If fried pork chops aren't in your recipe rotation, they should be. They're fast, easy, and healthful (if you want them to be). We'll show you how to make breaded fried pork chops (when you're feeling indulgent) and how to fry pork chops without flour and excess oil (when you're not). Got an air fryer? We'll show you how long to air fry pork chops, too. Whichever way you cook 'em, you can have a great family-pleasing entrée on your table in 15 minutes flat.
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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 especially hearty and satisfying in the fall and winter; book a ticket to comfort-food heaven, and serve them with one of our hearty mashed potato recipes. In summer, learn how 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
Credit: Blaine Moats

How to Make Pan-Fried Pork Chops

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Before you roll up your sleeves and learn how to fry pork chops, you’ll first have to make one key decision: 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
Credit: Andy Lyons

How to Make Breaded Fried Pork Chops

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We love breaded fried pork chops! But there’s a trick to getting them nicely done on the inside without overbrowning 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. With the flat side of a meat mallet ($16, Bed Bath & Beyond) or a rolling pin, pound pork to ¼- to ½-inch thickness.
  2. Season your chops as desired 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. Fry the chops. In a 12-inch heavy skillet ($60, Target) heat 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook chops 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown on the outside and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the pork registers 145°F. 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. You can also simply use flour seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and paprika, if desired.

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
Credit: 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, Williams Sonoma).
  3. Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add meat. Do not add any liquid and do not 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 as your answer to how long to fry pork chops), 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. For juicy-on-the-inside results, stop cooking the chops when they reach 145°F on an instant-read thermometer.

Air-Fryer Pork Chops with Brussels Sprouts
Credit: Greg DuPree

How to Air Fry Pork Chops

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Another great way to make fried pork chops without flour is to use your air fryer ($70, 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 the basics: 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. And if you’re wondering how to make fried pork chops like a restaurant chef, try these New American-style Spice-Rubbed Fried Pork Chops with Quick-Pickled Shallots. Indeed, pork chops are as versatile as boneless chicken breasts—they cook in minutes and they can take on a world of flavors.

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