How to Fry Pork Chops to Always-Juicy Perfection

Put a fast, easy, family-pleasing entrée on your table in 15 minutes flat with these tips on how to fry pork chops in a pan or in the oven.

Fried pork chops are a dinnertime staple. They're quick and easy to fix, relatively inexpensive, and adaptable with all kinds of flavors. Plus, you can enjoy them year-round.

Breaded pork chops taste incredibly hearty and satisfying in the fall and winter. So book a ticket to comfort-food heaven, and serve them with one of our favorite hearty mashed potato recipes.

In summer, learn what temperature to fry pork chops without flour or other coatings for a light, fuss-free entrée and serve with a great side salad for a full dinner. Whichever style you choose, you'll learn the No. 1 key to pork-chop perfection: How to fry pork chops without drying them out.

Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops in pan
Blaine Moats

How to Make Pan-Fried Pork Chops

Before you roll up your sleeves and learn how to fry pork chops, you'll first have to decide: breaded or unbreaded? Which choice is the best way to fry pork chops? Honestly, we like both!

In general, fried pork chops without flour or other breading will be healthier. That's because breaded fried pork chops soak up a lot of oil during cooking (the process is what gives them their irresistibly crunchy, golden-brown coating).

Because there's a time and place for every cooking style, we'll show you how to fry pork chops with and without flour. There's also a middle ground. We love air-fryer recipes for pork chops. We'll show you how long to air fry pork chops for healthful, virtually grease-free results.

Pork Chops, Apples & Greens
Andy Lyons

How to Make Breaded Fried Pork Chops

We love breaded fried pork chops! But there's a trick to getting them nicely done on the inside without over-browning the breading. The solution? Pound the meat thin before cooking. Here's how:

  1. Before breading, place a boneless chop between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin, pound pork to a ¼- to ½-inch thickness.
  2. Season your chops with salt, pepper, and/or other spices and herbs.
  3. Dip seasoned chops in an egg wash (1 egg + 2 Tbsp. water or milk) in a shallow bowl.
  4. Dip chops in your desired breading (see the Test Kitchen Tip below). You'll need about 1 cup breading for four chops.
  5. In a 12-inch heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil over medium-high temperature to cook pork chops. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side until golden brown on the outside. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the pork should register 145°F for doneness. Allow chops to stand at least 3 minutes before serving.

Test Kitchen Tip: Our Breaded Fried Pork Chops with Apples and Greens recipe calls on homemade bread crumbs for the coating; other great coatings for breaded fried pork chops include cracker crumbs, purchased dried bread crumbs, panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs), and crushed stuffing mix. If desired, you can also simply use flour seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and paprika.

How to Make Oven-Fried Pork Chops with Breading

If you love breaded fried pork chops, but don't love the pan-frying part, learn how to fry pork chops in the oven with our classic Oven-Fried Pork Chop Recipe. Or follow steps 1 through 4 above and instead of frying in a skillet, bake uncovered at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Test the temperature and let stand as above.

frying pork chops in pan
Blaine Moats

How to Pan-Fry Chops Without Breading

Can you fry pork chops without flour? Of course! In fact, sautéing pork chops in a skillet with little or no oil is generally quicker, easier, and healthier than frying chops with breading.

Here's how to fry pork chops without flour:

  1. Choose boneless or bone-in loin, sirloin, or rib chops, cut ¾- to 1-inch thick. Sprinkle chops with salt, black pepper, your favorite homemade seasoning blend, or purchased seasoning blend.
  2. Select a skillet that is heavy and the right size for the amount of meat you're cooking. Lightly coat the skillet with nonstick cooking spray or use a heavy nonstick skillet ($100-$120, Williams Sonoma).
  3. Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add meat. Don't add any liquid and don't cover the skillet.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until internal temperature registers 145°F on an instant-read thermometer (for ¾- to 1-inch-thick chops, plan on 6 to 10 minutes), turning meat occasionally. If meat browns too quickly, reduce heat to medium-low. Tent chops with foil and let stand 3 minutes before serving.

Test Kitchen Tip: Wondering how to pan-fry pork chops without drying them out? It's a question of internal temperature. Stop cooking the chops when they reach 145°F on an instant-read thermometer for juicy-on-the-inside results.

Air-Fryer Pork Chops with Brussels Sprouts
Greg DuPree

How to Air Fry Pork Chops

Another great way to make fried pork chops without flour is to use your air fryer ($120, Bed Bath & Beyond). Here's how long to fry pork chops in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
  2. Lightly coat pork chops with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  3. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until pork is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145°F.

You've learned how and how long to fry pork chops. Now, play with flavors. Fried pork chops can take on a world of seasonings. How to pan-fry pork chops when you're in the mood for Mexican? Try our Fried Pork Chops in Salsa Verde. Go French with Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops (with Dijon mustard, of course). Southeast Asian? We've got you covered with Ginger Pork Chops with Curried Walnuts. Indeed, pork chops are as versatile as boneless chicken breasts—they cook in minutes and can take on a world of flavors.

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