How to cook pork chops so they are not dry?

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I'm on a low carb diet and decided to fix some nice 1 1/2" thick boneless pork chops last night.  (I'm rather new to cooking regular meals.) Anyway,  I seasoned them and fried them in a skillet with a little oil/butter - quickly browned both sides and then put a lid on them, lowered the temp and cooked them until done.  (Made a nice quick mustard sauce for them) They were tasty but came out dry. 

How do I make a more juicy pork chop? Should I have added some liquid to the pan before placing the lid on them?  Thanks for any help.
 
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I love pork chops and cook them regularly. I never use a lid, except for my gas grill's lid when I cook them on the grill. 

Rather than trying to brown quickly and then lower the temp, I would bring the temp to medium and keep it there for the whole cooking time. Flip them over only once. The browning will happen more slowly, which IMO is fine for pork (doesn't work for beef). I use my finger to press the thickest part of the chop to determine when it's done, and I try to keep them ever so slightly pinkish in the very center. 

So basically my general tip would be: don't brown too quickly, and don't lower the temp either, just try to keep it at a nice medium pace for the whole cooking time. 
 
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What do you consider 'done'?    I bet you're overcooking it.

My advice is treat it like a steak, get a nice thick pork chop and cook it to medium or even medium rare if you like.  A bit of pink in the middle IS A OKAY.  Trichinosis ain't what it used to be.  USDA regulations on growing pork, how they are fed, sanitation practices, medicines, etc have limited it a lot.   Also, we now know that tapeworms die at 137°F.  So even 145F internal for your chop is JUST FINE.  Don't overcook it like my mother's generation.
 
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If you wanted to grill it instead of cooking it on a pan, I would say brine it. If you are stuck doing it on the stove, just cook them less. Those little chops dry out really fast on the stove
 
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Yes. I sounds like what everybody is saying. You overcooked them. I make chops in a similar way, but I do in fact sear them until brown at high heat, and then (carefully) finish in the oven. Use a thermometer if you have to. When they are done to your liking, remove and tent with foil on a plate. If you cooked them right, they will release some liquid, which you return to the pan to make the sauce. Conversely, you can cover them on the stovetop but make sure not to leave on too long. Sounds like that's what you might have done. I emphasize to remove and tent, though. 

Also, if you want to insure that they are juicy and not dry, cook them to 10 degrees less than what is suggested online. Food safe temps are around 160. I cook to 150-55 max. See Millions Knives comment above. The resting period will raise the temp, but remain moist and tender. Everything depends on thickness. . . and brining is still an option. 
 
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Thanks so much, all.  I'm sure that is what I did was overcook them.  All I hear in my head when cooking pork is my mother (like you said MillionKnives) is don't eat pink pork! Cook it done, done, done or it will kill you. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

I need to get a good thermometer for cooking meat.  Again, thanks all!
 
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Thanks so much, all.  I'm sure that is what I did was overcook them.  All I hear in my head when cooking pork is my mother (like you said MillionKnives) is don't eat pink pork! Cook it done, done, done or it will kill you. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

I need to get a good thermometer for cooking meat.  Again, thanks all!
You really don't. You can, if you want to, but you don't need it. You can instead use your natural senses to guesstimate (and get close enough) the temperature of your meat. Keep in mind that if you learn to use a thermometer, you probably will not develop your other senses to judge meat's temperature, which means you will be lost the day the thermometer breaks, or you're in a kitchen that doesn't have one. 
 
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Like everyone said....

Don't overcook.

Brining is quite a good idea

And as to the chop: I really like neck chops as they got their fat spread throughout the whole chop.

An alternative is to cook brown them and then heat them inside the sauce. It becomes a bit more of a stewed pork chop than a fried one though....
 
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sunshinerivera sunshinerivera the method you used in your first post is fine, I do this all the time because loin chops are pretty dry even if you brine them and don't overcook them. I sear the pork chops on both sides and remove from the pan. Then I make a sauce in the pan and add the chops back in to cook. Cook to 150 internal. I love chops this way, seared and smothered.
 
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Thanks so much, all.  I'm sure that is what I did was overcook them.  All I hear in my head when cooking pork is my mother (like you said MillionKnives) is don't eat pink pork! Cook it done, done, done or it will kill you. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

I need to get a good thermometer for cooking meat.  Again, thanks all!
You really don't. You can, if you want to, but you don't need it. You can instead use your natural senses to guesstimate (and get close enough) the temperature of your meat. Keep in mind that if you learn to use a thermometer, you probably will not develop your other senses to judge meat's temperature, which means you will be lost the day the thermometer breaks, or you're in a kitchen that doesn't have one. 
So true.

Thermometers are for spot checks while you learn to "see" the food.

mimi
 
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So true.

Thermometers are for spot checks while you learn to "see" the food.

mimi
I would agree with this as opposed to what @French Fries  said.  I don't use a thermometer for steaks, chops and chicken but I do use it for large roasts.  You can't use a touch test on a roast beef.  But while you're learning to touch and fee the doneness of a chop it's ok to use a thermometer.  

I used to have a very good sense of direction.  Now if I go somewhere without my GPS I'm lost.  So I get it, but using all senses is always good.
 
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So true.

Thermometers are for spot checks while you learn to "see" the food.

mimi
I would agree with this as opposed to what @French Fries  said.  I don't use a thermometer for steaks, chops and chicken but I do use it for large roasts.  You can't use a touch test on a roast beef.  But while you're learning to touch and fee the doneness of a chop it's ok to use a thermometer.  

I used to have a very good sense of direction.  Now if I go somewhere without my GPS I'm lost.  So I get it, but using all senses is always good.
Absolutely agree re no touch test on the larger cuts but....think back to those very first cookbooks you ever read....or what the butcher would advise your mom.

It was all about length of time per pound at such and such temp. for whatever results she wanted.

I am a bit (lol understatement) older so these are the things I base a lot of my meat cookery on.

Will admit not being able to cook a huge turkey without a bit of help from those oven bags but as long as my sister does not find me out (her advise lol) I am golden.

mimi
 
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Am learning to use the direction finder that speaks to me.

It has been pretty hard and I admire those who already have it down.

I am still all about ....take a left where the tire shop USED to be.

Yeah...small town girl lol.

mimi
 
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Thanks so much, all.  I'm sure that is what I did was overcook them.  All I hear in my head when cooking pork is my mother (like you said MillionKnives) is don't eat pink pork! Cook it done, done, done or it will kill you. 
lol.gif


I need to get a good thermometer for cooking meat.  Again, thanks all!
You really don't. You can, if you want to, but you don't need it. You can instead use your natural senses to guesstimate (and get close enough) the temperature of your meat. Keep in mind that if you learn to use a thermometer, you probably will not develop your other senses to judge meat's temperature, which means you will be lost the day the thermometer breaks, or you're in a kitchen that doesn't have one. 
So true.

Thermometers are for spot checks while you learn to "see" the food.

mimi

I totally disagree here.  

We're not talking about a professional kitchen here.

We are talking about a home cook.

Guesstimating?????? Really???

Home cooks usually don't cook steaks or chops necessitating the need for using their senses to determine done-ness.

A thermometer is a very useful tool for the home cook to insure consistency.
 
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Exactly. A thermometer is a tool. It measures a single data point - the temperature at one point at a single point in time. You can use it to get your bearing and get a feeling for the timing. BUT DO NOT DISREGARD YOUR OTHER SENSES OR INSTINCTS. Let's say you are unlucky and your thermometer ends up in a spot of fat, the reading is way off. If it's near bone, the reading is way off. What do your eyes tell you? Your ears? Touch the meat, how firm is it? This is all data too and sometimes your thermometer can throw you off.

What is most important is developing your instincts

That said I have a few tips on using digital thermometers:

1) If you are going to temp a steak or chop come in from the side, don't ugly up the presentation side

2) If you have a metal leave in thermometer type, guess what, metal conducts heat. The meat near the thermometer will cook faster for this reason. So the reading is OFF compared to the rest of the meat. Anyway I don't use those. I just spot check with a thermapen

3) Calibrate the thing regularly
 
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I would argue to always use a thermometer until you can tell when it's done accurately. I won't buy in to guestimating doneness - accuracy and precision yield the best results.

The push test is great once you have it down exactly. But if you're using the push test and guessing doneness, don't, and use a thermometer.
 
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