Learn how to brine pork chops for juicy, tender chops every time. These pork chops for kids are seared, then baked to perfection.
*This post was updated in May 2020. It was originally published in May of 2017.
When you think of pork chops, what comes to mind?
If it's shoe leather or grandma's house, this recipe will forever change your thinking.
I used to avoid cooking pork chops like the plague because I didn't know how to properly cook pork. Then I ended up with a freezer full of pork after purchasing some fresh meat from a farmer friend. I needed to figure out how to turn this pork into something edible.
Watch to see how easy these Kid-Friendly Pork Chops are to Make:After some research, I felt prepared to give a baked pork chop recipe another shot. I brined, I seared, I baked. And wow, it paid off.
My kids (who am I kidding, the hubby, too) were unsure the first time I re-made pork chops, it seems memories of shoe leather don't fade fast.
This time it only took one bite and they were sold.
3 Tips for cooking juicy Pork Chops
- Buy thick, bone-in, chops - at least 1- 1 1/2 inch thick
- Brine the chops
- Use a calibrated thermometer. Don't overcook them. 140-145 degrees
How To Brine Pork Chops
Brining comes in handy for pork, a lean meat. Lean meats, such as shrimp, chicken, and pork are easily overcooked, and end up tough. Brining helps ensure a juicier end result.
Brining works by osmosis. By sitting in the saltwater solution, the meat will absorb water in order to equalize the salt levels.
The higher water content of the meat is a good thing because moisture is lost during the cooking process. In simple terms, by starting off with higher water content, you end up with higher water content, equating to juicier pork chops.
Not only does the meat absorb water, but it also absorbs the salt.
Salt plays another role. It helps break down proteins in the meat.
Salt makes the proteins in the pork chops relax - which translates to a more moist product.
Brine for at least 1/2 hour. Make sure to use a container with a tight-fitting cover. You don't want all the raw juice over your fridge. Been there, done that, don't do it.
Pat the pork chops dry with paper toweling.
Coat both sides of the pork chops with oil, season with salt & pepper. A silicon pastry brush makes this task easy - and it's dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
While you are seasoning the pork chops, place an oven-safe skillet into the preheated oven. We want to make sure the pan is hot when we place the pork chops into it.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and place in onto medium-high heat. Place the pork chop into the hot skillet.
Pro Tip: You want to pan nice and hot so that the meat does not stick to it.
Then let the brined pork chop sear - without peaking - for about 3 minutes or until it releases its self from the pan.
Once the chops have released from the pan, flip and then place the whole skillet into the oven to finish cooking.
What to serve with Pork Chops?
Pork chops are very versatile and pair well with so many things. Here are some of my families favorites:
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Quick Baked Apples
- Kid-approved Squash recipes
- Crockpot Red Potatoes
- Crockpot Green Bean Casserole
- Instant Pot Broccoli
- Hasselback Potatoes
- Parmesan Rolls
- Baked Brussels Sprouts
- Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes
If you're looking for more pork recipes, don't miss my Instant Pot Pulled Pork Recipe. It's a favorite at my house. Here are some more ideas:
If you enjoyed the recipe make sure to leave a comment and a star rating below! Then follow me on social media and tag #createkidsclub if you make the recipe. I love seeing what you come up with!
- 4 1 inch thick bone in pork chops
- 3 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns such as Penzeys
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 hours before dinner (or in the morning), place pork chops into a deep bowl with lid.
- Mix 3 tablespoons salt into 1 cup hot water, stirring to dissolve. Add peppercorns.
- Pour salt solution plus another 2 cups water over chops. Add more water if needed to fully cover pork chops.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place oven-safe skillet into preheated oven. Make sure to heat enough skillets for chops to all fit flat.
- Remove chops from brine solution, pat dry.
- Using a silicone pastry brush, brush chops with olive oil on both sides.
- Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Using oven mitts, remove skillets, place over high heat.
- Place chops into the hot pan(s), searing. Don't poke or flip until chop releases itself from pan, about 3 minutes. It should be golden brown.
- Flip pork chops using tongs, immediately place in hot oven.
- Cook about 6 minutes or until internal temperature reads 140- 145 degrees in the largest part of the chop. Don't overcook!
- Let chops rest 5-10 minutes before serving.