How to Cook a Juicy, Tender Pork Chop

by W.F. Price on March 2, 2013

Commenter Brian asked me to write another food post and, as cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, I’m happy to comply. For those who prefer more serious posts, please indulge me here — there will be plenty of those forthcoming.

One of my pet peeves is dry pork chops, so I’d like to give a lesson on the simple but elegant pork chop, which is not only cheap, but so easy to cook and so tasty that any man (barring those who keep kosher or halal) can enjoy it.

When I was growing up, pork chops were a common dish at dinner time. However, the pork chops I had at home were tough and dry, so although I dutifully ate them without complaint, I thought of pork chops as second-rate food compared to tender steak, salmon and chicken. But they were cheap, so when I started living on my own I found myself buying pork rather than steak for dinner.

I received a cast iron skillet as a gift when I was about 20, and because these iron skillets require oil to prevent sticking, I soon discovered the key to good pork chops: they must be breaded and cooked in oil. It should be obvious, but a lot of northerners do not understand to this day. There’s a stigma against frying; it’s supposedly unhealthy, or maybe it’s seen as low-class in the north, but it’s pretty silly given the physical properties of the common pork chop. Some northerners go so far as to soak pork chops in brine before cooking them, which is totally unnecessary and a waste of time (and the excess sodium can’t be healthy). Others simmer them in various concoctions that leave the pork as the minor component of the flavor, and are far more complex than necessary.

When you’re cooking lean pork, as opposed to bacon or sausage, it will always dry out unless you fry it in oil, simmer it or boil it. Actually, this is true of any lean meat, but for some reason people don’t seem to realize that pork chops are lean. The pork chop was made for frying — not for roasting, broiling, grilling, boiling or simmering. It is a close cousin to German schnitzel, which is invariably breaded and fried.

What you’re aiming for is keeping the lean, but tender pork loin moist and juicy to keep it from toughening up. Preferably, you do not want it to be dripping with oil, which ruins the texture, but to have a crispy exterior. This is where the breading come in. Also, remember not to overcook them. As soon as the chop is firm throughout and the juice runs clear it is done.

Here’s how to cook a pork chop:

Essentials:

-A frying pan, preferably cast iron for even heat distribution, but any type will do.

-An egg

-Bread crumbs (the kind that come in a can, like Progresso, are perfect)

-Cooking oil

-Thick or medium cut boneless pork loin chop(s) (you can use bone in chops if you’d like – they are just as good if not better – but I’d recommend boneless loin chops for beginners)

Directions:

Crack the egg into a bowl and beat it with a fork.

Take a plate and pour out some bread crumbs onto it, spreading the crumbs so they coat the plate. You can add some salt or seasoning salt to the bread crumbs if you’d like.

Put your frying pan on the stove, then pour in enough oil to coat the cooking surface, but no more. Turn the burner on medium low.

While the pan is heating up, take your pork chop(s) and place in the bowl with beaten egg. Make sure the chop is thoroughly coated with egg. Pull out the chop and hold it above the egg bowl for a few seconds, letting excess egg drip off.

Then take the chop and put it on the plate covered with bread crumbs. Turn it over a few times and make sure it is thoroughly coated with bread crumbs.

Repeat above for each additional chop.

Now check your pan to see if it’s hot enough. Flick a little water in; if it crackles and snaps it’s good to go.

Place the chops gently in the pan, letting them brown for a couple minutes on one side, then turning to brown on the other. If they are browning too fast, turn the heat down a bit and turn them more often — you don’t want blackened breading. When the chops are firm throughout, sweating a bit on top, golden brown on the outside and the juice runs clear, they are done. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes or so, and less if they are thin. Take care not to overcook.

To drain excess oil, you can set them on a rack for a minute before serving, but unless you used too much oil it shouldn’t be necessary.

Serve chops with greens and your choice of carbs — they go well with just about anything. To avoid overwhelming the subtle flavor, they are best seasoned simply with salt. Also, use a sharp steak knife to cut the chop into clean, crisp bites while eating — this prevents them from getting smashed and losing their firm texture and crispy coating.

Some people say a white wine (zinfandel or pinot grigio) pairs well with pork chops, but I find they go very well with a nice, clean lager.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

kendoka March 2, 2013 at 07:27

I understand the need for levity at times. But please keep up the hard hitting articles. With VAWA passed the War on Men will continue and our chops will be burned to a crisp. At the rate this country is going down the drain you’ll need a whole lifestyle and cooking section on the spearhead just for all the broke divorced dads and falsely accused unemployed young men.

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minuteman March 2, 2013 at 07:56

This is good advice, but I actually like my pork chops well done to the point of being crispy, even if that does make it dry. Especially if they are bone in. Any meat that is bone in is better (in my opinion) cooked to the point that the meat easily comes cleanly off the bone.

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W.F. Price March 2, 2013 at 08:08

I understand the need for levity at times. But please keep up the hard hitting articles. With VAWA passed the War on Men will continue and our chops will be burned to a crisp. At the rate this country is going down the drain you’ll need a whole lifestyle and cooking section on the spearhead just for all the broke divorced dads and falsely accused unemployed young men.

-kendoka

So true. If I hadn’t known how to cook, do minor repairs and generally take care of myself I would have been a lot worse off after divorce. A lot of young men are going to need some “survival” skills just to get by.

BC Dad March 2, 2013 at 08:45

Cooking oils are sold in vast quantities here in China; it’s virtually impossible to buy a small bottle of the stuff, with the exception of expensive imported olive oils.

But with all due respect Bill, cooking is just one more of those skills at which men easily excel over women – virtually all of the world’s top chefs are men.

When a man needs to learn how to cook, he does so easily, and even with elan. He doesn’t really need The Men’s Home Journal to tell him how to do it.

Proof positive: I visited a friend when I was 17. He and his little brother (who he was raising) were hungry and broke. They had flour, salt, oil and jam in their cupboard. Within 10 minutes I was feeding them hot tortillas spread with jam and rolled up – they were delicious, if I do say so myself.

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Tam the Bam March 2, 2013 at 09:19

Any tips for horse? Times is tight by ‘ere (righthandside of map)

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joeb March 2, 2013 at 09:42

I remember 30 years ago sitting with my Best friend and waiting while My ex wife and his wife cooked pork chops .
The recipe was taking from a holiday cook book . The attention span of the two women was about 30 seconds . The presentation was close to obscene, Me and Jim struggled throw the meal with eyes tearing and taste buds on fire .
Smiling and giving all the praise to the two women . All the while everything in my soul said just tell the truth .
This was a day of awaking . The first red pill ever swallowed . The lies from that point built a river of deceit and witch lead to a ocean of pain .
30 years later I remember standing in front of a stove cooking a pork chop for my dying Mother . Every detail was well minded .
Every question about what she wanted was asked . With a smile and tear. the Dinner was served, Cut into small chew able pieces and with care fed to her with with love .
There is a difference between doing something for someone you love and doing a task for someone your fucking and masking with a big red pill .
The turning point in my came with the care for a 74 year old dying Mother . Now When I cook for my Children and the friends I love the same care and detail is put into the task .
If someone turns out a burnt pork slab with a instant mash potato mush for me now . The relationship will last about twenty seconds after I tell the truth . The blue pill May cost my penis from the only thing she has to offer . But I won’t have to sit and eat burnt garbage and listen to stories about here cat .

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geographybeefinalisthimself March 2, 2013 at 09:52

I’m with kendoka on the need for more awareness articles on the decline of the United States brought on by feminism.

I rarely eat pork products (I was raised Roman Catholic, so religion is not the causal link) and I don’t think I have ever cooked pork at home before in my life.

I also do not think the previous featured guest has any idea just how much feminists have the Democratic Party by the balls.

I do not foresee national Democrats taking on men’s issues in a manner akin to the same party stealing Republicans’ thunder by taking on the African-American civil rights struggle of the 1960s knowing that the Democrats would lose federal, state and local elections in states with large African-American populations and lose white Democrats to the Republican party.

In the completely hypothetical and highly improbable and highly implausible scenario where Democrats do take up men’s issues, it is unclear how federal, state and local elections would play out as males and females are almost evenly spread across the country, while blacks are still heavily concentrated in the South.

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dragnet March 2, 2013 at 10:10

Another great culinary post.

I did, in fact, wind up buying kefir grains from Marilyn. I’ve fermented and drank about a half-gallon of kefir since I’ve gotten them—easily the best kefir I’ve ever had.

Now if only I could find some raw milk in these parts…

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Tam the Bam March 2, 2013 at 11:30

hey joeb, any tips for cat. Apart from skinning first that’s obvious

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Anonymous Reader March 2, 2013 at 12:16

You can also brown the pork chops quickly in a pan on medium high heat, and then arrange them in baking dish, then add sauerkraut and apple slices on top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for an hour. The salty, sweet, sour and savory mix of flavors is very nice.

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keyster March 2, 2013 at 12:17

It’s your blog.
You worked hard at establishing it and maintaining it.
If you have a notion now and then to veer off in a whimsical direction, you’ve kinda earned it.

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Alex March 2, 2013 at 14:15

Nice article, but I will say that generally USA hogs are bottom of the barrel, though this was not always the case. The breeders listened to their consumers and so we have today’s generally lean pork chops. In Europe and Latin America they still raise breeds with fat marbling through their chops and their meat tastes amazing.

Small farmers sometimes raise heritage breeds that are just as good, if you have a hook up to one such farmer. I tasted some thick, thick chops off a heritage black pig, I want to say Berkshire though I don’t remember and it was out of this world.

There’s one piece of equipment though, that will turn any tough meat into butter – it’s called a Jaccard and it drives 50 blades, not just needles, through the meat, severing tough connective tissue. Bought it for fajitas but use it on pork as well.

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atahualpa March 2, 2013 at 14:39

Funny last week I was looking back through the archives and found cooking recipes from Zed himself as well in the early Spearhead. I kind of miss that aspect of this site, I was thinking how it’s good to temper politics with some lifestyle stuff, especially as I think you imply, both the politics and the lifestyle are both relevant and even connected for a man these days.

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Savage Sambo March 2, 2013 at 14:58

With gratitude, I eat everything.

My sons are being taught the same.

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Odysseus March 2, 2013 at 15:57

Misogyny and meat recipes.

Gob bless this website.

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Brian March 2, 2013 at 16:55

Bill, I’m surprised you responded so quickly with a recipe. Glad you keep health and good food in mind in addition to sharing your take on social and political issues or whatever else you feel like writing about.

Thank you!

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joeb March 2, 2013 at 16:57

Tam the Bam
hey joeb, any tips for cat. Apart from skinning first that’s obvious

Yes a cat can be cooked with a light garlic and vegetable marinade. If she persists on talking about the cat , A small dose of ativan in a piece of cat food works well . Zanex or lorazepan works well also .

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Vitis Vinifera March 2, 2013 at 21:33

Some people say a white wine (zinfandel or pinot grigio) pairs well with pork chops, but I find they go very well with a nice, clean lager

Zinfandel is a red grape and although they remove it quickly from the skins when they want to make a white wine from it it still seems odd tasting to me. Pinot Grigio is not really good with pork either.
Pork,ham,bacon is best with a Rhine or Mosel. They make good Reisling in Washington

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Vitis Vinifera March 2, 2013 at 21:53

Alex, you want a nice Jamón Serrano or Jamón Ibérico from pigs that sat around and got fat on truffles.No, I’m not referring the the American female here :o ) Then it’s cured like prosciutto for a year. No cooking.
There are people who raise breeds of pigs in the US but the commericial stuff has become too low in fat compared to years ago. Some crazy idea that fat is bad for you.It’s funny but since people have been eating lower fat foods they’re got much fatter themselves.

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ybm March 2, 2013 at 23:39

Cast Iron can be seasoned if you just wipe it off instead of using a chemical cleaner, a lot of people overthink the process, but just avoiding cleaners and wiping it down with paper towel and water will develop a coating over time.

That said there is a reason cast iron has fallen into disuse compared to stainless steel: as much as they have a “cool” factor, cast iron is inferior in almost every way to stainless steel.

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Joe S March 3, 2013 at 00:45

This article hit home for me . Growing up my experience with pork chops was very upsetting as a little shaver. My mother cooked them extra well done to make sure her children were not one of the ten victims of tricnosis in the US in any given year. Being a poor eater as a child to begin with I was made to sit at the table until I finished her culinary delight she called a pork chop. Needless to say after I moved out I never ate a pork chop again for many a moon. Then one magical evening I tried a bite of a friends chop at a fine restaurant and fell out of my chair. When I returned home that evening I left a less than appreciative message on her answering machine.

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W.F. Price March 3, 2013 at 04:20

That said there is a reason cast iron has fallen into disuse compared to stainless steel: as much as they have a “cool” factor, cast iron is inferior in almost every way to stainless steel.

-ybm

One way it is superior – it has nonstick properties when seasoned – is very handy for cooking.

Alex March 3, 2013 at 07:43

Vitis, I’d love to get my hands & teeth on some of that truffle fat pork of which you’re speaking. Yep, the lean pigs came along with the media driven hysteria concerning fat in the diet. So now obesity and/or diabetes is the norm – meanwhile I’ve eaten avocados, coconut oil, bacon & eggs my whole life and I’m in better shape than the majority.

YBM, you’ll get a much better sear on cast iron, versus stainless, and that makes a big difference for a foodie like me. Cast iron has a bad rap because many people baby it – I used to do so myself. 7 layers of oven baked seasoning, a beautiful finish, hated to even cook on it and mar that perfection. Now I sear meat, flick off the burnt marinade with a knife, fearlessly scrape it if I have to, not giving a hoot about the finish and I find that I enjoy my cast iron much more now.

I’ve recently bought an Asian style thin cast iron wok and a propane burner( wok stove) and I’ve been very pleased with both, and the burner will also work with flat cookware, so now I do all my seasoning/cooking outside in minutes.

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ybm March 3, 2013 at 11:27

But then you get craziness like this:

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique-for-seasoning-cast-iron/

A woman I lived with not only scratched off my seasoning after cooking an omelet heavy with tomatoes and peppers (acid makes cast iron cry) because of the ‘black rust’. But she submerged it in cold water and it was ruined. I never replaced it because if I do I know I’ll just baby the damn thing over again.

I can understand the utility of it for specific things. Just for day to day cooking stainless is a better fit (I prefer grilled beef over pan searing) and I don’t look back on my cast iron days with much fondness. Obsessing over it like a child who stays out too late.

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W.F. Price March 3, 2013 at 11:33

@ybm

I beat the hell out of my cast iron skillet and I’ve had it for almost 20 years. It’s a trusty old donkey that just keeps on working.

DW3 March 3, 2013 at 19:39

@Joe S

Picky eater here too.

@Savage Sambo and @oddyseus

Your comments are really A+, good job.

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TheBiboSez March 5, 2013 at 13:57

As the proud owner of 3 cats, one of whom just turned 21 years old, I am appalled.

You do NOT skin them – you have to singe the fur off. The skin is the best part.

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Anon7 March 6, 2013 at 15:57

“The recipe was taking from a holiday cook book . The attention span of the two women was about 30 seconds . The presentation was close to obscene…”
@joeb

It’s as good a test as any. Watch out for a woman who refuses to demonstrate (or learn) a basic life skill like cooking. If she can’t be bothered to follow simple directions to prepare food for her husband, how do you thnk she’ll treat your children? It’s a sign of what is to come.

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Anonymous October 6, 2013 at 13:44

Just made these for my husband. The crust is delicious and i did use olive oil in a black skillet! I have never been a good cook so this is saying a lot. Thank You!

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Anonymous November 3, 2013 at 16:10

So, it`s a woman bashing site. Being male or female doesn`t make you a good cook. The woman you marry is your choice good or bad. Stop blaming others and patting youselves on the back to make yourselves feel better. Depending on what era you come from, it may have been mom or grandma who fed you and the kids.. I am glad to see this changing. Would like to see men follow basic directions and cook a meal and take care of the kids rather than sit on the couch, waiting to be served. It works both ways.

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