A butter-basted pork chops recipe that guarantees moist, flavorful meat

Butter-Basted Pork Chops

Active time:15 mins

Total time:20 mins

Servings:2 to 4

Active time:15 mins

Total time:20 mins

Servings:2 to 4

Though pork chops can be fast and flavorful, they can also easily dry out. More time-consuming dual cooking methods or brining can lead to juicy results, but there’s an easier shortcut to moist, delicious pork chops: butter.

The leanness of pork chops is what makes this cut a quick-cooking, weeknight warrior, but it also means they can quickly get dry and tough. Basting the chops with fat helps negate this. Add in aromatics while basting for more flavor — similar to how you might cook a steak — and then you have the added bonus of browned butter and crispy garlic or herbs to serve with the meat.

5 tips for cooking juicy pork chops quickly

The other key is to not overcook the chops. Contrary to what you may have learned years ago, it is perfectly safe to eat pork that isn’t well done. An instant-read thermometer is great for determining the precise temperature, but you can also go by feel of the meat with enough practice. (Reducing the heat once you get a nice sear on one side also lowers the risk of overcooking the meat — and burning the butter.)

Following the steps below will lead you to pork chop success, and once you’ve nailed down the technique, feel free to make this recipe your own by switching up the seasonings.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

NOTE: Letting the pork chops rest at room temperature before cooking reduces the overall cooking time by a few minutes and ensures a slightly more even cook.

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  • Two (12-ounce) center-cut, bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or another neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Crushed garlic cloves, fresh thyme sprigs, fresh rosemary sprigs and/or fresh sage sprigs

Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator and transfer to the counter for 30 minutes (optional; see NOTE). Pat the meat dry with a clean dish towel or paper towel, and sprinkle all over with the garlic powder, pepper and salt.

In a 10- or 12-inch stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. And the pork chops and cook, pressing with tongs occasionally to ensure they have good contact with the skillet, until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and, using tongs, stand the chops on their side in the pan, fat side down, to render some of the fat, about 1 minute. Lay the chops down on the uncooked side; add the butter, crushed garlic cloves, fresh thyme sprigs, fresh rosemary sprigs and/or fresh sage sprigs and cook, regularly tilting the skillet and using a large spoon to baste the chops with the butter, until the meat has an internal temperature of about 135 degrees, 4 to 8 minutes (see NOTE). Transfer the pork chops to a cutting board, serving platter or individual plates; cover loosely with foil; and let rest for 5 minutes. (During this time, the internal temperature of the meat should rise to 145 degrees, which is considered medium-rare.) Serve hot with the butter and the aromatics from the skillet poured over the top, if desired.

Per serving (1/2 pork chop), based on 4

Calories: 300; Total Fat: 16 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 133 mg; Sodium: 247 mg; Carbohydrates: 1 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugar: 0 g; Protein: 38 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Recipe from staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

Tested by Aaron Hutcherson; email questions to [email protected].

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