How to Fry Pork Chops Without a Fryer
If pan-fried pork chops aren't in your recipe rotation, they should be. They’re fast, easy, and healthful (if you want them to be). Here, we’ll show you how to fry pork chops—with beading or without—for a family-pleasing entrée that’s ready in 15 minutes flat.
Fried pork chops are a dinnertime staple. They're quick and easy to fix, relatively inexpensive, and they play nice with all kinds of flavors. Plus you can enjoy them year-round: Breaded pan-fried or oven-fried pork chops taste especially hearty and satisfying in fall and winter. For summer, learn how to fry pork chops without flour or other coatings for a quick and light no-fuss summer dinner.
Make Pan-Fried Pork Chops for Dinner Tonight
Fried pork chops can take on a world of seasonings. In the mood for Mexican? You’ve got to 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 when you’re feeling cheflike, try these globally inspired New American-style Spice-Rubbed Fried Pork Chops with Quick-Pickled Shallots (pictured above).
No matter which corner of the globe you turn to for your fried pork chops recipes, you’ll first have to make one key decision: breaded or unbreaded? Which choice is the best way to fry pork chops? We like both.
In general, pan-fried pork chops without breading will be more healthful. That’s because the breading soaks up a lot of the oil during cooking (the process is what gives them their irresistibly crunchy, golden-brown coating).
Because there’s a time and a place for every style of cooking, we have directions to pan-fry pork chops with breading and without. There’s also a middle ground we love: oven-fried pork chops, complete with a crisp coating, but made without cooking oil.
Timing Tip: How Long to Pan-Fry Pork Chops
Below are step-by-step instructions on how to fry pork chops. However, if you simply want to know how long to pan-fry pork chops, here are our guidelines, straight from the pros in our Test Kitchen:
- For bone-in or boneless rib or loin chops, cut ½- to ¾-inch thick, cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes until brown on the outside and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the pork registers 145°F, turning once halfway through cooking.
How to Pan-Fry Chops with Breading
The No. 1 secret to keeping pan-fried pork chops tender and moist? Use thin chops or pound the meat thin before cooking. Although thick chops are great for slow-cooking, they’re tricky to quickly pan-fry without drying them out.
That’s why this family-pleasing way to make pan-fried boneless pork chops starts by flattening the chops with a meat pounder (Norpro Meat Pounder $19.99, Amazon). Then dip, bread, and fry for a crisp, golden crust and moist, tender meat.Get the Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Apples and Greens Recipe
Start with four boneless pork chops (4 to 5 ounces each) and follow along to learn our favorite way to make breaded pan-fried pork chops:
Season the Chops
Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper as desired.
Pound the Pork Chops
Place each boneless chop between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. With the flat side of a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound pork to ¼- to ½-inch thickness.
Prepare the Egg Dip
In a shallow dish beat 1 egg with a fork; stir in 2 tablespoons milk or water.
Prepare the Breading
Place one of the following breading options into another shallow dish or plate. With the exception of the flour option, you’ll need about ¾ to 1 cup breading for the four chops.
- Flour coating: All-purpose flour. Use about ⅓ to ½ cup all-purpose flour. You can spice it up by adding ½ teaspoon regular or seasoned salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper or a mix of ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon paprika, and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. You can also use one of your favorite seasoning blends.
- Crushed crackers: Place crackers in a resealable plastic bag; use a rolling pin to crush them. The number of crackers you’ll need depends on what type of crackers you’re using. Use this guide.
- Dry bread crumbs: Purchase ready-to-use crumbs in plain or flavored varieties.
- Panko: Cut into larger flakes than regular fine dry bread crumbs, these Japanese-style bread crumbs will add extra crunch to your pan-fried pork chops.
- Stuffing mix: Prepared bread stuffing mixes make a quick and convenient breading. Simply place it in a resealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush.
Dip, Coat, and Fry Pork Chops
Dip both sides of pork chops in the egg-milk mixture, then in the desired breading. In a 12-inch heavy skillet 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.
How to Pan-Fry Chops Without Breading
If you're hoping to learn how to fry pork chops without flour or other breading for a quicker or healthier choice, the easiest way is to sauté them in a skillet with oil. Here's how.
- Choose boneless or bone-in rib or loin chops, cut ½- to ¾-inch thick.
- Sprinkle chops with salt, ground black pepper, or your favorite seasoning blend.
- For four chops, heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook chops for 6 to 8 minutes until brown on the outside and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the pork registers 145°F, turning once halfway through cooking.
- Allow chops to stand at least 3 minutes before serving.
How to Make Oven-Fried Pork Chops
For an even easier way to make fried pork chops, try this mostly hands-off oven method.Get the Oven-Fried Pork Chops Recipe
Prep Your Chops (and Oven)
You can use either boneless or bone-in chops for this method. Use four pork loin chops (1½ to 1¾ pounds total). Each chop should be cut ½- to ¾-inch thick. Trim fat from chops. Preheat oven to 425°F.
Dip, Coat, and Bake Pork Chops
Prepare the egg dip and breading as above. Dip both sides of pork chops in the egg-milk mixture, then in the desired breading. Arrange coated chops in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until pork is done (145°F with an instant-read thermometer). Allow chops to stand at least 3 minutes before serving.
How to Check a Pork Chop for Doneness
Your mother or grandmother probably cooked the heck out of their fried pork chops! But today's pork is more lean than in the past and can dry out quickly when overcooked. In fact, for a chop that’s juicy and flavorful, aim for a little pinkness in the center—with juices running clear.
How pink? The only way to tell for sure is to use an instant-read thermometer (Compact Digital Folding Thermometer, $15, Sur la Table): Insert the stem of the thermometer horizontally into the center of the chop, away from bone and fat. The internal temperature should be at least 145°F, followed by a 3-minute rest time. At this point, your pork will be safe to eat—yet still moist, flavorful, and tender.
Next time your grocery store has pork chops on sale, stock up to put all these methods of frying pork chops to the test and find out which version your family loves best.