There's More Than One Oven Temperature For The Best Baked Pork Chops - The Daily Meal (2024)

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There's More Than One Oven Temperature For The Best Baked Pork Chops - The Daily Meal (4)

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ByGreta Pano|

Baked pork chops are tender, juicy, and super easy to make. Simply season or marinate, toss them on a sheet pan, and stick them in the oven — no hot flames in your face or flipping required. Just remember this crucial but simple tip to ensure your chops bake beautifully: Set your oven to the correct temperature.

The best oven temperature for your pork chops largely depends on the size of the chops, whether they have breading, and if you prefer a crispy exterior. It's common to bake pork chops at either 350 or 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can choose a temperature in between or slightly above those temps as long as you adjust your cooking time.

If you have thick chops, baking them at a lower temperature, like 350, might take longer but will ensure your chops turn out tender and cook evenly inside and out. This is also the best oven temp for chops that you've pan-seared before baking since they already have a crispy, caramelized exterior.

Meanwhile, if making a tasty breaded pork chop, choose a higher oven temp, like 400, to get the bread crumbs nice and crispy. Cooking at a higher temperature will also create a more caramelized texture on unbreaded pork chops. As a bonus, you don't have to cook them as long — but keep an eye on the time to make sure you don't overcook your pork chops.

Adjust your cooking times accordingly

There's More Than One Oven Temperature For The Best Baked Pork Chops - The Daily Meal (5)

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A standard, 1¼-inch thick boneless pork chopcan be baked at 350 degrees for around 14 to 17 minutes. You'll find varying opinions on the appropriate length of time to bake your chops, but it's best to check the temperature of the pork at around 15 minutes rather than to let it go longer and risk overcooking it. As long as the temperature of the meat has reached 145 degrees, your chops are ready to be pulled from the oven, according to USDA guidelines.

Just as with oven temperature, cooking times for your pork chops vary depending on the thickness of the chops, whether they are seared beforehand, and whether you're making stuffed or crispy breaded pork chops. Thick pork chops and stuffed or breaded chops take around two to four minutes longer to cook. Searing your pork chops before baking not only creates a caramelized exterior but also reduces your cooking time by a couple of minutes.

Another factor to consider is whether they are bone-in or boneless.Bone-in pork chops generally take about three to five minutes longer to cook through than boneless chops. Boneless chops are popular for being lean and easy to eat but can also be easier to overcook, so make sure to monitor the meat's internal temperature as it cooks.

How to tell when your chops are done

There's More Than One Oven Temperature For The Best Baked Pork Chops - The Daily Meal (6)

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Using an instant-read meat thermometer is the easiest and most accurate way to tell if your pork chops are cooked thoroughly. Simply insert your thermometer into the middle of the chop at the thickest part while avoiding any bone or fat. If the chops are thin, you can insert the thermometer into the side of the meat until it reaches the middle or thickest part.

The USDA recommends cooking pork chops until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees and allowing them to rest for three minutes before serving. The chops will continue to cook while resting and will also become more tender as the juices flow into the meat. The pork may have a slight pinkish hue at this temperature, but it's perfectly safe to eat and will be packed with juicy flavor. If you prefer your pork a little more well done, you can cook it a tad longer until it reaches a maximum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Going past this temperature will likely result in overly dry meat.

If you don't have a meat thermometer, another method for confirming the doneness of your pork is to poke a hole in the center with a fork. If the juices that flow out of the hole are clear or a very faint pink, your chop is likely done cooking. If the juices look mostly pink or red, the meat will need to cook for longer.

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There's More Than One Oven Temperature For The Best Baked Pork Chops - The Daily Meal (2024)
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