Buy firm, pink-fleshed pork chops.

How to Cook Thick Pork Chops in the Oven Without Foil

by Julie Christensen

Aluminum foil is sometimes used to cover dishes in the oven to prevent the food from burning or drying out. If you don't have foil, however, you can easily cook thick pork chops using a dry roasting method. Use a baking dish with deep sides so the grease doesn't splatter in the oven, and watch the pork chops closely. Boneless pork chops are convenient and easy for kids to eat, but bone-in types usually have more flavor.

1 Salt the pork chops for at least two hours and up to two days before you plan to cook them. Salting meat ahead of time ensures juicy, flavorful results. Place the chops uncovered in the refrigerator. Set the pork chops on the counter 30 minutes before you cook them to let them warm slightly. Pat them with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture, which creates steam and prevents the pork chops from browning properly.

2 Sear the pork chops in a little bit of oil on the stove top. Searing the meat first creates a crispy, golden crust that seals in juices so that even thick pork chops stay moist in the oven without foil.

3 Bake the pork chops in an oven set to 375 degrees Fahrenheit just until the flesh turns white or light pink, and the juices run clear. A thermometer inserted in the pork chops should read 145 F. Pork chops cook quickly, and even the thickest chops rarely need more than 12 to 15 minutes. Overcooking pork chops causes them to dry out.

4 Remove the pork chops from the oven and cover with a glass lid. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Items you will need

  • Salt
  • Paper towels
  • Oil
  • Meat thermometer

Tip

  • For a kid-friendly dish, try pairing pork chops with apples. Season and sear the pork chops and place them in a baking dish. Add a little apple juice to the pan. Peel some tart apples and coat them with brown sugar and cinnamon. Place them in the dish and bake until the pork chops are golden brown and the apples are tender.

Warning

  • Refrigerate pork chops immediately after purchase and make sure you cook the meat thoroughly. Eating raw or undercooked pork chops can cause foodborne illness or even exposure to parasites. Cook pork chops within two or three days or freeze them for up to six months.

Photo Credits

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