About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.
Perfect Pan Seared Pork Chops
About This Recipe
|Active time:||30 minutes|
|Total time:||1 day|
|Special equipment:||Large cast iron or stainless steel skillet|
|This recipe appears in:||The Food Lab's Guide to Pan-Seared Pork Chops|
- 2 bone-in pork rib chops, preferably blade-end, 1 1/2 inches thick (12 to 16 ounces each)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel. Combine salt and sugar in a small bowl. Season pork chops generously on all sides with salt/sugar mixture. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours and up to 24.
The next day, preheat oven to 250°F. Place baking sheet with pork chops in oven and cook until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 100 to 110°F on for medium-rare, about 30 minutes, or 110 to 120°F for medium, about 35 minutes. To prevent overcooking, start checking temperature 5 to 10 minutes before suggested time. Remove from oven.
Heat oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over high heat heat until smoking. Place pork chops in skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until starting to brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add butter, shallots, and thyme to skillet. Continue cooking, spooning shallots and thyme on top of chops and basting with butter until golden brown on both sides and well-crusted, about 2 minutes longer. Stack pork chops with tongs, hold them on their sides, and sear the fat caps on the edges until crisp, about a minute. Remove pan from heat, transfer chops to a clean rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
Just before serving, reheat dripping in pan until smoking. Pour hot drippings over chops. They should sizzle and crisp a bit. Serve immediately.