Skillet Pork Chops

Last week I posted a recipe for Shaved Carrot and Fennel Salad. The accompanying recipe on Real Simple’s website is for Skillet Pork Chops. I love pork chops and was excited to try this recipe. They were yummy, but I did not cook them consistently or evenly. One was nearly perfect, but the rest had some dry spots. Since then I’ve read up some more on cooking pork chops and found some interesting ideas.


The first idea is for using brining not only to tenderize meat, but also to thaw it faster. It can be really frustrating to get ready to make a meal and find that I’ve forgotten to defrost some meat. Pork chops cook quickly so waiting for them to thaw takes the most time. Brining them can get them ready to cook in a hour, even sitting in the fridge. The time will vary depending on the thickness of your chops, so keep that in mind. Find a discussion of brining on the blog here.


Another idea is to sear and cook the chop on one side, then finish cooking in the oven. The Kitchn explains the technique in detail and it hardly takes more time than simply cooking on the stove.


Since I was cooking pork anyway I decided to use leftover pork fat I had in my fridge, instead of the olive oil in the recipe. My pork fat wasn’t properly rendered lard, but it was white and pretty neutral. Unlike olive oil, pork fat has a high smoke point, so it was better for the fast cooking I was doing.


Brine your meat first, so it can sit while you make your carrot and fennel salad. While you heat up your skillet in the oven get out your Harvest Roots Ferments or Harvest Home sauerkraut, plus some applesauce from Wheeler’s Orchard. You’ll have a complete and beautiful meal in a short time!

Photo by  Zachary Cross

Photo by Zachary Cross

Skillet Pork Chops

From Real Simple, May 2018




1 Tbs Dijon mustard

2 tsp lemon zest

4 8-oz bone-in pork loin chops

½ tsp each salt and pepper

1 Tbs olive oil


  1. Rub mustard and lemon zest evenly over both sides of chops. Season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chops to skillet and cook until deeply browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-well.



  1. Use lard or leftover pork fat for frying.

  2. Brine the chops up to a few hours ahead of time. Skip the salt and pepper in the above directions.

  3. Use a hybrid stovetop and oven cooking method, via The Kitchn.

Printable recipe for Skillet Pork Chops here.