Easy recipe for marinated pork chops cooked in the oven. Multiple pork marinade ideas – choose a favorite or use the vibrant Cuban Mojo listed.
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- Read on for useful tips and step-by-step workflow imagery (1 min)
Oven cooking is best suited for pork chops with a higher fat content. For very tender baked pork chops look for cuts that are well marbled – they usually come from the pork shoulder and collar areas (known as pork shoulder blade chops, pork butt chops or collar (neck) chops). These will not dry out but rather the melting fat will flavor and moisten the meat while in the dry oven heat. This is what this recipe is written for.
If you however intend to bake leaner pork chops – by all means brine them first, then marinate them. If you don’t, they will dry out quite fast. It is also helpful to start by briefly searing them in a hot pan and then transferring them to the oven.
If you are unfamiliar with the mechanics of brining vs marinating you will most likely find this post helpful – Brine, Marinate or Both
TIP: For custom sized and thick pork shoulder chops buy a whole pork shoulder and carve them out yourself from the best marbled area. This is also a very cost effective method.
Pork Chops Marinade Options
For this post the marinade we are using is Cuban mojo – a very flavorful concoction of neutral oil, citrus juice (lime and orange), dried oregano, minced garlic, cumin and salt. It sings with flavor!
Otherwise, there are of course many Pork Marinade Recipes from around the world, but as a rule of thumb use the following loose guideline to compose your own unique pork marinade:
3 parts fat : 1 part acid : all other ingredients to taste (herbs, spices, sweeteners such as honey, aromatics such as lemon zest, garlic, shallots etc.)
Step by Step Workflow
- Prep. Trim any excess fat. Mix the marinade of your choice and rub it into the pork chops, coating well all over. Refrigerate covered (use an airtight, non-reactive container or a zip lock bag).
- Season and bake. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easer clean up. Arrange the pork chops and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes then flip them over and season the other side as needed. Continue baking to finish cooking them or broil them for an appetizing golden brown finish on top.
- Rest. Once you take the pork chops out of the oven tent them with foil or cover with another sheet pan to keep them warm while they are resting. Rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
How Long to Bake Pork Chops For?
The total time depends on the size and thickness of the pork chops, whether they are boneless or not and how strong your oven tends to be.
Bake shoulder blade pork chops until the internal temperature reaches at least 145 F. Total time should take between 20 and 30 minutes.
- Boneless shoulder/collar chops will be done faster than bone-in.
- Thinner chops will be done faster than thicker ones.
You can allow (in fact we like to do so) pork shoulder chops to bake all the way to 170-180 F because even more of the fat is rendered and they finish even tastier and much more tender.
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
- 4 to 6 pork chops*, boneless or bone-in
CUBAN PORK CHOPS MARINADE (MOJO)
- 1/3 cup neutral cooking oil
- 4 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 8-10 garlic cloves, crushed, then minced very fine
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- Trim any excess fat from around the pork chops.
- In a freezer-bag or non-reactive container mix the marinade ingredients coat the chops all over. Marinate refrigerated for a few hours and up to 24.
- Bring them to room temperature and preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional, for easier clean up).
- Place the pork chops on the baking sheet, discard the marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, then flip them over, season other side as needed.
- Continue to bake for a few extra minutes (anywhere from 5 to 15), but watch them closely. Alternatively you can broil them once you flip them for an appetizing finish. The food safe internal temperature is 145 F, but up to 170-180 F is fine for pork shoulder or collar chops.
- Take them out of the oven, tent them with foil and allow them to rest for 5 minutes. Serve.
*for best results with this recipe and marinade use pork shoulder chops or pork collar/neck chops. These two cuts are also best suited for oven baking, leaner cuts from the loin dry out easily and must be brined first. They end up juicier if pan-seared instead.
If you do need to brine your pork chops: dissolve 1/4 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar in 2 cups of hot water. Add just over 2 cups of ice cubes - the brine will cool down fast. Soak the pork chops for at least an hour and up to 4. Then pat dry and place in marinade.
Find more Pork Chop Marinade Recipes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 521Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 671mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 41g