Cast iron skillet pork chops take next to no time to cook and are deliciously ‘in season’ regardless of the time of year. Exactly what we call an evergreen or season-less pork chops recipe.
You can serve them straight out of the skillet with their own tasty herb infused melted butter and olive oil goodness or whip up a quick pan sauce to drizzle over them, such as our creamy beer mustard sauce. Or a helping of pineapple salsa.
What You Will Need to Prepare Cast Iron Skillet Pork Chops
This has got to be one of the easiest recipes ever. By way of ingredients you will need the actual pork chops, butter, olive oil, couple of garlic cloves, a few sprigs of fresh herbs (we used thyme, but sage or rosemary will impart desirable flavors) and salt and pepper. That’s it.
The reason you see heavy cream and whole grain beer mustard in the picture below is the aforementioned pan sauce Chris made. Totally optional.
By way of equipment all you need is a good, heavy cast iron skillet. And a stove:)
The cast iron skillet stove top method works for a variety of pork chops – boneless or bone in, loin or shoulder, rib or sirloin. Just be sure to heed the recipe steps and juicy-every-time pork chops tip provided below.
Also, here is a cool little Guide to Pork Chops you might find useful or even fun to read.
Frenched Pork Chops
We used very tender Frenched rib pork chops with good fat content. Frenched is really just a fancy way to describe a technique in which the pork chop’s rib bone is exposed after the meat is removed from around it. If nothing else, it makes for a lovely presentation.
How to Cook Cast Iron Skillet Pork Chops
You can go all stove top or stove top plus oven. If you follow our recipe and cooking tips closely there will be no need to complicate matters and use the oven.
To cook pork chops on the stove all you need to do is
- season the pork chops with salt and pepper on each side,
- heat the skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter, olive oil, garlic and thyme (or other herb(s) you may have chosen),
- place the pork chops in the skillet as shown below (be sure to not overcrowd it)
If you are cooking more chops than can fit in your skillet do two batches and add more butter, olive oil etc for the second batch.
How Long to Cook Thick Pork Chops on Stove
You need to cook the pork chops until they brown nicely on each side, flipping only once, until their internal temperature reaches 155 F. Use a food thermometer to take the temperature and measure in the center of each chop.
The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the pork chops, how many you have in the skillet at the same time, the size of your skillet and your stove top’s burner type (gas or electric, size etc).
Generally, if you have thinner chops (around 1/2 inch) cook each side for 3 minutes. Cook thick pork chops (around 3/4 to 1 inch or slightly thicker) for 5-7 minutes per side.
As the pork chops cook on each side use a spoon to gently baste with the butter and oil mixture. Do not futz with the stove temperature – keep it at medium-high:).
Tip for Moist Pork Chops Every Time
To avoid preparing cast iron skillet pork chops that are tough and dry (by mistake of course:) you can perform this one step that will help you get juicy pork chops every time – brine them!
Of course you may not always have the time to brine pork chops prior to throwing them in the skillet (we didn’t this time around) but if you do, brining helps immensely.
In our case, the Frenched rib pork chops were really tender and Chris is pretty experienced with making them so the lack of brining didn’t have severe consequences.
Here is an easy recipe for a brine Chris uses often. Remember, a brine is a marinade with salt and it both flavors and tenderizes the meat. You can read more about that in this post.
QUICK BRINE: Dissolve 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart water and add the aromatics of your choice – could be a couple of peppercorns, some rosemary or thyme, some garlic or onion slices. (To dissolve the sugar and salt you will need to first heat the water, add the sugar and salt, stir until dissolved and then let the solution cool off before using it). Place the pork chops in an airtight container or gallon zip-lock bag and add the brine solution. Refrigerate for up to 12 hours. When ready to cook first rinse the pork chops and pat them dry with a paper towel. Discard the brine.
Homemade Sauce for Pork Chops
Obviously you have many options for sauces to serve with the pork chops, including to not use a sauce at all and simply drizzle a bit of the garlic and thyme (or other herb) infused butter and oil mixture you cooked them in. Will be delicious I promise.
This time around Chris made us a quick creamy beer mustard sauce by simply reducing heavy cream mixed with whole grain beer mustard in a sauce pan. Easy to replicate and can totally be done with your favorite whole grain mustard if you do not have a batch of beer mustard in the fridge.
You can also serve your cast iron skillet pork chops with homemade roasted onions and apple sauce, mushroom gravy or this beer onion gravy. Whatever sauce seems best to you.
We like to present cast iron skillet pork chops family style and use the skillet as the serving dish. The choices for sides are many, but if you have shishito peppers around they make a wonderful companion vegetable to this dish and take only minutes to blister in a pan.
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Other Cast Iron Skillet Ideas
Cast iron skillet pork chops take only minutes to prepare and can be served plain straight out of the skillet or with a variety of sauces. In this recipe we suggest an easy creamy beer mustard sauce (or simply whole grain mustard).
- 3 pork chops
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme (sage or rosemary will also taste good)
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
- 2 tbsp beer mustard or regular whole grain mustard (optional)
Season pork chops with salt and pepper on each side. (Please consult recipe notes regarding optional brining).
Heat the cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, the garlic and thyme and give them a stir.
Place the pork chops in the skillet and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, possibly a tad longer, depending on how thick they are. Flip only once, when the first side has turned golden brown.
As the pork chops are cooking, you can baste with the butter/olive in the skillet.
Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the pork chops. Measure in the center of each one. When it reaches 155 F they are done. (Do not overcook). Serve.
OPTIONAL SAUCE: In a small saucepan over medium heat add the heavy cream and the beer mustard (or regular whole grain mustard). Mix well, bring to simmer and let reduce for a couple of minutes until it reaches your desired thickness.
For extra juicy meat brine the pork chops prior to cooking them in the skillet. Use the quick brine recipe in the post for this recipe card or another brine of your choice. Be sure to rinse and pat dry chops prior to cooking them in the skillet.