Pork chops are one of the most delicious and versatile cuts of meat. This bone-in meat is tender and flavorful but can be made even better with the right technique. Frying pork chops is a popular cooking method, offering a crispy crust that locks in juices and flavors. In this article, we will discuss how to fry pork chops to perfection.
Preparing Pork Chops for Frying
The first thing to consider when frying pork chops is the quality of the meat. Choose pork chops that are evenly sliced and have a good ratio of meat to fat. Look for cuts that are about an inch thick, which will give you a juicy and tender chop. It is best to buy pork chops fresh and not frozen to avoid any excess moisture.
Before frying, remove the pork chops from the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. The cold temperature of the meat will result in uneven cooking, so letting it reach room temperature will ensure the pork chops cook evenly.
Next, season the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. You can also add other seasonings, such as garlic powder, paprika, or herbs like rosemary or thyme, to add more flavor. Be sure to pat the seasoning into the meat to ensure it sticks well.
To achieve a crispy crust, it is important to use a coating on the pork chops. Some common coatings include breadcrumbs, flour, or a mixture of both. Coatings not only add flavor but also help to keep the moisture inside the meat. A good coating should be thick enough to create a crispy crust but not too thick that it overwhelms the meat.
Coating the Pork Chops
To coat the pork chops, start by placing your flour or breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. In another bowl, beat one or two eggs until smooth. Dredge each pork chop in the flour or breadcrumbs, then coat with the beaten eggs. Lastly, coat the pork chops with another layer of breadcrumbs or flour until well covered. Be sure to shake off any excess coating before frying.
Frying Pork Chops
Frying is a quick and easy way to cook pork chops that also delivers great results. Using a cast-iron skillet is preferred, but you can also use any heavy-bottomed pan that conducts heat evenly.
Heat your skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Allow your oil to heat for about two minutes before adding the pork chops. Test the heat by dropping a pinch of flour in the oil; it should immediately sizzle.
Place the breaded pork chops in the hot oil and fry for three to four minutes on each side. Flip the pork chops once they have turned golden brown. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, as this will reduce the temperature of the oil and result in soggy pork chops.
To ensure the pork chops are cooked through, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The meat should reach a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (or 63°C). Once done, place the pork chops on a wire rack to rest for a few minutes before serving.
1. Can I use boneless pork chops for frying?
Yes, boneless pork chops will work just as well. However, bone-in pork chops will add more flavor to the dish.
2. How can I prevent the coating from falling off during frying?
Make sure that your pork chops are not too wet before coating. Be sure to shake off any excess coating before frying, and avoid overcrowding the pan.
3. Can I use seasoned flour instead of breadcrumbs?
Yes, seasoned flour will work just as well and will also create a crispy crust.
4. What type of oil is best for frying pork chops?
Oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil, is best for frying pork chops.
5. What sides go well with fried pork chops?
Mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and a side salad are all great options to serve with fried pork chops.