The Perfectly Cooked Pork Chop

I have never successfully cooked a juicy pork chop! They seem to go from slightly underdone to overdone in the blink of an eye. I’m not one to give up so I made it my mission to find out how other people cook their chops (chances are you’ve been accosted by me at market over the years). Unfortunately, none of the foolproof recipes my customers shared were my kind of foolproof…..not really sure what that says about me or my cooking skills.

Last night I succeeded where I’ve never succeeded before….I made the perfect pork chop (well, actually I made 5 of them). The technique came from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine and it is my kind of foolproof!

I seasoned the pork chops with salt and pepper, served them with rice, spinach from Nourishing Acres ( and a sauce made from Sonny Boys sauce ( served the way Wallace recommends. The pork chops were from our Hampshire Berkshire crosses.

The main idea behind this way of cooking is to sear them at a very high heat, flip them every few minutes then take them off the heat at 125deg F and tent them to let them continue cooking. They were beautifully seared on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, YUM!


There are no measurable amounts here….just what your family will eat. This is a pretty loosy goosey recipe with plenty of wiggle room for your favorite flavors.

Pork chops*(see note)

Brown Rice, quinoa, pasta, or your favorite

Spinach, kale or your favorite green

Sonny Boys Sauce or your favorite sauce

Butter, if you’re using



Here’s the step by step

  1. Place a cast iron skillet on the middle rack in your oven, heat the oven to 500deg F.

  2. I started my rice at this point it. I am a very lazy cook and am terrible about measuring things out. I leave the top off my rice and keep adding stock until it’s at the texture I like.

  3. While waiting, pat your pork chops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Once the oven reaches 500deg F remove the hot skillet from the oven (I’ve got the burn to prove it!) and place it on high heat.

  5. Add 2 Tbs of oil to the skillet then heat the oil until lightly smoking. Add the chops and cook, without moving, until lightly browned on the first side (about 2 mins). Flip chops and repeat.

  6. Continue to flip the chops every 2 mins until they reach an internal temp of 125deg F.

  7. Transfer the chops to a plate and tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 mins, the temp will climb to 140deg F.

  8. While the chops are resting prepare the Sonnyboy's sauce (available online and at the South Durham Farmers' Market). We used a 1:3 ratio of Sonnyboy's to butter.

  1. Once the rice is finished I usually add chopped spinach from Nourishing Acres (they sell at the South Durham Farmers' Market ) and cover the pot so the spinach can wilt slightly.

  1. We topped the whole thing with tabouli just because I had some and felt like it.

* This was news to me but it makes total sense:

You’re not going to get a good sear with the enhanced chops that are often found in the grocery store…..they are injected with a brine. Look for natural pork from the farmers’ market or a natural food store. Just check the label to see if they have any extra ingredients like salt, water and sodium phosphate.

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