How to cook thin pork chops in the oven?

Cooking thin pork chops can be a bit tricky. If you don’t get the timing and temperature just right, you can end up with dry, tough chops. But have no fear – this guide will teach you everything you need to know to make moist, juicy, flavorful oven-baked thin pork chops every single time.

Choosing Your Chops

The first step is selecting the right chops at the store. For this recipe, you’ll want to look for chops that are about 1/2 inch thick. Much thicker than that and they’ll need a longer cooking time. Any thinner and they’ll overcook in a flash.

Bone-in or boneless – it doesn’t really matter. Go with whatever looks best and fits your budget. Bone-in chops tend to be a bit more flavorful and juicy since the bone helps retain moisture, but boneless chops work great too.

Prepping the Pork

Before cooking your chops, you’ll want to prep them properly:

  • Rinse the chops under cold water and pat them completely dry with paper towels. Any excess moisture can inhibit browning.
  • Season both sides with salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you want. Something like garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, etc works nicely.
  • You can also let the seasoned chops sit for 15-30 minutes before cooking. This helps the seasonings penetrate deeper into the meat.
  • If you have time, brining is another great option. Soaking the chops for 1-2 hours in a saltwater brine imparts seasoning and helps them retain moisture.

Getting the Skillet Hot

To cook thin pork chops in the oven, you’ll be using an oven-safe skillet. Cast iron works incredibly well, but stainless steel or oven-safe nonstick will also do the job.

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. You want it hot enough to sear the chops, but not so hot that it burns them. Add just a bit of oil or cooking spray to lightly coat the bottom.

Searing for Flavor

Once your skillet is hot, carefully add the chops. Resist the urge to move them around. You want them to sear undisturbed for 2-3 minutes per side. This helps develop that flavorful, brown crust.

If the skillet starts smoking or chops browning too quickly, reduce the heat a bit. But you want them nicely browned on both sides.

Use tongs to flip them – don’t use a fork, which will let those flavorful juices escape!

Baking to Perfection

Once the chops are browned, transfer the skillet directly to the oven. You’ll want the oven preheated to around 400°F.

For thin chops, they only need 6-8 minutes in the oven to finish cooking through without overdoing it. Use an instant read thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 145°F.

The short oven time ensures they come out perfectly juicy every time.

Letting Them Rest

This last step is crucial – always let the cooked chops rest for 5 minutes before digging in.

Tenting them loosely with foil helps keep them warm.

Resting gives the juices time redistribute through the meat. Slice into them too soon and juices will spill right out onto your cutting board!

Serving Suggestions

Oven-baked thin pork chops pair deliciously with all sorts of sides:

  • Roasted or mashed potatoes
  • Sauteed veggies like green beans, asparagus, broccoli
  • Garden, Greek, or Caesar salad
  • Rice pilaf or couscous
  • Pasta with garlic butter or olive oil

Don’t forget a tangy condiment like barbecue sauce, mustard, or chimichurri to complement the juicy chops!

Cooking Troubleshooting

If you follow these steps but still end up with less-than-ideal results, here are some common issues and solutions:

Chops are overcooked and dry:

  • Use an instant read thermometer and don’t overbake. For thin chops, 6-8 minutes in a 400°F oven is usually sufficient.
  • Let chops rest before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.

Chops are undercooked in the middle:

  • Make sure skillet is fully preheated before searing to ensure browning.
  • Bake a minute or two longer and verify temperature with thermometer.

Chops are burnt/overly browned:

  • Make sure skillet is hot but not smoking before adding chops.
  • Reduce heat if browning too fast.

Chops are pale and not browning:

  • Ensure skillet is hot enough before searing.
  • Pat chops dry before cooking – moisture inhibits browning.
  • Use a little more oil for better browning.

Chops warp during cooking:

  • Use a heavy pan like cast iron to better retain heat and prevent warping.
  • Make sure chops are trimmed of excess fat and silverskin.
  • Press down gently with spatula when first flipping chops to keep flat.

Mastering the Method

With this complete guide to oven-baked thin pork chops, you’ll be able to achieve chops that are tender and juicy on the inside with a flavorful, brown crust on the outside.

It’s one of those easy weeknight meals that comes together in a flash. Serve them up with some simple sides and you’ve got a mouthwatering meal the whole family will go crazy for.

Once you get the basic method down, feel free to experiment with different seasonings and spice rubs. The flavor pairing options are endless!

Cooking thin pork chops in the oven takes just a few easy steps and minimal active cooking time. In less than 30 minutes, you can have an amazing dinner ready to enjoy. Just be sure to follow these tips:

  • Choose properly thin chops approximately 1/2 inch thick
  • Prep chops with thorough drying and seasoning
  • Use a hot, oven-safe skillet to quickly sear both sides
  • Finish cooking gently in the oven until just cooked through
  • Let chops rest before slicing to retain juices

It’s that easy to make incredibly juicy, flavorful oven baked thin pork chops every time. Now get out there and start cooking up this savory weeknight treat! Your tastebuds will thank you.

How To Make Pork Chops In Oven

Check out the recipe card below for the complete instructions and recipe for the tastiest and juiciest pork chops.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
  • Mix the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Pat dry each pork chop with paper towels. Place the chops on the baking sheet and brush or drizzle them with olive oil. Season chops with the dry rub on both sides.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140ºF, when you check the thickest part of the chop with a meat thermometer. The pork’s internal temperature will rise while the pork rests due to carry over cooking (read more about this at the bottom of the post).
  • Remove from the oven and let the pork rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

How to cook thin pork chops in the oven?

How to cook thin pork chops in the oven?

The Secret To Tender and Juicy Pork Chops

People who grew up eating dry pork and are reluctant to even try baked pork recipes frequently ask me how to cook boneless pork chops in the oven.

Observing a few simple guidelines when baking pork chops ensures excellent results. Here are my top recommendations for juicy, tender, and succulent pork chops.

Pork chops must be at least an inch thick to be baked in the oven. Thin chops tend to always dry up when baked. Pork chops with or without bones can be used successfully in this recipe.

The type of pork chop, the thickness of the meat, and how hot your oven is all affect how long it takes to cook. If you don’t overcook the meat, it will remain juicy. It’s as simple as that.

The secret to not overcooking pork chops is to check the meat’s internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Cooking times should be a guideline only.

Check the pork chop for doneness several times during the last few minutes of baking (I usually start checking after 18 minutes of cooking) to prevent a dry pork chop. When the internal temperature of the meat registers 135 to 140 degrees F, remove the meat from the oven by inserting the meat thermometer probe into the thickest part of the pork chop.

As soon as the meat is taken out of the oven, it must rest for 5 to 10 minutes before being cut into or served. The USDA’s safe temperature recommendation for eating pork chops is 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius), which is when “carryover cooking” occurs and the meat temperature rises to a nice, juicy medium temperature.

How to cook thin pork chops in the oven?

Pork Chops in the OVEN Recipe, Extremely Tender & Juicy

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I cook thin pork chops in the oven?

For pork chops 1/2 inch thick, bake at 400°F for 6-8 minutes after searing both sides. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer for 145°F.

What temperature should thin pork chops be cooked to?

Cook until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F. This results in a tender, juicy chop still slightly pink inside.

Can you cook thin pork chops from frozen?

It’s best to thaw them first in the refrigerator overnight. Chops need to be thawed before searing to ensure proper browning.

Should thin pork chops be marinated?

Marinating is optional but recommended. Even 15-30 minutes helps seasoning penetrate deeper into the meat. Longer marinating times are even better.

What’s the best oil to use for searing pork chops?

Avocado, grapeseed, and peanut oil all have high smoke points perfect for searing. Olive oil can also work in a pinch.

Is it ok to flip pork chops more than once?

It’s best only flip them once. Flipping frequently can interfere with browning. Just let them sear undisturbed on each side.

Can you use boneless thin pork chops?

Yes, boneless chops work perfectly! Follow the exact same method. They may cook a minute or two faster than bone-in.

What are the best seasonings for oven baked pork chops?

Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, rosemary, sage all pair wonderfully. Get creative with spice rubs and herb blends!

What sides go well with thin pork chops?

Try roasted veggies, buttered pasta, rice pilaf, roasted potatoes, salad, or skillet cornbread. Lots of options complement juicy chops beautifully.

How can you tell when pork chops are done?

Use an instant read thermometer to check for 145°F internally. Chops should be slightly pink but not red inside.


Cooking thin pork chops in the oven leads to some of the most flavorful, tender and juicy chops you’ll ever enjoy. By following the steps for proper preparation, searing, baking, and resting, you’re guaranteed mouthwatering results every single time. Master this easy method, then get creative with ingredients and seasoning blends to put your own unique twist on oven-baked thin pork chops.

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