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How to Cook Thick Pork Chops that Stay Juicy

Updated on September 27, 2009

There is something incredibly satisfying about cooking a 2 inch thick pork chop and having it retain all its juiciness.

And truth be told, it’s not all that tricky, especially if you’ve got your trusty instant read thermometer on hand. The idea is to sear the outside of the chops on all sides over very high heat at the beginning and then turn the heat way down and have the chops cook very gently, and slowly, until evenly cooked throughout.

Here’s an easy recipe for thick cut pork chops in a mustard mushroom sauce that will work every time, and is really easy.

Thick Cut Pork Chops in a Creamy Shitake Mustard Sauce

There aren’t any exact quantities here because you don’t need any. This is a technique and the “recipe is nothing more than a set of instructions. You can’t go far wrong here (it will taste good) and cooking free from measurement is more fun!

  • Thick pork chops, as many as you need
  • Salt and pepper
  • Some shitake mushrooms (or other mushroom), cut into slices (about a1/2 cup per chop)
  • A spoonful of Dijon mustard
  • A splash of white wine
  • A half an onion, minced finely
  • A splash of heavy cream
  1. Heat a heavy fry pan over high heat
  2. Using a paper towel or two, dry the pork chops off completely (dry meat will brown more easily – less steam is created)
  3. Season the pork with salt and pepper on all sides
  4. When the pan has preheated very well, add a couple of Tbls of vegetable oil to the pan and add the pork to the pan. Fry the pork for a couple of minutes on all sides, (even the side-sides) until the whole thing has a nice browned crust. You’ll find this easier with chef’s tongs.
  5. Once the pork has browned nicely, remove it form the heat to a plate and turn the heat of the pan down to medium.
  6. Toss out all but a spoonful or so of fat from the pan and add in the onions and mushrooms, stirring, for 2 minutes or so, or until the onions have softened
  7. Add in a glug of white wine and a couple of glugs of cream and stir up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the pork (and all juices from the plate) to the fry pan, turn the heat down to medium low and cover the pan.
  8. Let the pork cook gently in the steamy sauce until the interior has reached about 140 – 150 on your instant read thermometer.  Check the temperature every couple of minutes - there is no way to say how long this will take. It depends on the size of the meat, how well it was browned and the temperature of the pan, and so the thermometer is the best, and only, way to any accuracy. The meat will continue to “cook” for a few minutes after off the heat and will rise about another 10 degrees or so.
  9. Take the pork out and add in a spoonful of mustard to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and either thin with water or boil down, until you reach a nice “saucy” consistency. Taste again and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.

So easy so good

I like to serve this pork leaned against a mound of creamy mashed potatoes with the mushroom sauce plated to the side.

Use this technique for any thick cut pork chop. If you don’t care for a creamy mushroom sauce, use another one. So long as the pork chops have a gentle steam to finish cooking in, it doesn’t really matter what the sauce is composed of.

Brining the meat is another way to increase the margin of error, making it easier to avoid dry and tasteless pork. Here are instructions on brining pork chops.

Do You Brine Your Pork Chops

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    • thomdrilling profile image

      Big Dan 

      4 years ago

      Great recipe and article John. We will marinate thick pork chops in zesty italian dressing over night and then grill them. It makes the chops juicy and tender also.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Sophia, Oh my, really?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh my, just made these tonight and they were incredibly tasty! Thanks for offering this recipe.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      mpoliko xysi mesa sto envelope...

    • sgphilgoh profile image


      8 years ago from Singapore

      Very good tips from a master chef. John, thanks for sharing.

    • electricsky profile image


      8 years ago from North Georgia

      The pork chops would work well also, in a crock pot for people that work during the day.

      Thanks for the recipe.

    • Delaney Boling profile image

      Delaney Boling 

      9 years ago

      Slow and Low... You nailed a great hub here! Another tip that I use is to brine the pork chops in buttermilk or yogurt (unflavored, of course). The live cultures in both break down the protiens in the pork chop and produce VERY tender meat!

      I also like your comment, "cooking free from measurement is more fun..." That's my whole philosophy! Keep posting.

    • june688 profile image


      9 years ago

      looks good and nice. Thanks for sharing.

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      9 years ago

      Thanks everyone for the comments, and I hope that you all have success with them!

      Dohn121, I liked your hub a lot, and I will have to get myself some Goya adobo seasoning

      Bob, those foil packed chops sound pretty tasty!

    • Bob.Currer@gmail. profile image


      9 years ago from El Mirage, AZ

      Yummmm, pork chops. I place thick cut pork chops in a foil packet with rosemary, crushed garlic cloves, onion slices and a drizzle of olive oil, then place the sealed packet on the grill with low indirect heat and let it cook for about 55minutes. Takes a while, but the chops are juicy. I do like the idea of the sear, a nice crust would be just the thing. I have prepared them with a run and grilled them but have to admit they were a tad on the dry side.

      Great post, thanks for the tip - I'll have to try your method.

    • febriedethan profile image


      9 years ago from Indonesia

      This was so great! I love shitake mushrooms, the most suited mushroom for the pork. Thank you for the tips.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      a Great Method that works on thick cut Pork Loin as well..

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks again John. I actually wrote a hub on this myself. Through experience, I also learned that pork chops that are cut too thin or previously frozen have a tendency to become dry. I use a cover to lock in the moisture--brining is definitely the other method.

    • jimcain207 profile image

      James Cain 

      9 years ago from HUMPHREY, ARKANSAS

      John--thanks for this great hub. My chops has always been dry, but now that is about to change. Great info.


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