Thick, juicy baked pork chops make an excellent main dish for weeknight dinners because they are delicious, lean, and quick to cook. Check out these pointers for baking the best pork chops.
Pork chops come from the loin section (upper back) of the hog. Here are some of the most common cuts you will find in the supermarket butcher department:
The thickness of a pork chop will determine its final cooking time, regardless of whether it's boneless or bone-in. Chops typically range in thickness from 3/4 inch to 1-1/2 inches. The USDA updated its doneness guidelines in 2011, noting that pork cooked to 145 degrees F (followed by a 3-minute rest time) is just as safe as pork cooked to 160 degrees F. At this doneness, the pork is pinker than many people are used to, but the meat is juicier and more flavorful. If you'd rather, you can always cook your pork chop to the previous standard of 160 degrees F.
Here are two tasty ways to bake pork chops:
Oven-Fried Pork Chops
In this recipe, pork loin chops are breaded and baked for scrumptious fried flavor without the added fat and calories. First the pork chops are dipped in a mixture of milk and egg, then they are coated with corn bread stuffing mix. The chops are baked at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the chops reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Allow chops to stand for 3 minutes at room temperature before serving.
Pesto-Stuffed Pork Chops
To make stuffed pork chops, a small pocket is cut into the side of a pork loin chop to create a space for stuffing. Then a mixture of feta cheese, pesto, and pine nuts is spooned into each pocket. If necessary, the edges of each pocket can be secured with wooden toothpicks to keep the filling in place. The pork chops are then rubbed with a flavorful mixture of black pepper, oregano, crushed red pepper, and thyme before they are baked at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Allow chops to stand for 3 minutes at room temperature before serving.