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A Tale of Cast Iron (Recipe: Skillet Roasted Pork Chops)

December 30, 2012
by Jackie Garvin

I love cooking with cast iron.  I love pork chops.  I love cooking pork chops in cast iron. And when the pork chops cooked in cast iron turn out in a spectacular, moist, tender fashion, a fairy tale is born.  Let me tell you ’bout the fairy tale I just birthed. I should also tell you that same fairy tale got eaten shortly after it got birthed.

Pork chops can either be delectable or garbage can worthy.  There’s no in-between. Some cuts are so lean they wind up being dry as a bone when cooked. Brining helps and I do that for all my pork roasts. For smaller pieces, like the aforementioned fairy tale pork chops, season well in advance of cooking and let salt work its magic to start breaking down tissue and getting the molecules to behave properly and play nice with juices.

The list of ingredients for this mind-altering experience is impressive. And short.  There’s two. One. Two.

The method by which I prepared the chops today is  gumdrops, candy canes, rainbows and Leprechauns. It’s the best of the best. Rogers and Hammerstein should write a song about the pork chops that came out of my kitchen. Cast iron skillet met pork chops and the result made us sing….with our mouths full.  The chops were flavorful, tender and moist. Easy as pie preparation is an added bonus, too. Don’t let the big, Fred Flintstone type knife shown in the picture scare you. The chops are tender enough to eat with a fork.

I must  run now and get  the Unicorn out of the kitchen….. again.

Y’all come see us!

Skillet Roasted Pork Chops

Skillet Roasted Pork Chops

yield: 3 to 4 servings

Choose bone-in chops cut from the rib section.  Season with seasoned salt at least one hour prior to cooking.  Longer is even better.  Bring the chops to room temperature prior to cooking.

3 to 4 (1 inch thick) bone-in pork chops

seasoned salt (I prefer Morton’s Season-all seasoned salt and list it as one of my Favorites.)

Season both sides of chops with seasoned salt at least one hour prior to cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat well-seasoned iron skillet.  When screaming hot, place in chops in a single layer.  Sear for about three minutes on one side or until the chops take on a gorgeous brown color.  Turn the chops when brown, cover the skillet and place in preheated oven.  Roast for one hour.  Remove from oven, leave covered and let sit for 10 minutes.

Eat them all and then write to me and tell me about the fairy tale you created.

 

 

Skillet Roasted Pork Chops

 Skillet Roasted Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • Skillet Roasted Pork Chops
  • yield: 3 to 4 servings
  • Choose bone-in chops cut from the rib section. Season with seasoned salt at least one hour prior to cooking. Longer is even better. Bring the chops to room temperature prior to cooking.
  • 3 to 4 (1 inch thick) bone-in pork chops
  • seasoned salt (I prefer Morton’s Season-all seasoned salt and list it as one of my Favorites.)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season both sides of chops with seasoned salt at least one hour prior to cooking.

Heat well-seasoned iron skillet. When screaming hot, place in chops in a single layer. Sear for about three minutes on one side or until the chops take on a gorgeous brown color. Turn the chops when brown, cover the skillet and place in preheated oven. Roast for one hour. Remove from oven, leave covered and let sit for 10 minutes.

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58 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2012 4:44 pm

    These pork chops look amazing! Next time I will try seasoning the chops for 2 hours before cooking and bringing them to room temperature. I have never done that. Thank you for the tips and Happy New Year!

  2. elaine avaritt permalink
    December 30, 2012 6:13 pm

    will definitely try this next time, big believer in iron skillets,especially cornbread. everything you cook i could eat. thanks for sharing

    • December 30, 2012 6:34 pm

      Elaine,

      Cooking with cast iron just makes me feel good all over!

      Happy New Year!

  3. December 30, 2012 11:02 pm

    These are a work of art! Happy New Year to you and your pork chops!

  4. December 31, 2012 9:55 am

    Yes, anything cooked in an iron skillet, griddle or dutch oven will be better than any other method. I was lucky enough to inherit my mother’s iron cookware plus my grandmother’s dutch oven and feel like they are in the room with me whenever I use them. After many years of use by herself then me, the 12-inch skillet was hopelessly crudded on the outside. I had to resort to using my brother-in-law’s fire pit to burn it off. Of course it also burned off the seasoning INSIDE the skillet as well, so there I was, having to season it all over again. I could hear my mother chastising me for letting it get in that condition to begin with. Isn’t that the way, hearing the voices of our loved ones years later when we mess up? But we know it’s a good-natured fussing ’cause we can also still feel the hugs we would get afterwards. Oh, the memories of hand-me-downs!

    • December 31, 2012 10:21 am

      Laurabun,

      I hear my relatives talking to me all the time! It’s our way of keeping them alive in our hearts.

      I hope you have a safe, prosperous and peaceful New Year!

  5. December 31, 2012 11:32 am

    You’re right about the either/or when it comes to pork chops. I notice that yours are bone-in (which is very important). And I’m guessing they were fairly thick, another key. — Thank you for posting this simple, yet delicious recipe.

  6. January 1, 2013 2:12 pm

    This looks fantastic! If you can believe it, I have never made pork chops before. I think I should try this out soon

  7. Linda J. Vincent permalink
    January 4, 2013 6:09 pm

    I also love anything cooked in my cast iron cook wear. I can hardly wait to try the pork chops, Thanks for sharing.

  8. De Powell permalink
    January 15, 2013 10:31 am

    These sound scrumptious! I want to make these today and I so hope you will have a moment to answer my question because I want to have fairy tale chops too. I have the Morton’s Season All on hand but it is the 25% less sodium version. Will this work or do I need to wait until I have the regular type? I thought maybe it wouldn’t have the needed salt to work the magic. Thanks so much. I love your blog!!!

    • January 15, 2013 10:47 am

      Hi De! I think the reduced sodium will work just fine. Go ahead and them seasoned up now so it will have plenty of time to work it’s magic. :)

      • De Powell permalink
        January 15, 2013 11:32 am

        Thank you so much Jackie for getting back to me so fast! I have them babies all fixed up now. I can’t wait for supper!

        • January 15, 2013 11:44 am

          Enjoy the fairy tale, De! :)

          • De Powell permalink
            January 16, 2013 10:18 am

            and we joined the song, sing we did……with our mouths full! Absolutely DE-LISH!

            • January 16, 2013 10:54 am

              Hurray!!! Thanks so much for letting me know it turned out for you, De. I’m cooking those pork chops tomorrow. I just bought a bigger cast iron skillet so I can cook more at one time! :)

  9. De Powell permalink
    January 16, 2013 11:11 am

    and now you have made my mouth water again so back to the store I go! http://syrupandbiscuits.com/sweet-and-tangy-chicken/

  10. Sara permalink
    February 17, 2013 7:23 pm

    Just made these for dinner tonight and they were amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    • February 20, 2013 9:45 pm

      Sara,

      So glad you enjoyed the pork chops. This is my favorite way to make them, too!

  11. Susan permalink
    February 20, 2013 9:13 pm

    Lets talk about how fabbbbulous these chops are! My husband scraped the plate and asked me to always cook chops this way! I used an all purpose seasoned salt from our vendor at the local farmers market. During the rest period, i topped them with a slice of butter. Served with pimento white cheddar Mac and cheese and pan roasted broccoli.. Perfect, perfect, perfect! We had this on a casual, snowy Wednesday night, but these come highly recommended for guests, as most of the cooking is in the oven so you can actually hang out.

    • February 20, 2013 9:41 pm

      Susan,

      I absolutely loved the description of your meal! I feel like I was an invited dinner guest. I wish you and your family many more enjoyable meals. :)

  12. Nancy permalink
    May 7, 2013 10:39 am

    I have always used a cast iron griddle until recently when we purchased a glass top stove. The manufacturer warns against using cast iron on the glass-top. I almost threw out my griddle. However, I am going to try heating the skillet in the over at 500 for 30 minutes so that it is really hot and see if I can seer the meat that way. Then lower the temperature and roast as you have suggested. I am hoping that this will work! I just hate not being able to use my Cast iron!!!! Pork chops and white gravy is our favorite! Will be trying this tonight! Thanks for posting your recipe!

    • May 7, 2013 4:56 pm

      Nancy,

      I use cast iron on my glass top stove all the time. The manufacturers recommend against using it because some of the pieces of cast iron have sharp edges as opposed to smooth or rounded. I’m very careful to pick it up and not scoot it across the surface. I’ve found a cast iron users group on FB and posed the question to them regarding the use of cast iron on glass top cook surfaces. 100% of them use it following the same precautions I stated. Just giving you some “food for thought”. :)

      • Nancy permalink
        May 7, 2013 8:15 pm

        Thank you Jackie! I did seer my chops in the oven and it turned out very good and moist. My preference, however, is to use the stove-top. I will just have to be extra careful not to slide it like you suggested. So happy to know that I don’t have to give up my cast iron skillets! Yay!!!! The sales guys told me that he thought the cast iron might get too hot and cause the glass to crack. Since you haven’t had any problems, nor that cast iron users group, he probably didn’t know what he was talking about. You just made my day! Thank You!!!

    • Marcia Darsey permalink
      September 26, 2013 9:03 pm

      I was also warned not to use the cast iron on my glass top. Rather than give up my cast iron I went out and bought a good hot plate. Problem solved!

      • September 27, 2013 7:20 am

        Marcia,

        I found a cast iron user’s group on Facebook. They have lots of discussion about that issue. The vast majority of them who have glass top stoves, cook with cast iron and have been doing so for years. They are careful to lift their cast iron and not slide it across the top. It’s a personal decision. I use cast iron on my glass top.

  13. Jerry permalink
    July 26, 2013 9:54 pm

    I love me some pork chops and have been making them for about 27 years and the ones that I made according to your recipe are the best that I have ever made. Thanks lots man for the Epic Chops that i made last night.

    • July 31, 2013 10:52 am

      Jerry,

      I am tickled pink that you like this recipe. It’s just about the only way I cook pork chops anymore. :)

  14. Autumn permalink
    October 16, 2013 10:31 pm

    I made these a little while back and they were amazing! So simple and has become my go to pork chop recipe. Highly recommend. I’m thinking the next time I might use a spicy brown sugar rub. Mmmm!!.

    • October 16, 2013 10:36 pm

      Autumn,

      Spicy brown sugar would be a great flavor for rub. I use half brown sugar/half kosher salt run for Boston butt roasts. Wrap them in plastic wrap and leave them in the frig overnight.

  15. rhonda permalink
    October 27, 2013 7:21 pm

    Made these for my family today. They were super easy & good! Thank you for posting the recipe!! I made fried honeycrisp apples, and stewed tomatoes with okra & corn to go with. My family loved all.of it.

  16. Brooke Cherry permalink
    November 1, 2013 1:11 pm

    ?? What can I use as a lid on my cast iron skillet in the oven? I have four cast iron skill it’s, but no lids. Can you buy lids for them? Thanks!!

    • November 1, 2013 7:04 pm

      Brooke,

      Just cover it well with aluminum foil. I have a smaller skillet that doesn’t have a lid that fits. I cover it with aluminum foil and then put a heavy baking sheet on top. The baking sheet isn’t really necessary. You could get by just fine without it.

  17. Jill Hayes permalink
    January 23, 2014 6:46 pm

    Making these tonight! Will let you know how they turned out!!

  18. Jayne Cress permalink
    February 14, 2014 8:51 am

    1 hour seems like such a long time ? Is this correct?

  19. Jackie permalink
    February 16, 2014 6:32 pm

    I cooked these tonight and they were the best pork chops I’ve ever eaten. Thank you for sharing!

  20. Lorrie permalink
    April 23, 2014 7:36 pm

    Is it the same cook time for boneless?

    • April 23, 2014 8:28 pm

      Lorrie,

      A bone conducts heat which could make the meat cook faster. However, all ovens cook at different rates. If your chop is about the same thickness as the ones in the recipe, plan on cooking for the same amount of time and check it 10 minutes early.

      • Lorrie permalink
        April 23, 2014 8:31 pm

        Thank you for the reply!!! I am new to cast iron cooking and so far am loving it!

        • April 23, 2014 9:09 pm

          I love it, too, and use cast iron more than I use anything else. Be sure to keep your boneless chops covered well during cooking so they won’t dry out.

  21. April 25, 2014 2:35 pm

    GORGEOUS!

  22. April 30, 2014 6:03 pm

    These pork chops were GREAT! I did them in my cast iron pan and baked them in my wood cook stove…delish! Thanks so much for this recipe!

    • April 30, 2014 6:21 pm

      I love the idea of a wood cook stove. Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoyed the pork chops. :)

  23. Linda permalink
    May 12, 2014 9:46 am

    When you bake them in the oven is any liquid used? Thank you.

    • May 12, 2014 4:14 pm

      Linda,

      No additional liquid is used. Covering them while cooking plus the fat in the meat keeps them from drying out.

  24. Lisa permalink
    June 10, 2014 4:39 pm

    These are the best pork chops!! Second time I’m making them tonight! They are fall off the bone good! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Stephanie permalink
    June 11, 2014 3:51 pm

    I’m sure this is a really stupid question… can you buy lids for cast iron skillets? My skillet didn’t come with one so I’m going to try this recipe and just use a lid from one of my other “regular” skillets. Does it make a difference if I use a regular lid or a cast iron one? (I feel so stupid asking this!)

    • June 11, 2014 5:22 pm

      Stephanie,

      A question is never stupid. Yes, there are lids that fit cast iron pans. The same lid fits my 12 inch skillet and my cast iron Dutch oven. You can use any kid you can find. It doesn’t make a difference. The main thing is to have the vessel made from cast iron.

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