Honey BBQ pork chops are a delicious way to enjoy your pork chops no matter which cut you choose! Marinated in a lemony garlic base prepares these for the perfect pan sear, then finish these off with a lovely smokey chipotle honey glaze.
Which Cut of Pork Chop Should I Use?
This recipe is perfect for any pork chop cut! Honestly, I base my cuts on the grocery store sales. This version was made with bone in-pork loin chops, though I make this recipe with rib chops and boneless chops as well. The boneless chops tend to be a good bit thicker, so you will want to note the additional cooking time if choosing to use them. Being thicker also makes the boneless variety less prone to over-cooking.
How Do You Make Pork Chops Tender?
Pork chops can be over-cooked very easily, causing them to dry out. The best way to keep pork chops tender is to first use a marinade or brine before cooking. This recipe uses a lovely garlic lemon marinade to prep the pork.
The second step to keeping pork chops tender is how they are cooked. The most reliable method for consistency is to sear your pork chops in a cast iron skillet. With cast iron skillet pork chops, you can control the heat evenly while still getting a nice crust for the initial sear.
You can also cook your pork chops using this sous-vide cooking method for a very moist pork chop that just requires a quick sear at the end.
What Temperature Should Pork Chops Be Cooked At?
For pan-searing, pork chops should initially be cooked in a very hot pan that has been heated over medium high heat. Once the pork chop has been flipped, then you will want to reduce the heat to medium, or medium low, and cover with a lid to finish the cooking. Pork chops are ideal cooked to 145°F, after this point you will notice they begin to dry out. If you are wondering if pork chops can be pink, then the answer is yes. A lightly pink center is fine for pork chops though for ground pork you should always cook to 160° F. Meat thermometers are a lifesaver!
Cast Iron Pork Chops Step By Step:
- Prepare your marinade ingredients by whisking together the oil, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper and water in a small bowl.
- Place the pork chops in a resealable bag and pour the marinade over them.
- Seal the bag closed, removing as much air as you can and place on a baking sheet in the fridge to marinate 4 + hours.
- Making the barbecue sauce and starting the pork chops marinating is the perfect thing to do the evening before or morning of. This way when you are ready to cook the pork chops everything comes together quite quickly with minimal effort.
- When ready to cook these easy skillet pork chops, you will heat your cast iron pan until very hot.
- Sear the first side until they are golden and begin to caramelize.
- Once you flip the pork chops, then you will want to reduce the heat, add the BBQ sauce and cover to finish cooking.
Serve your honey bbq pork chops with the remainder of the lovely honey chipotle bbq sauce and your favorite sides.
This lemon asparagus is the perfect side to compliment these pork chops!
Leftover pork chops can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve cold or reheat in the microwave or over the stove. Re-heating pork chops will continue to cook them so be careful not to dry them out. Leftovers are also delicious sliced onto salads or to make sandwiches!
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- 4 Pork Chops of Choice Cut
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 4 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Course Sea Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Cracked Pepper
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1 Batch Prepared Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce
- In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and water.
- Place the pork chops and oil lemon marinade together in a resealable bag, and refrigerate for 4 hours, and up to 24 hours.
- Now is a great time to prepare the chipotle BBQ sauce ahead as well.
To Cook The Pork Chops:
- Remove the pork chops from the marinade and pat dry.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, with 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, until thoroughly hot.
- Once the pan is very hot then place the pork chops, presentation side down, in the hot pan to sear.
- Sear and brown the pork chop on one side until you get a nice caramelized crust, about 5-7 minutes.
- Flip the pork chop and reduce the heat to medium.
- Spoon some of the honey chipotle bbq sauce on top and cover with a lid to finish cooking an additional 3-5 minutes or up to 10 minutes for thick boneless chops.
- Chops are perfectly cooked when they reach 145° F and just very lightly pink in the center.
- Serve the pork chops with remaining sauce for serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 496mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 41g
*Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.