HOW TO COOK PORK CHOPS - Greg's Kitchen
How to Tell if Pork Chops Are Done
Pork chops, when cooked correctly, are an incredibly quick and easy cut of meat to prepare. That being said, it’s easy to ruin a pork chop by overcooking it, but many people do this because they are unsure how to tell when a pork chop is done. With the proper cooking technique, and a few simple ways of telling when the meat is done, you’ll be able to prepare perfectly cooked, juicy pork chops any night of the week!
Testing by Touch and Cutting into the Meat
Touch the meat with tongs or a spatula to see how firm it is.While you are cooking the pork chops, feel their firmness by poking them with your tongs or spatula. If they are still very soft they are still raw in the middle. If they are extremely firm they are very well done.
- You want to finish cooking the chops when they are firm, but not overly hard or leather-like. If they are too firm they will be dried out and tough in the middle.
Remove the pork chops from the heat when they're golden-brown on each side.Remove the pork chops from the frying pan with tongs or a spatula. If you are baking or broiling the chops, then use an oven glove to safely remove the dish they are cooking in from the oven.
- In a frying pan the cook time will usually take anywhere from 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the pork chops.
- In an oven they will be done after about 30 minutes at 375 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Put the pork chops on a cutting board and let them rest for 5-15 minutes.This will allow the fibers to relax and absorb the juices. The middle will also keep cooking as the pork chops retain the heat.
- You can make a small tin foil tent to place over the pork chops to keep them warmer while they rest.
Cut into the thickest part of the meat and look at the color in the middle.After you have let the meat rest for a few minutes after cooking, cut into one of the pork chops and look at the color. It is okay if it has a little pink in the middle but any juices that flow out should be clear.
- Previously it was commonly taught that pork needs to be completely white in the middle in order for it to be edible. The USDA now says that pork cooked to at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C) that may still look a bit pink in the middle is perfectly safe to eat.
- If the meat appears to be under-cooked, go ahead and pop it back into the frying pan or the oven and continue cooking in increments of 1-2 minutes.
Checking the Temperature with a Meat Thermometer
Take a pork chop out of the pan or oven with tongs or a spatula.When you see that the meat has begun to turn golden-brown and is firm to the touch it is a good time to check the temperature. Place the pork chop on a plate or cutting board.
- Depending on the thickness of the pork chops, cooking them in a frying pan will take about 3-5 minutes per side.
- Baking pork chops in an oven will take about 30 minutes at 375 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Stick a meat thermometer in the side of the chop until the tip is in the middle.You want the tip of the thermometer to be in the thickest part of the pork chop to get an accurate reading. The thermometer should finish reading the temperature within a few seconds.
- Don’t let the thermometer touch the bone of the pork chop as this will not provide an accurate reading of the meat’s temperature.
Read the meat thermometer to see if it is at 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).When the numbers have stopped rising on the thermometer this is the temperature of the meat. Try not to let the internal temperature of the meat get higher than 160 degrees F (16 degrees C) to avoid overcooking it.
- If the temperature is less than 145 degrees F (63 degrees C), continue cooking the pork chops for 1-2 minutes until the internal temperature rises.
Video: How to Grill Pork Chops - Tips for Juicy Pork Chops that Won't Dry Out
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