- 4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick and 6 to 7 ounces each
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil like grapeseed, avocado, or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- A handful of tender herbs like parsley or dill, chopped
- Remove the pork chops from the fridge and season them on both sides using salt and pepper — you should ideally use just under ¼ teaspoon of fine salt for every piece of pork chop. Allow 30 minutes for the chops to rest afterward.
- Allow your oven to heat up to a temperature of 375°F (190°C).
- Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a big oven-safe skillet (a cast iron pan for instance). Pat the pork chops dry and add them into the pan as immediately the oil gets hot and shimmering. Cook the pork chops for about 2 to 3 minutes until they’re golden. Sprinkle half of the thyme all over the surface of the pork chops as it sears while facing up in the pan.
- The seared side of the pork should now be facing up. (If the pork chops have a fattier side, hold them down with kitchen tongs, making sure that the flat side is facing down until they sizzle and brown slightly, this should take about 30 seconds.)
- Distribute the rest of the thyme over the pork’s already charred side. Cover the chops with lemon wedges, then cover loosely using foil or parchment paper which you should tuck around the pan. To finish cooking, place the skillet containing the pork chops in the oven. (Move the pork chops into a baking dish if you don’t have an oven-safe skillet to use.)
- Bake the pork chops for 8 to 15 minutes, or till an instant-read thermometer inserted into their thickest portion registers 145 degrees F. (Because cook time tends to vary depending on chop thickness, start checking at 5 minutes and progress from there. Ensure to check the chops every 2 minutes.) If you don’t have a thermometer, the chops are done when you cut into them and their juices run clear.
- Place the pork chops on a plate and cover them with aluminum foil. Allow 5 minutes for the meat to rest. Top with roasted lemon wedges, fresh herbs, and a teaspoon of pan juices.
Recipe Notes: To make an optional pan sauce to accompany your deliciously baked pork chops, follow these steps:
- While you’re letting the pork chops rest when they’re out of the oven, heat 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, and the juice gotten from the roasted lemon wedges. Heat this mixture in a skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape the pan’s base with a wooden spoon to release any trapped pork chunks.
- Bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook it until the liquid has been reduced by half. Taste it, then add some salt or a bit more sugar, maple syrup, or honey as needed.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in one tablespoon of butter once the sauce has stopped simmering.
- Serve this sauce with your pork chops.
Pork chops baked in the oven make for a really quick, easy, and healthy meal option. Following our cooking instructions and timing guidelines will help you produce pork chops that are flavorful, juicy, and tender, while involving minimal effort. You should also try out our seasoning suggestions, such as the roasted lemon wedges, or use your favorite spice blends instead.
If you’d like to see more inspiration for getting delicious results with 1-inch pork chops, check out this video recipe we’ve recommended for you.