Best Pan-Seared Pork Chops

Best Pan-Seared Pork Chops in cast iron skillet.

These are the Best Pan-Seared Pork Chops, and – even better – they are easy and quick.

I’ve had a lot of dry, tough pork chops over the years, and sadly, I’ve made many of them. In fairness to myself, sometimes it’s the cut of the meat that is to blame. If your chop is really thin, it’s best to bake them in a sauce rather than directly pan-frying. Frying a thin cut will cook them super-fast and it’s almost impossible to keep them from going dry. But in a pinch, I’ve thrown a few in a pan and hoped for the best – and I’m usually disappointed.

If you’ve invested in some nice, thick, bone-in pork chops and you want to make sure they don’t turn out dry and tough, this is the recipe for you.

Best Pan-Seared Pork Chops

This two-step recipe calls for a good sear in a cast-iron skillet, then finishing the chops off in a hot oven. Using the cast-iron lets you go directly from the stove to the oven, so you need only one pan. And the ingredients are so simple, you probably have them all in your cupboard right now.

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The main tip for you is to get your skillet really hot! The oil should giving off just a whisp of smoke. If you lay your chop down, it should sizzle strongly . . . if it doesn’t, remove it immediately and keep heating the skillet. It’s so important to sear the outside of your chop to keep the juices inside, rather than running out in your pan. (Check out this great article on the balance between “whisp” of smoke versus burning and ruining your olive oil: How to Avoid Burning Extra-Virgin Olive Oil When Cooking)

I do use a meat thermometer on my pork to determine done-ness. It should read 145­­­° F when you remove it from the oven. Let it rest for at least 3 minutes before serving.

Best Pan Seared Pork Chops in cast iron skillet
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5 from 1 vote

Best Pan-Seared Pork Chops

Savory, moist pork chops seared in cast-iron and finished in a hot oven.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Pan Seared Pork Chops
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 260kcal
Author: Don Herman


  • 4 Bone-in Pork Chops 1 1/2 in thick
  • 2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme or 1 full sprig fresh
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary, crumbled or 1 full sprig fresh


  • Preheat oven to 400° F
  • Rub chops with salt, pepper and dried herbs. (If using fresh, set them aside for use later in the process.)
  • Heat olive oil in cast-iron skillet over high heat until the first whisps of smoke appear (about 410° F). Lay chops in hot oil.
  • Fry chops for 4 minutes on each side, flipping just once. Add butter (and fresh herbs, if using) and spoon over chops 2 or three times.
  • Place chops in hot oven and finish to internal temp of 145° F (about 6 minutes at 400° F)
  • Remove skillet from oven and remove chops to serving plate, basting one more time with oil/butter from pan before resting for three minutes.

If you’re wanting another idea for pork shops, why not try these Smothered Baked Pork Chops? Quick and easy, smothered in a rich creamy mushroom sauce.

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe.

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