Pan Roasted Pork Chops

These pan roasted pork chops are oh so tender from being brined overnight in apple juice, seared in a cast iron skillet, and then finished in the oven for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Here’s how to make them.

Three golden-brown pan-roasted pork chops

Sometimes we like to let other people do the talking. Like in the case of these pan roasted pork chops. “The best brine I’ve ever had.” “Perfect.” “Exquisite.” “The antidote to dried-out, tasteless pork chops.” “I wouldn’t change a thing!” “Oh. My. God.” That’s what folks are saying about this simple weeknight solution to what’s for dinner. Sorta makes you want to see what all the fuss is about, huh? (And, uh, when we say “fuss,” we actually mean hullabaloo, because this recipe is actually about as fuss-free as it gets.)–Renee Schettler

Pan-Roasted Pork Chops

  • Quick Glance
  • (6)
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 6
5/5 - 6 reviews
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In a pot, combine the apple juice, water, salt, maple or sorghum syrup, pepper, and cinnamon and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. As soon as the salt has completely dissolved, turn off the heat and let the brine cool to room temperature.

Place the pork chops in a baking dish or another container that lets them fit snuggly in a single layer. Pour the brine over the chops, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry. Discard the brine.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).

Place a large cast iron skillet on a burner over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking.

Place the chops in the skillet without crowding them. (If you can’t fit all the pork chops in the pan at once, then do 2 or 3 at a time.) Sear for 3 minutes per side. The chops should have some nice caramelization going on and your house should be smelling awesome.

Tester tip: Your smoke detector may go off when you sear these chops. Be prepared to leap and bang the disable button with a wooden spoon.

Slide the skillet into the oven or, if you seared the chops in batches, transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet and slide that into the oven. Roast the pork chops until perfectly cooked through, anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chops.

Place the pork chops on plates and drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil. Devour right away—as if you could help yourself. Originally published October 15, 2012.

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    Pork Chops with Agrodolce Variation

    • Embellish each pork chop with a dollop of sweetly tart, savory agrodolce, if you please. Roast, peel, and seed 2 large red bell peppers. Cut them into 1/2-inch dice. Plump 1/4 cup raisins in 1/4 cup warm port and 2 tablespoons warm water. Combine the red peppers and tipsy raisins with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This is the best brine for pork I’ve ever had. There is no reason to ever cook pork chops without brining them first. They were juicy and so flavorful. The apple juice and slight hint of cinnamon complement the pork perfectly. This recipe is one to make again and again and certainly one to share with friends! Wonderful.

    OH. MY. GOD. These pan roasted pork chops are fabulous! The brine—perfect. The cooking time—spot on (just be certain to let the meat warm up a bit before cooking). The chops have a lovely crust along the edges and are so juicy inside.

    The agrodolce, although not absolutely necessary since the pork is wonderfully flavored through and through, is a nice addition. Do make it, especially if you’ve never tried this particular blend of ingredients. The warm port and raisins go quite well with the subtle cinnamon from the brine.


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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence Beth, the pork chops turned out great. This was my first time brining and my family loved the chops. I found them slightly saltier and I could barely detect the maple flavor in these. Question: If I reduced the sodium in the recipe by half, would the brine still be successful? Also, would honey be a good substitute for maple syrup?

    2. I just brined my chops today, the market had a choice between bone in porterhouse cut pork chops or a thicker boneless pork loin, I chose the porterhouse chop, I hope it comes out great. I should have gotten a few of each to see which I liked better. Any thoughts on if the porterhouse will be good?

      1. It’s one of my favorite cuts, Mrs E. I can only imagine that the brine would increase its loveliness.

    3. OK, I am now making these chops yet again. Love them. This was a genius discovery. And, I have also now pulled at least two friends into brined pork chop addiction–they’ve left Facebook updates for me saying this recipe is going into their steady rotations. Thanks for making my kitchen sizzle yet again, and contributing to “clean plate” happiness in the home.

    4. I made these for dinner last Friday night. AMAZING! Since there are just two of us I halved the recipe to brine two 2-inch pork chops. Still too much brine. Next time I will make the entire batch of brine and keep the extra in a mason jar in the refrigerator (probably remove the cinnamon stick after a couple of days). This recipe is so good that we are tossing around the idea of forgetting about the turkey for Thanksgiving this year (also an issue with just two of us in the house) and having this instead. Yes, I know one can freeze turkey leftovers. But I have lost count of the number of times I have tossed away a brick of frozen turkey meat in February.

    5. I would love to make the Agrodolce. I don’t keep port around so I wondered if there was anything that might work almost as well to plump the raisins. The only alcohol I have around is bourbon and rum. Thanks

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