The Secret Ingredient for Tender, Juicy, Never Ever Dry Pork Chops

The Secret Ingredient for Tender, Juicy, Never Ever Dry Pork Chops

Pork chops in skillet

Pork chops are synonymous with weeknight dinners. They’re affordable and tasty and cook up quickly. They’re also a nice alternative to chicken breasts, which might be the #1 weeknight protein option. The only issue? Pork chops can be a little persnickety and can end up a bit dry if you’re not keeping an eye on what you’re doing.

But there’s an easy way to make sure your pork chops turn out tender and juicy every time—just open up your fridge and grab some butter. Here’s what you need to know about making the best butter-basted pork chops.

Related: Best Air-Fryer Pork Chops

Why Should You Baste Your Pork Chops in Butter?

Let’s start with an axiom of cooking: fat = flavor. The fat in butter not only adds flavor to your pork chops but it also carries flavor, which means you can add tasty stuff (herbs, garlic, etc.) to the butter in your skillet and the butter will take on the flavor of those ingredients.

The butter will also serve as a delicious sauce for drizzling over the pork chops once they come out of the skillet or you can toss steamed or roasted veggies in the infused butter right in the skillet (try green beans or broccoli or roasted potatoes) to take your side dish up a notch too.

Related: 34 Best Baked Pork Chops Recipes

How to Make Butter Basted Pork Chops

Although the term basting is often associated with something like your Thanksgiving turkey, this pork chop process is much easier and quicker and the only equipment you need is a spoon. Here’s how to do it.

1. Select your chops. This method works best with thick, bone-in pork chops. You’re looking for something in the 12 to 14-ounce range and probably around 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. If you’re working with thinner chops keep in mind that your cooking time will be reduced. When you’re shopping, let your butcher know what you’re planning to do with the meat so they can help you select the right cut.

2. Sear the chops. Before you get to the butter, you need to partially cook your chops. Searing the pork chops in a hot skillet will build color (which also builds flavor) and prepare the meat for the buttery goodness. To do this, pat the pork chops dry and season them on both sides with salt. Add a drizzle of oil and then your chops. Let them cook until they’re browned on both sides and register around 120° in the center, which will take 10 to 12 minutes for a thick, bone-in chop. If you’re working with thinner chops, this will happen more quickly.

3. Bring on the butter. Once your chops are cooked to 120°, slide them to one side of the skillet, reduce the heat to medium, and add a few tablespoons of butter to the pan. You can also add fresh herbs (sage or rosemary are lovely) and smashed garlic cloves at this point, or you can just stick with straight butter.

4. Baste away. When the butter melts, carefully tilt the skillet and begin spooning the butter over the pork chops. Continue basting until the chops register 130° to 140° on your thermometer.

5. Let ’em rest. Transfer the chops to a cutting board and let them rest for 5-ish minutes. The temperature will rise as they rest. We’re looking for around 145°.

6. Serve them up. After the chops have rested, you can move them onto plates as-is or slice them on the cutting board and arrange the slices on plates or a platter.

7. Don’t forget the butter. Whatever you do, don’t leave the butter behind! Toss your vegetables in the tasty browned butter or spoon it over the pork chops.

Read the original article on Parade