How to Cook Thin Pork Chops Without Drying- Juicy

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Learn How to Cook Thin Pork Chops Without Drying them! This easy recipe delivers juicy pork chops every single time. The best way to cook thin pork chops for any occasion.

Serve with green beans, honey carrots, and roasted potatoes for an easy dinner.

close up of the thin pork chops on a serving platter with lemon wedge.
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Best Pan Fried Pork Chops

These flavorful pork chops are pan-fried at high heat with olive oil and butter to give a quick sear, a beautiful golden brown exterior, juicy interior, and delicious flavor!

The perfect pork chops for a busy weeknight. The best part is that you can customize the seasonings to your liking.

If you prefer thick chops, you can also try these- Best Thick Pork Chops. You may also like my Pork Tenderloin Recipe and Stuffed Pork Chops.

close up of the thin pork chops on a serving platter with lemon wedge.

Simple Ingredients

ingredient shot
  • Pork Chops
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Garlic or garlic powder
  • Butter
  • Lemon Juice and Zest
  • Salt and Perrper
  • Parsley, garnish
  • Herb blend of choice (optional)

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to Cook Thin Pork Chops (Step-by-Step Photos)

Cooking thin pork chops can be tricky, as they can easily dry out if not handled properly. This simple and effective method ensures your thin pork chops turn out juicy and delicious. No more tough pork chops!

How to Make Best Juicy Thin Pork Chops Step by Step: mixing marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Dry and Season: pat dry with a paper towel and season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. 

How to Make Best Juicy Thin Pork Chops Step by Step: mixing marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Make Marinade: In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and zest, chopped garlic, and olive oil (any seasoning blend if using). Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the marinade for extra flavor. Mix well.

How to Make Best Juicy Thin Pork Chops Step by Step: Adding marinade to pork chops.

Marinating the Pork Chops: Place the thin pork chops in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag. Pour the lemon-garlic marinade over the pork chops, ensuring they are well coated.

How to Make Best Juicy Thin Pork Chops Step by Step: letting the pork chops marinade.

Marinate the pork chops in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours*. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

How to Make Best Juicy Thin Pork Chops Step by Step: cooking the pork chops in butter and olive oil.

Heat the Pan: Heat a large skillet, cast-iron skillet, or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter and swirl it around to coat the pan.
Cooking: Remove the pork chops from the marinade and let any excess marinade drip off. Place the pork chops in the hot pan. Cooking at high heat to get a good sear is key. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until they develop a golden-brown sear.

close up of juicy thin pork chops in pan (cooked) with parsley on top.

Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork chops. They should reach 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption. If unsure, it’s better to undercook them and let them rest slightly; they will continue cooking slightly from residual heat (carryover cooking).
Resting: Once the pork chops are cooked, transfer them to a clean plate and cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Allow them to rest for a few minutes. This step is essential for juicy and tender pork chops.
Serve: Before serving, you can sprinkle some fresh herbs on top, like chopped parsley or thyme, for an added burst of freshness. Enjoy your delicious pork chops!

Variations

Here are a few variations on the lemon and garlic marinated thin pork chops that you might enjoy:

  1. Honey Mustard Twist: Add a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the lemon-garlic marinade. The sweetness of honey and the tanginess of mustard will create a delightful contrast in flavors.
  2. Asian Fusion: Create an Asian-inspired marinade by adding soy sauce, grated ginger, and a touch of sesame oil to the lemon and garlic mixture. You can also sprinkle some sesame seeds on the cooked pork chops before serving.
  3. Herb Infusion: Along with the lemon and garlic, mix in finely chopped fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano. The combination of herbs will elevate the aroma and taste of the pork chops.
  4. Spice Up with Chili: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper to the marinade for a bit of heat. This will give your pork chops a subtle kick.
  5. Creamy Garlic Lemon Sauce: After cooking the pork chops, deglaze the pan with a bit of chicken broth or white wine. Add some heavy cream, grated Parmesan cheese, and more minced garlic. Let the sauce simmer until it thickens, and pour it over the pork chops.
  6. Citrus Burst: Expand the citrus profile using a mix of lemon, lime, and orange juices in the marinade. This will add layers of flavor and brightness to the dish.
  7. Mediterranean Flair: Enhance the Mediterranean feel by adding Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and crumbled feta cheese to the marinade. Serve the pork chops with a side of Greek salad.
close up of the thin pork chops on a serving platter with lemon wedge.

Best Equipment for Cooking Pork Chops

Here is the equipment you need to cook pork chops on the stove.

two juicy thin pork chops on a plate wit cooked carrots as a side dish.

How to Store

For refrigerating, first allow them to cool to room temperature. Then, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container. Store the wrapped or sealed pork chops in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

For freezing, wrap the pork chops in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Label the package with the date. Frozen pork chops can be stored for around 2-3 months.

two juicy thin pork chops on a plate wit cooked carrots as a side dish.

Top tips

  • Use High Heat: Preheat your cooking pan over medium-high to high heat. A hot pan helps create a good sear on the outside of the pork chops, sealing in the juices.
  • Season Well: Season the pork chops with salt, pepper, and other desired seasonings before cooking. This adds flavor to the meat itself.
  • Avoid Overcooking: Thin pork chops can dry out quickly if overcooked. Aim for an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Use an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.
  • Sear for Flavor: Allow the pork chops to sear without moving them for a few minutes. This helps develop a nice crust on the outside, which enhances both flavor and texture.
  • Use a Marinade or Dry Rub: Marinating the pork chops or using a dry rub can add flavor and moisture. Acidic ingredients like lemon juice can also tenderize the meat.
  • Rest After Cooking: Once cooked, let the pork chops rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring it remains juicy.
  • Thin Cuts Cook Quickly: Thin pork chops cook much faster than thicker cuts. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning or overcooking.
  • Cooking Time: Generally, thin pork chops need about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the heat and thickness. Adjust the time accordingly.
  • Oil the Pan, Not the Meat: Instead of oiling the pork chops, lightly oil the cooking surface to prevent sticking.
  • Avoid Crowding the Pan: Do not overcrowd the pan if cooking multiple chops. This helps them cook evenly and achieve a good sear.
  • Use a Lid: If you notice the pork chops are browning too quickly but aren’t fully cooked, you can use a lid to trap some heat and aid in cooking through.
  • Test for Doneness: If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can make a small cut near the center of the pork chop. It should be slightly pink but not raw.
two juicy thin pork chops on a plate wit cooked carrots as a side dish.

FAQs

How to tell if pork chops are done?

Thin pork chops cook quickly. They usually take about 2-3 minutes per side on medium-high heat. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption.

How do I prevent thin pork chops from drying out?

To prevent drying out, avoid overcooking. Use high heat for a quick sear, marinate or season well for flavor, and let the pork chops rest for a few minutes after cooking. You can also use a marinade or cook them in a sauce to help retain moisture. No one likes dry pork chops! This recipe is a great option for moist pork chops.

Should I marinate thin pork chops?

Marinating thin pork chops can add flavor and moisture. A simple marinade with lemon, garlic, and olive oil works well. Marinate for 30 minutes to a few hours in the refrigerator before cooking.

Can I use a dry rub on thin pork chops?

Yes, a simple dry rub can enhance the flavor of thin pork chops. Apply the rub before cooking and let it sit for a short time to infuse flavor.

What are some quick and flavorful marinades for thin pork chops?

Lemon and garlic with olive oil, soy sauce with ginger and sesame oil, honey mustard, or a mix of citrus juices with herbs are all great options.

How do I keep multiple thin pork chops warm while cooking in batches?

Once a batch is cooked, transfer the pork chops to an oven-safe dish and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Keep them in a warm oven (set to around 200°F or 93°C) while you cook the remaining batches.

How long are cooked pork chops good in the fridge?

Cooked pork chops can last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. It’s important to store them properly to maintain their freshness and safety. Allow the cooked pork chops to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container

Looking for other recipes? Try these:

Best Sides for Pork Chops

You can find more side dishes here but these are some of my favorite dishes to serve with juicy boneless pork chops:

Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.

I would love for you to tag me on Instagram @cucinabyelena so I can see your delicious Italian recipes. To get more ideas, follow me on Pinterest.

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Best Juicy Thin Pork Chops Recipe

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Learn How to Cook Thin Pork Chops Without Drying them! This easy recipe delivers juicy pork chops every single time—the best way to cook thin pork chops for any occasion. 

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 thin-cut pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon juice and zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon butter, for frying
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of your favorite seasoning blend

Instructions

  1. Dry and Season- pat dry with a paper towel and season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. 
  2. Make Marinade: In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and zest, chopped garlic, and olive oil (any seasoning blend if using). Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the marinade for extra flavor. Mix well.
  3. Marinating the Pork Chops: Place the thin pork chops in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag. Pour the lemon-garlic marinade over the pork chops, ensuring they are well coated. Marinate the pork chops in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours*. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  4. Heat the Pan: Heat a large skillet, cast-iron skillet, or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter and swirl it around to coat the pan.
  5. Cooking: Remove the pork chops from the marinade and let any excess marinade drip off. Place the pork chops in the hot pan. Cooking at high heat to get a good sear is key. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until they develop a golden-brown sear.
  6. Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork chops. They should reach 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption. If unsure, it’s better to undercook them and let them rest slightly; they will continue cooking slightly from residual heat (carryover cooking).
  7. Resting: Once the pork chops are cooked, transfer them to a clean plate and cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Allow them to rest for a few minutes. This step is essential for juicy and tender pork chops.
  8. Serve: Before serving, you can sprinkle some fresh herbs on top, like chopped parsley or thyme, for an added burst of freshness. Enjoy your delicious pork chops!

Notes

*marinating can help enhance the flavor and juiciness of your pork chops, but don’t let them marinate for too long, as the acidity in the lemon juice can start to “cook” the meat over time. Aim for a marinating time of 30 minutes to a few hours for best results.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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