at room temp. If refrigerated, take the meat out about 30 minutes to an hour before you plan on cooking.

Before searing, ensure that the rendered fat is heated hot over medium heat. This will take about 8 – 10 minutes or more for a hotter sear. Searing begins at 300 F and upwards to 450 F. Typically you want the fat just before the smoke point before adding in the meat.

When placing the meat into the pan, leave it be, don’t move it around.

Cook times will vary depending on the thickness of your Meat. In general you will see the juices just starting to run 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 and a bit longer for bone in Pork Chops.

Adjust your time accordingly to the level of doneness desired, the thickness of the Pork Chop and whether it is Bone in or not.

Searing Bone in vs Boneless

Bone In Pork Chops take a minute or so longer on each side to sear than Boneless pork Chops. Use the general guideline below and adjust based on your preference for an internal temp.

Seared Pork Chops

Pork Chop Sear Times

  • 1/4 ” – 1/2″ Sear for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • 3/4″ Sear for 4 minutes per side.
  • 1 ” Sear for 5 minutes per side.
  • Add about an extra minute or so for Bone in.
Seared Pork Chops Resting

Pork Chop Doneness

  • 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

If the Pork Chop is very thick and especially with Bone in, you may need to finish in the oven or Reverse Sear. Bone in Pork Chops have a tendency to lift the meat up and away from the pan. This is the other reason why I prefer a reverse sear with 1 inch Bone in Pork Chops.

Reverse Seared Pork Chops

I use this for Bone in Pork Chops at about 1 inch thick or thicker. I find you just get better results this way. The Pork Chops are seasoned well in advance and are cooked in the oven for a bit before being seared.

How to Reverse Sear Pork Chops

Brush the 1 inch bone in Pork Chops with Oil and Season. Place Seasoned Pork Chops on a broiler pan and into a preheated oven at 300 F. Let cook for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 15 degrees below your target internal temp.

Times will vary depending on the thickness of your Pork Chops. For best results use a thermometer.

When 8 – 10 minutes of cook time remain, start heating up the skillet with the already rendered fat over medium heat.

Remove the Pork Chops from the oven when done and go directly to searing for 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle more seasoning on and let rest.

This will bring a 1 inch – 1 1/2 inch bone in Pork Chop to an internal temp of about 130 F and the searing will take it up to about 147 F internal temp before being rested. Use an oven thermometer for better accuracy and adjust the times based on thickness and desired internal temp.

With thicker cuts of meat, leave them in the oven until they are about 15 degrees away from the desired internal temperature. Then Sear the Meat for 3 minutes per side.

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. Just like with any other meats, when the juices start to run clear the meat is at it’s prime juiciness. Remove and let rest which will allow the juices to settle.

Pan Sauce

After searing the pork chops the bottom of the pan will have fond that is developed. This is loaded with flavor. Liquids can be added in along with numerous other ingredients to create a pan sauce that can be served over the Pork Chops. The added liquids will lift the fond up and incorporate it into the sauce and cleaning the pan at the same time.

The added in Liquids are usually reduced a bit to a sauce consistency. Practically anything can be added in for the liquid.

Cream Pan Sauce

This is a very nice creamy sauce that is served over top the Pork Chops. Once the Pork Chops are cooked and set aside to rest, make the Pan Sauce and reduce to a Sauce consistency.

Seared 1 inch Bone in Pork Chop with Pan Sauce

Cream Pan Sauce

  • 1-2 Tbl Butter
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce & Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 C Cream
Pan Seared Pork Chops Pin

Seared Pork Chops

Flavorful & Juicy Pan Seared Pork Chops in Rendered Fat. Seasoned with Salt & Black Pepper and left out to reach room temperature before searing. Make a Pan Sauce to serve with it.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Drying Time1 hour
Servings: 2 portions

Equipment

  • 1 Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 Pork Chops

Seasoning

  • 1 Tbl Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper

Instructions

  • Completely thaw the Pork Chops. Trim away the excess fat around the Meat and Chop the Fat into small pieces.
    Season the Pork Chops with the Salt & Pepper blend and set aside to reach room temperature before searing. About 30 minutes to an hour or longer.
  • 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. Discard the crackling.
    The pan is now primed and ready to start searing in the hot rendered fat.
  • Sear the Pork Chops until the desired level of doneness.
    Use the below guideline. Adjust the times for the desired internal temperature.
    1/4" – 1/2" – Sear for 2–3 minutes per side.
    3/4" – Sear for 4 minutes per side.
    1" – Sear for 5 minutes per side.
    Add about an extra minute or so for Bone in.
    Remove and let rest before serving. For Thicker cuts of meat, especially bone in, see the notes for reverse searing.

Notes

 

Pork Chop Internal Temperature

  • 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
 

Reversed Sear Pork Chops

Brush the Pork Chops with Oil and Season. Place Seasoned Pork Chops on a broiler pan and into a preheated oven at 300 F. Let cook for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 15 degrees below your target internal temp.
Times will vary depending on the thickness of your Pork Chops. For best results, use a thermometer.
When 8 – 10 minutes of cook time remain, start heating up the skillet with the rendered fat over medium heat.
Remove the Pork Chops from the oven when done, and go directly to searing for 3 minutes per side and let rest.
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keywords: Pan Seared Pork Chops, Pork Chops, Salt & Pepper Pork Chops, Seared Pork Chops
Author: JAH
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