How to cook cast iron pork chops that are juicy, flavorful and tender.
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Read on for relevant tips and step-by-step pictures (1 min)
About This Pan Seared Pork Chops Recipe
The cast iron skillet stove top method works for a variety of pork chops – boneless or bone in, loin or shoulder, rib or sirloin. 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.
What You Will Need to Pan Sear Pork Chops in Cast Iron Skillet
- Pork chops. We used thick cut Frenched bone-in pork chops to demonstrate the stove top cast iron skillet cooking method, mostly because they benefit from brining and we wanted to show the process. Boneless pork chops can be prepared just the same.
- Salt and black pepper. To season the pork chops before you cook them. You can also use paprika to create a golden brown look.
- Cooking oil and butter. A tablespoon of butter for flavor and oil so that the butter doesn’t burn.
- Herbs and garlic cloves. To flavor the butter and cooking oil we like the combination of thyme and rosemary with a few garlic cloves. Sage or oregano work great too. At the end you can garnish with more fresh herbs.
- By way of equipment all you need is a good, heavy cast iron skillet and your stove.
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. (You might find this Guide to Pork Chops useful).
Moist Pork Chops Every Time
To avoid preparing cast iron skillet pork chops that are tough and dry you can perform this one step that will help you get juicy pork chops every time – brine them!
This is not necessarily needed for thinner or fattier chops such as pork neck or pork shoulder steaks, but if you are cooking leaner cuts or thick cut pork chops brining helps immensely.
- Dissolve 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup kosher salt in 1 quart hot water.
- Let cool down completely (a trick you can use is bring only half the water to boil, dissolve the sugar and salt, then add the other half of the needed water by way of ice cubes).
- Place the pork chops in the brine solution. Refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours and up to 6-8.
- When ready to cook first pat dry the pork chops with a paper towel.
How to Cook Pork Chops in a Cast Iron Skillet
To make cast-iron pan seared pork chops on the stove all you need to do is:
- brine as shown above, for thicker cuts
- season with salt and pepper on each side
- heat the skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter, olive oil, garlic and herbs like fresh thyme and rosemary, stir around and let get fragrant
- sear the pork chops (you can use a spoon to gently baste with the butter and oil mixture). Do not futz with the stove temperature – keep it at medium-high:)
- remove from the pan and cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 5 minutes
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
- For perfect pan-fried pork chops brown nicely on each side, flip only once, until their internal temperature reaches 155 F for medium. We feel this is a good temperature for brined chops. If you prefer to cook them slightly underdone, 145 F is the medium-rare yet food safe temperature for pork chops.
- Use a meat thermometer (affiliate link) 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 2 minutes. Cook thick pork chops (around 3/4 to 1 inch or slightly thicker) for 5 minutes per side.
Homemade Sauce for Pan Seared 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.
We love to make a simple mustard cream sauce (with beer mustard when we have some in the fridge). All you have to do is mix heavy cream and mustard in a sauce pan, bring it to simmer and let it reduce.
Side Dish Ideas
Any manner of salad would go great with these! We love this white bean and roasted red pepper salad and this Shopska salad.
You can also serve your cast iron skillet pork chops with rice, Irish champ, crispy roasted potatoes, roasted onions or baked apple slices, mushroom gravy or this beer onion gravy.
Other Recipes You Might Like
Marinades for Pork
When to Brine and When to Marinate
Pork Tenderloin with Apples & Onions
Braised Pork Chops
Pork Spare Ribs (Oven)
Pork Shoulder Roast
Cast Iron Pork Chops (with Mustard Cream Sauce)
How to pan sear pork chops in cast iron skillet on the stove top. Tips on cooking thick cut pork chops, easy brine recipe and an even easier homemade creamy mustard sauce.
BRINE (Use with Thick Cut or Very Lean Chops)*
- 1 quart hot water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
SKILLET PORK CHOPS
- 2 pork chops
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or other cooking oil)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3-4 sprigs thyme (+ more for garnish if desired)
- 2 sprigs rosemary (+ more for garnish if desired)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
Mustard Cream Sauce (Optional)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp beer mustard or regular whole grain mustard, (optional)
BRINE (FOR THICK CUT OR VERY LEAN CHOPS, OPTIONAL)
- To make a brine dissolve the salt and sugar in the hot water and let the solution cool down completely. Alternatively dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 cups of hot water, then add just over 2 cups of ice cubes - the brine will cool down much faster.
- Submerge the pork chops and soak refrigerated for at least 1-2 hours and up to 6-8. Really thick pork chops can be brined up to 24 hours. When done, remove from the solution and pat dry, then proceed with the steps below.
- Season the pork chops with salt and pepper on each side. (If you brined them keep in mind that they are already infused with salt so go easy on the salt).
- Heat the cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the oil and butter, the peeled whole garlic cloves, thyme, rosemary and give them a stir until fragrant.
- Place the pork chops in the skillet and cook for 2 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 at the top of medium doneness.**
- Move to a warm plate and cover with foil, rest the chops for 5 minutes before serving.
CREAMY MUSTARD SAUCE (OPTIONAL)
- In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the heavy cream and the beer mustard (or regular whole grain mustard).
- Bring bring to simmer and let reduce for a couple of minutes until it reaches your desired thickness.
*Brining helps the pork absorb moisture and stay juicy while cooking. This brine solution is enough for 4 pork chops. Read more on When to Brine and When to Marinate.
** This is a good temperature for brined chops. If you prefer to cook them slightly underdone, 145 F is the medium-rare yet food safe temperature for pork chops as advised by the USDA.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 789Total Fat: 80gSaturated Fat: 39gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 282mgSodium: 1548mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 44g
This recipe looks amazing. I’m cooking this tonight. Already have the chops marinating in the Brine . I’ll keep you posted.
I want to use recipe and cook 1/2 thick chops in my cast iron pan on my charcoal kettle. Any additional tips?
Craft Beering says
Ron, just be sure to brine them first and then cook them until the internal temperature gets to 145-155. How long depends on how hot you are able to maintain the charcoals, trust your eyes and thermometer.
So, do I mince the garlic or use whole cloves?
Hi, Elaine, definitely use the whole cloves of garlic as shown in the video and pictures. Their purpose is to flavor the oil in the skillet. If you mince the garlic it will burn.
Rose Martine says
Thank you so much for wonderful recipes! What I love about your website most of all is that you post not only great recipes and descriptions but also stunning photos of food! Have a nice day!
Donna MacQuoid says
Fantastic recipe, thank you so much!
Thank you, Donna!
We made this recipe last night, and I wasn’t sure how the sauce would turn out or taste with the pork chops. WOW. We were blown away. Everything was so tender, and the flavors melded beautifully together. The sauce was so incredible that we were dipping all of our sides in it. Will definitely be making this again. Thank you for sharing!
So glad you liked your dinner, Bethany! Simple is best, right? Cheers to all fans of juicy pork chops and creamy mustard sauce:)
This recipe is very good! I used both rosemary and thyme in mine. A few tips to make this recipe even better:
1. Always tent your pork chops for about ten minutes after cooking them. It really helps the meat to become thoroughly cooked.
2. Once you remove the pork chops from the skillet, immediately reduce the heat and pour the cream and mustard in the skillet you just cooked the chops in. This adds the extra flavors from the meat and helps bind the sauce to the meat to make it uniform!
Love both of your tips, Joshua! Thank you so much for taking the time to share them.
Yum! These look fabulous. Can’t wait to try it!
Nicole Hood says
I am dying over how amazing and juicy these chops look!
Jyothi (Jo) says
Those pork chops looks so amazingly delicious and i’m totally digging that creamy mustard sauce. Just fab
[email protected] says
Oh wow! I’m a huge fan of bone-in pork chops and a huge fan of cast iron cooking – so this recipe is speaking my name!! Loving everything about this, my friend!
Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats says
I love using my cast iron skillet for cooking….that brown crust 🙂 Your pork chops look divine and I love an easy recipe 🙂
YES! I’m a huge fan of brining pork chops, it’s seriously the best way to go. However, I haven’t infused a brine with fresh herbs and garlic so I’m definitely going to try it! Amazing food photography once again, great job!
Nicoletta @sugarlovespices says
I am not a meat “connoisseur”, but usually pork chops have the bad rep of being dry and tough. Not these ones! They look so juicy and tender, and that mustard sauce on top, well, I have to tell Loreto and he will be all over this dish! 🙂
These pork chops look phenomenal – juicy, tender, and beautiful seared. And this creamy mustard sauce? Perfection!
Thank you, Ben!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Cast iron skillets make everything taste better right? These pork chops look just fabulous and I love how quick they are to prepare. Plus I’m pretty sure I could eat that sauce with a spoon–mustard is my favorite 🙂
Yes! We are such fans of mustard too:) This sauce is great with all kinds of pork but also cast iron chicken thighs etc. Have a great weekend!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Pork chops is something we don’t eat often, but when we do we really enjoy them. And there’s something that makes cooking them in the cast iron pan even tastier, isn’t it? Though, that creamy sauce ain’t gonna hurt either 😉 I could probably drink that, lol. Though, if I did, I probably would never get off the treadmill, lol. Total comfort food, total deliciousness! Happy weekend, you guys! Cheers!
Definitely! Cast iron is the way to go with pork chops:)