Pork chops are the ultimate versatile protein — they can be ready in a matter of minutes for a weeknight supper or topped with a simple sauce for a holiday feast. You can make any number of chops with this method, just be sure they are in a single, uncrowded layer in the pan. The salt mixture in the recipe is sufficient for four chops, but you can double or halve it. Leftover pork tastes great thinly sliced on a sandwich or in a green salad.
- 2-4 bone-in, center-cut pork loin chops, each 1-inch thick and weighing 8 ounces
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 Tablespoon expeller pressed canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil or peanut oil
- Cherry-balsamic gastrique or Creamy baby bella sauce, optional (see notes for recipe)
- Sliced green onions, for garnish
Step 1: Pat chops dry and place on a plate. In a small dish mix together 1½ teaspoon each kosher salt and sweet paprika along with ½ teaspoon each black pepper and granulated garlic. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over all sides of the pork chops. Cover chops loosely. If desired, refrigerate for several hours (up to 8 hours).
Step 2: Heat oven to 400F convection or 425F conventional. While the oven heats, let chops come to room temperature if necessary.
Step 3: Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, griddle or ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Swirl oil in a pan. Use tongs to add chops (in a single, uncrowded layer). Let cook, without turning, until deeply golden on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip chops and immediately slide the pan into the hot oven.
Step 4: Cook, without turning, until the center of the chop is slightly firm (but not hard) when pressed or 145F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 6 minutes.
Step 5: Remove from the oven to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm while you reheat the sauce.
Step 6: Serve chops topped with a spoonful of your chosen sauce (see notes). Garnish with sliced green onions.