Juicy skillet fried thick-cut pork chops are a favorite in our house. Easy for a busy weeknight, and fall-off-the-bone tender!
45 Minutes or Less - Dinner - Food - Pork

Juicy Skillet Fried Thick-Cut Pork Chops

Last updated on September 16, 2023 by Liza Hawkins

Juicy skillet fried thick-cut pork chops are a favorite in our house because they’re easy to make on a busy weeknight and fall-off-the-bone tender!

Juicy skillet fried thick-cut pork chops are a favorite in our house. Easy for a busy weeknight, and fall-off-the-bone tender!


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I was flipping by Food Network the other day and managed to catch an episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown was busy searing a couple of thick pork chops in preparation for a few hours’ roasting in a slow cooker.

He had sliced apples and caramelized onions ready to go, along with a pan sauce lovingly finished off with butter and scraped bits from the bottom of the pan.

It looked wonderful — so warm and comforting! It’s a recipe I’ve tucked away for fall’s crisp, blustery evenings.

But … those pork chops!

Pork chops that are thick, juicy and seared just enough in a cast iron skillet (more on this in a moment) to make a nice crust — yes, we need to have those any time of the year, with lovely accouterments like applesauce, a big salad, or corn on the cob.

Those crispy bits left in the skillet from the pork chop crust make for a super delicious homemade gravy, too, if you’re in the mood for mashed potatoes. Is there ever a time to not be into mashed potatoes?

Yep. Exactly all of this. It’s amazing how food can bring so much comfort in just a few bites.

Juicy skillet fried thick-cut pork chops are a favorite in our house. Easy for a busy weeknight, and fall-off-the-bone tender!


Benefits of Using a Cast Iron Skillet for Pork Chops

Let’s dive into the wonderful world of cooking thick pork chops in your trusty cast iron skillet. First things first, though. If you don’t already have a cast iron skillet, it’s easy enough to get your hands on one. All the big box stores carry them in their kitchenware section. You can also find options on Amazon like this Lodge 10.5″ skillet or a bundled set like this Overmont dutch oven and skillet combo. Cast iron lasts forever, so other sources to check out are flea markets, garage sales, and thrift or antique stores. The set I have used to be my grandmother’s, so hand-me-downs are an option, too!

The Perfect Sear

One of the standout advantages of using a cast iron skillet is its ability to deliver the perfect sear. When you’re dealing with thick pork chops, achieving that beautiful caramelized crust while keeping the interior tender and juicy can be a challenge. But fear not, the cast iron skillet is here to save the day. The even heat distribution and high heat retention of cast iron make it ideal for creating that mouthwatering sear we all crave.

Locking in Juiciness

Nobody likes a dry pork chop, and that’s where the cast iron skillet shines once again. Its heat retention properties ensure that your chop stays sizzling hot throughout the cooking process. This helps lock in the juices, resulting in a succulent and flavorful pork chop every time. Plus, the natural fats in the pork will season the skillet, enhancing the flavor of future dishes you cook in it and creating a natural non-stick surface over time.


If you’re into fun flavor experiments, you’ll love the versatility of seasonings when using a cast iron skillet. You can take your pork chops in a variety of directions, whether it’s a classic rosemary and garlic rub, a smoky barbecue seasoning, sage infused oil, or a sweet and tangy glaze. The skillet’s heat tolerance allows for creative seasoning experiments, adding depth and character to your dish. 

Cast iron pans are also versatile when it comes to cooking methods. Whether you’re sautéing over a stove top (or a campfire!), tossing the skillet into the oven for a lower and slower method, or a blend of cooking methods, cast iron can meet your needs!

A Sustainable Choice

For those of us who appreciate not only the taste but also the environmental impact of our food choices, cast iron skillets are a sustainable option. They are incredibly durable and can last for generations with proper care. By choosing cast iron, you’re reducing the need for disposable cookware, contributing to a more eco-friendly kitchen.

In conclusion, cooking thick pork chops in a cast iron skillet is a winning choice for home cooks of all generations, especially those who appreciate simplicity, flavor, and a dash of history. The perfect sear, juiciness preservation, seasoning versatility, and sustainability make it a standout method. So, fire up that skillet and embark on a culinary journey that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds and warm your heart. Happy cooking!

Juicy skillet fried thick-cut pork chops are a favorite in our house. Easy for a busy weeknight, and fall-off-the-bone tender!
Yield: 2 Pork Chops

Juicy Skillet Fried Thick-Cut Pork Chops

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Juicy skillet-fried pork chops are a favorite — easy to make and fall-off-the-bone tender!


  • 2 thick cut (1.5 to 2 inches thick), bone-in pork chops*
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter


  1. Add the olive oil and butter to a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat.
  2. Sprinkle half the salt and pepper to one side of the chops. When the butter has melted and started to foam, add the chops to the skillet seasoned-side down.
  3. Season the other side with the remaining salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium.
  4. Allow the chops to sear for 5 minutes, and then flip the chops.
  5. Continue cooking them on the second side for 10 minutes, and then flip the chops one more time. Cook for 5 minutes more, and then remove the chops to a plate to rest for 5 minutes before serving.


*Set the pork chops out on the counter for about 20 minutes prior to cooking so that they warm to room temperature; this helps ensure that they're evenly cooked, all the way to the center.

If your pork chops are thinner, you'll need to reduce the cooking time. 1-inch thick pork chops probably only need a 5-minute sear on each side, followed by 5 minutes of resting afterwards.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 3307mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 20g

Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

31 Comments on “Juicy Skillet Fried Thick-Cut Pork Chops

  1. I just made this recipe and found it way too salty. Is the measurement of the tablespoon of sea saltlt for two pork chop suppose to be a teaspoon?

  2. I tried your recipe. I usually buy & cook thin pork chops. I did as your recipe said. For me the pork was tough. I think it needed to go low & slow in the oven. These were nice bone in chops.

  3. My husband said it came out perfect, juicy and delicious! I don’t eat meat but followed the directions exactly in a cast iron skillet, 2″ chop

  4. I have my bone in chops cut 3 inches. I coat the chops with olive oil, salt and pepper, and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. I put a little olive oil and butter ina pan and sear both side plus the ends since the meat is so thick. Pop in a preheated oven and remove them once the internal temp reaches 140 ish the meat will finish cooking while resting. You don’t know if you are eating them or drinking them they come out so juicy. How can I acheave this camping where I don’t have an oven.

    1. Andy – When you’re done searing, I’d use foil to seal the pan tightly over the coals (or grill) and then let them cook just like they’re in the oven. You’d have to play around with timing since it’s less exact temperature-wise than an oven, but if you bring a instant read thermometer or one that can stay in the meat while it cooks, then you’ll be good to go!

  5. *Set the pork chops out on the counter for about 20 minutes prior to cooking so that they warm to room temperature; this helps ensure that they’re evenly cooked, all the way to the center.
    This is a myth. Straight from fridge to cooking is the way to go. Don’t believe me? Put a meat thermometer into them when cold and then tell me the difference between the meat temp in 20 minutes vs your thermostat setting in the house. If you don’t mind wasting money(as well as the potential smell), you could actually leave them out for the day or so that it would take them to reach room temperature, and then throw them away after seeing the truth for yourself.

    1. Hi Scott! Thanks for stopping by. I’ve cooked it both ways, too, since this was originally written in 2012, and I agree that the difference in end result is negligible. 🙂 Hope the rest of your day is great!

  6. Hi Larry! This recipe calls for sea salt in the ingredients. You’re right that different salts have different potency, and even beyond that, people prefer different levels of salt application — I prefer a saltier taste to something bland.

  7. Made these tonight and they were wonderful. Some of the comments said it was too much salt so I used just a little but enough to get that great crust. So juicy, great taste, easy to make. This one is going to be a regular on my dinner table.

  8. I don’t think people understand this recipe is for thick pork chops. Your recipe sounds yummy, will be making tonight. A thick pork chop is between 2″- 2.5″, not he ones readily available at the store.

  9. A tablespoon of salt, either kosher or otherwise, would be wayyy too much salt for me. I like to taste the flavor of the meat itself, not just the seasonings. Besides, that much salt on any kind of regular basis just isn’t very healthy. I would use maybe a teaspoon of salt. Anyone wanting saltier meat can always add it at the table.

    1. Hi Shary! Everyone has varying preferences for salt and seasoning, that’s for sure. I’m of the opinion that heavier meat cuts, like steak or these thick cut pork chops, need a heftier amount to help bring out the flavors and keep things tender. Salting as part of seasoning, or as an ingredient in scratch home cooking, isn’t the same as trying to avoid lots of sodium in your diet by eating fewer processed and fast foods.

      All of that said, reduce the salt if you like and enjoy! 🙂

  10. I set my electric stovetop to 5 and it burned within 8 mins on second side. Thus always happens to me. Medium high heat is almost always WAY too hot. At least when I did it. They were huge chops too. Are you using flame?

    1. Hi Brad! Sadly, not an open flame. I’ve only had electric stoves in my past few homes. That said, the level of heat can really vary from one stove to the next! My current electric stove runs really hot, so in some cases I can’t keep it as high as I may have other times. The goal is to hear a sizzle when the meat hits the pan, but you don’t want it smoking, and you might have to turn it down a little as you’re cooking.

  11. All I can say is I’m glad I made extra. I sprinkled sea salt and pepper and a little garlic powder, but cooked it as you suggested. We loved the sear and the rich brown pan drippings. This is my new favorite way to cook pork chops.

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