As most of you know by now, I pretty much backyard grill everything I can. However, since starting this website, I have been really trying to branch out and try more cooking indoors. It is fun to see how my long time used seasonings and recipes translate to the oven. So, today I am sharing with you my new Easy Oven Baked Pork Chop Recipe. Which came out totally moist and delicious, just like I hoped it would!
Don’t Be Scared of Pork
I have been grilling up pork chops at least a couple times a month for a while now. I have really decided that I truly love pork. The important thing with pork though, is to not over cook it. It can quickly go from the best food you have ever tasted, to dry and terrible. But don’t let this scare you off. It really is quite easy to nail, and if you happen to over do it once or twice, you will learn very quickly how to remedy it for the future. And it is totally worth the trial and error, because once you get it down, you can easily enjoy delicious pork chops any day of the week with hardly any effort!
The other issue people often have with pork is that they are scared of under cooking it. But you shouldn’t be scared of pork. Our grandparents have passed this fear down to us, but medium to medium-rare pork is totally safe to eat in today’s world. The USDA has even issued reports to that affect. In an article from pork.org they state…
““Our consumer research has consistently shown that Americans have a tendency to overcook common cuts of pork, resulting in a less-than-optimal eating experience,” said Dianne Bettin, a pork producer from Truman, Minn., and chair of the Checkoff’s Domestic Marketing Committee. “The new guidelines will help consumers enjoy pork at its most flavorful, juicy – and safe – temperature.””
The guidelines consistently, across the board, now state that pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and then let it rest for 3 minutes for perfect, juicy, pork. Previously 160 degrees was recommended, but that is too far in most cases. In my experiences, 9 times out of ten, that will result in dry, bland pork. So stick with 145-150 degrees for the best outcome.
And remember, as with just about anything, you can always cook it longer if it isn’t quite done. You can’t go back if you go too far.
Ok, with that said, we can get on to these fabulous, mouth watering chops!
What you will need:
- Pork Chops (about 3/4 inch thick or so)
- Garlic Powder or Granules
- Lemon Pepper
- 1/2 Lemon
- Hand full of Cilantro
- A little bit of Butter
- A dab of Canola or Vegetable Oil
- Foil (optional)
- Baking Sheet (with lip around edges is best)
- This is about as simple and as straight forward as it comes. I lined my pan with foil, for easy clean up. Then smeared a dab of Canola oil over it to stop any sticking that may occur.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Then I laid out my pork chops of the foil and started seasoning. First I squeezed some fresh lemon juice over each pork chop. I used about a quarter of a lemon for all of them. So just a little juice on each one.
- I like to get a good even shake of salt and garlic powder of the entire surface, and a light dusting of pepper , lemon pepper, and paprika.
- Then flip them over and repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other side.
- Chop up a handful of Cilantro and sprinkle some on the top each pork chop.
- The just for a little extra yum, I added a tiny bit of butter on the top of each also. I just took one 1/2 inch slice and dived it into six even pieces…one little chunk for each chop.
- Ok, set your timer for 30 minutes and pop them in the oven!
See how easy that is?!
I ended up taking them out after 30 mins, flipping them over and cooking them for another 5 minutes trying to brown both sides. However, that messed up the beautiful cilantro covered tops of them. So, I don’t recommend doing that. Instead take them out and check the temperature with a meat thermometer. If it registers between 145 and 150 you are good to go. Just let them sit for at least 3 minutes before serving.
Make Your Pork Chops Spicy!
If you would like to spice it up a bit, add cayenne powder, or even habanero dust to the original seasoning list. You can also rub them down with a spicy hot sauce before seasoning them. A good choice for this would be Brother Bru Bru’s or even a little of Dave’s Temporary Insanity. Both of these are available in my Hot Sauce Shop if you don’t already have them in you repertoire.
If you don’t want to cook them spicy for your wimpy family, you can always add hot sauce to your pork chop after the fact.
Oven Baked Pork Chop Recipe in Review
This started as an experiment for me. As I mentioned earlier, I usually grill my pork chops. Happily, though, they came out really great! We loved them! They had awesome flavor and were cooked to perfection. I got specific complements on the little bit of cilantro I topped them with. It gave them just a little something extra that seemed to make them shine even more.
Side Dish Ideas
I am all about easy most of the time. With these chops I made some from the box Au Gratin potatoes. I just stuck them in the oven on the bottom rack, under the pork chops. They only cost a buck or two, and come out great every time.
To add a little green to your meal, you could steam up or lightly boil some broccoli. I love shaking a little lemon pepper on my cooked broccoli. Super delicious, inexpensive, only takes a couple minutes, and pairs very well with this meal!
I hope you enjoyed the article, and I know you will enjoy the pork chops! Let me know how it goes for you. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you, and I will get back to as soon as possible. Thanks for reading, and I will talk to you soon!