What are pork loin chops?
Pork chops are the pig equivalent of a beef sirloin steak on the bone. Arguably the most popular and versatile cut of pork, they are taken from the loin running from the small of the back to the base of the shoulders, with the rump at one end and the ribeye at either end.
This part of the pig has an excellent layer of back fat, a feature of proper free-range, heritage pig breeds. This layer of fat not only ensures excellent flavour, but also provides essential protection during dry ageing.
Pork chop cooking time
Common methods for cooking a pork chop include grilling and baking, both of which can work well, but we believe they are best pan-roasted over high heat or barbecued. Choose a bone-in chop wherever possible – the bone toils to prevent the chop from drying out and infuses the meat with a greater depth of flavour.
The thickness of a pork loin chop can vary slightly, meaning it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific timing. You know your meat is cooked when the juices run clear or are very faintly pink – we advocate a slightly pink, or if preferred, cooked on-point. The eye of the loin is lean, and beyond this, you will simply be removing moisture from the chop.
As a general rule of thumb, Pork chops take around 16-18 minutes in total to cook when using a griddle or heavy-based frying pan. This includes time for searing the rind.
The best way to cook pork chops
- Begin by patting your pork loin chops dry and bringing them to room temperature.
- Preheat your pan or griddle to medium heat.
- Oil the chops and generously season the meat with sea salt and pepper. If desired, some bruised thyme or rosemary can also be added at this stage.
- Make small cuts in the fat with a pair of kitchen scissors at 2cm intervals – this will stop the meat from curling up during cooking and help the fat render.
- Place the chops into a cold pan or griddle with the fat side down (If cooking multiple chops, balance them against one another — use a strategically placed wooden spoon or two if need be. Use a pair of tongs to keep the pork upright, this will take around 5 minutes). As the fat renders down and the skin begins to colour, start turning up the heat.
- Turn the heat to full blast. Use tongs to ensure all edges of the rind are coming into contact with the pan for a further 3 minutes or so. The pan should now be smoking hot.
- Turn the chops face down, and immediately reduce the pan’s heat slightly. You want the meat to start caramelising quickly and evenly, so remember not to overcrowd the cooking base.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side and then 2-3 minutes on the other to get a rich, deep colour (a nice bark). If the bone prevents areas of the pork chop from making contact with the pan, use a wooden spoon to apply pressure here to ensure good, even colour.
- Turn the chops regularly, every 30 seconds or so for the remainder of the cooking time. Leave the chops to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes before carving or serving.
- Anchovies and pork are a match made in heaven, so why not give this pork chop with anchovy dressing a try? Pork chops need a good pinch of salt, so the natural saltiness of the fish brings an added depth of flavour to your meat.