crunchy baked pork chops

I don’t know what has happened to me since we were on vacation in Aruba (what feels like a hundred years ago), but I seem fixated on one food, and one food only: Meat. Yeah, I hardly know me either. How could this have happened? The former vegetarian? The person who considers meat a side dish, and nothing else? She who could live by quiche alone? This road I’m walking down scares me. How long until I start craving Bistro Burgers? Gnawing on the bones of demolished lamb chops, then vacuuming them of their marrow? I’ve always seen carnivorous cravings as a slippery slope.

fresh bread crumbs

But the truth is a little more earnest: I’ve been striving for more balance in my meals. I’m considering meals that have an element from all food groups in it; what this means is that I’m trying to pair pasta and other carbs with not just vegetables, but something with protein, in hope that it will keep us satiated longer.

breading a chop

Of course, having been a vegetarian for more than 15 years, I know very little about cooking meat. I have never made a hamburger or steak. I’ve never roasted a whole chicken. I’ve used my broiler less than ten times, ever. And I have never breaded anything. Or, I hadn’t before Monday night, with Alex’s help, and wow, was it ever better than I had expected.

breaded pork chop

I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that the Crunchy Baked Pork Chop recipe came from the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated–which my sister bestowed me with a two-year (yay!) subscription to for Hanukah–and CI can do absolutely no wrong. I’d always thought breaded food was a little dull, but the homemade breadcrumbs they suggest with shallots, garlic, parsley, thyme and parmesan are oh-my-gaah good. Starting with a super-moist bread made them even thicker and crunchier than I thought possible, and thickly coating pork chops that been swaddled in a Dijon-egg white mixture, I think I have seen the breading light. Because they’re brined first, they have none of that white meat cardboard effect I cannot and will not get past.

This isn’t exactly the quickest way to make pork chops–the frying pan or broiler are best for that–but if you’ve got a little extra time, I think you’ll be impressed. Bowled over, even. Just don’t forget to serve them with some vegetables and a salad; some days, I’m certain they are the only things between me and this guy.

purple potato macro

One year ago: Artichoke Ravioli with Tomatoes

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Serves 4

CI notes: This recipe was developed using natural pork, but enhanced pork (injected with a salt solution) will work as well. If using enhanced pork, eliminate the brining in step 1. The bread crumb mixture can be prepared through step 2 up to 3 days in advance. The breaded chops can be frozen for up to 1 week. They don’t need to be thawed before baking; simply increase the cooking time in step 5 to 35 to 40 minutes.

Table salt
4 boneless center-cut pork chops, 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Lemon wedges

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart water in medium container or gallon-sized zipper-lock bag. Submerge chops, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes. Rinse chops under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

2. Meanwhile, pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about eight 1-second pulses (you should have about 3 1/2 cups crumbs). Transfer crumbs to rimmed baking sheet and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.

3. Place 1/4 cup flour in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 6 tablespoons flour and whisk until almost smooth, with pea-sized lumps remaining.

4. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Season chops with pepper. Dredge 1 pork chop in flour; shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer breaded chop to wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 chops.

5. Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chops registers 150 degrees, 17 to 25 minutes. Let rest on rack 5 minutes before serving with lemon wedges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

164 comments on crunchy baked pork chops

  1. Joanna

    Oh gosh, those look wonderful! I use the procedure of flour->eggs->breadcrumbs for baked chicken, but never thought to apply it to pork chops. And I really like the use of egg whites and dijon instead of full eggs for the second step — healthier and probably tastier too.

    And I have to ask, where oh where did you find those lovely purple potatoes?

  2. cricket

    As another former veg now cooking some meat, I need some help in this department! When you are eating/blogging carnivorously, please continue to mention what cuts (and what sizes) you use, along with any other useful understand-your-meat sort of info. I’m in France this year, and *finally* learning to cook whole chickens without breaking into a cold sweat since my old standbys are less available here (and more expensive — down, euro, down!), but carving is another matter entirely.

  3. The homemade breadcrumbs look great! Gotta love Cook’s Illustrated. I’ve been trying to cook more balanced meals too. The last few months was filled with too much oxtail, bone marrow, pulled pork and meatballs. I’m fallen into a carnivorous cravas and trying to get out! Well, at least poke my head out every once and awhile.

  4. Kim

    They look great! If you try roast chicken, I highly recommend the Paul Bertolli’s (Chez Panisse) version – rub with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and fennel, and stick a sprig of thyme inside the cavity. Roast at 400 for an hour, breast side down. Sometimes we mix up the spices with chipotle powder instead of fennel and oregano instead of thyme. I think Amateur Gourmet also has a write-up of this recipe. Super easy, and super delicious!

  5. the Crunchy Baked Pork Chop recipe came from the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated–which my sister bestowed me with a two-year (yay!) subscription to for Hanukah

    Speaking as a Jew who will eat ham sandwiches, and cheese sandwiches, but is vaguely uncomfortable about eating ham and cheese because, you know, milk and meat = big nono, I particularly enjoyed that sentence.

  6. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm yum! I can’t wait to finish moving. This recipe got moved to the TOP of the list. And, I’m not a pork lover. It was the dijon mustard, which happens to be my new favorite condiment/ingredient/eat with a spoon late at night indulgence.

  7. Wow, those look delicious! And homemade breading too . . . I have never been a huge fan of pork chops, but anything that looks that good has to be tried. And I love the idea of using a pie plate for the breading! I have been coveting some breading trays at Williams-Sonoma, since my plate method is inadequate (you really need something with a lip for the egg step, I think). Pie plates would definitely work. Or cake pans.

  8. Sue

    I made these last night for supper too! They were delicious!! The bread crumbs were so yummy, I considered getting out a spoon and snitching a bunch of them, but fortunately, I got hold of myself!

  9. stacy

    Flood, I’m guessing “do not turn off oven” (because after toasting the breadcrumbs, you’re just going to use it again to cook the pork chops).

  10. Lindsay

    any ideas for homemade breadcrumbs sans food processor? minimal counter and cabinet space plus budget kitchen plus appetite = desperate for crunchy baked porkshops, unplugged.

  11. Have you tried Cook’s updated No-Knead bread? I think it’s even better that the original, and much easier to work with (the parchment-paper sling is a godsend). It also makes excellent breadcrumbs. :)

  12. Colleen

    These do look yummy but I’m puzzled. If you’re already dusting the chop with flour in the first step, what is the purpose of the 6 tablespoons of flour mixed in with the egg whites and dijon mustard?

  13. Stacy, thanks. That makes sense. I’m sure you’re right. Now I’ll be able to sleep tonight. I know nothing lasts forever, but I don’t think I could take it if my oven ran off.

  14. I didn’t eat red meat until a few years ago and now I am a fully fledged meat a saurus (as my husband calls me), I’m all about the meat and have progressed to a medium rare steak which is AMAZING!!!!! This looks divine and I will definitely be making it this weekend (along with beef bourgignon) YUM!

  15. Joy

    That looks awesome. When I make pork chops, sometimes they end up bordering on dry, but I’m willing to give this a try!

    I’m still waiting for someone to gift me CI. Haha.

  16. kasey

    Those look delicious! I’ll have to try this recipe since I’ve been craving pork chops.

    –I’m confused about the potato questions posted above? Are you guys asking what they are? They’re Okinawan sweet potatoes if that is what you wanted to know. I’m in Hawaii so you can find them in the supermarket. I hope that helps. :-)

  17. These look absolutely superb – my mouth is literally watering (and I’m not even a huge pork fan generally). I’ve never tried brining meat before, but have a few American friends who sing the praises of this technique for certain recipes. I must try it. I’ve not come accross enhanced pork either – think I’d prefer mine natural!
    Lindsay – if you use day-old bread that is ever-so-slightly stale, you can grate it with a regular hand-held grater for breadcrums. It takes a bit of patience and the crumbs are not so fine, but it is the only method I know other than using a processor. It grates easier if you toast the bread first though.

  18. Sarah

    I’m going to try these tonight! I only ever use kosher salt…is there a reason the recipe calls for table salt? Easier to dissolve or something?

  19. These look wonderful, and for folks who are just getting over the meat impasse, brining can change your life. It takes the chewy, carnal aspect away from pork, I think.

    A big second on the Cooks No-Knead bread! It’s amazing and I whole-heartedly agree with Leslie that the bread sling is genius. And it’s just a tiny bit more work than the original. (You can see my pictures — and get the recipe — on my site). I agree with Deb, though, everyone needs a little Cooks Illustrated in their life!

  20. The Chop’s look wonderful! Pork chops is suck a good cut and one can make so many things with them. Strangely, though, is I don’t have it as often here in the US as I do in Sweden. I haven’t thought about it before. I guess the US is more of a beef country.

  21. alex (lower-cased)

    can i nay-say just a little bit? Meat is far from the only source of protein. Ounce for ounce, some meats are less protein-rich than nuts, beans, or soy. More important, a “food group” is an artificial construction, not a natural distinction based in biology.

    Your own decision, of course. Still, I’d love to see some of the myths of the biological imperative to eat meat overturned once and for all.

  22. Ummmmm. Enough with all this cooking nonsense! Girl…Let’s go to Peter Lugers! Remember a few years back when we went there for my birthday dinner and you had a (cough cough GASP) salad? Much to the horror of everyone around us who waited 6 months to get a table in that place. It is time to redeem yourself lady. You don’t even know what meat is until you’ve tried it.

  23. I made these for Sunday dinner the day after that issue came; they were a huge hit with all the men in my house. I made the bread crumbs in the toaster oven earlier, and it only took about five minutes. I had a bit of the breading and the dip left over and used it on a chicken breast the next day, and it was just as tasty. What a great technique!

  24. That picture of the dijon-egg white coated pork chop sitting atop the breadcrumbs is making drool fall out of my mouth and onto the keyboard. Also, I figure it you’re having serious cravings, it’s your body telling you something, especially when it’s something as elemental as meat and not, like, Cheetos.

  25. i’m still more or less a current vegetarian, but i don’t like to impose it on others, so when people come over for dinner, i will cook meat most of the time! i know what you mean about craving it though — i find that any time i’ve eaten a little bit of meat, i want it more and more!

  26. Candice

    Looks delicious, I’ve yet to enter the wonderful world of brining – so I think I’ll give this recipe a try as it seems a lot more manageable to brine some pork chops rather than a whole turkey in my first attempt!

    One tasty suggestion for the breadcrumbs – try using Caraway Rye bread instead of white bread. The combination of flavours with the pork is fantastic, and it’s now the only breadcrumb I use with pork chops.

  27. Mike

    oh… my… word. It’s not that I don’t trust you implicitly, Deb, but you’ve NEVER roasted a whole chicken?!?! Even with your addiction to CI? I’m shocked.

    Do this for me. Go out and get an organic/free-range/non-factory-farmed chicken. Pop open your CI New Best Recipe and look up Roasted Chicken. (Don’t forget to brine!). It’s simple, it’s declicious, ’nuff said. You seriously won’t want to buy boneless/skinless chicken breast (or even a pre-cooked rotisserie) ever again (not that you necessarily did in the first place).

    Oh yeah, and just think… you don’t have to feel inadequate about not having fresh, homemade chicken stock on hand ever again because you have a roasted chicken carcass ready for a batch of stock right away!

  28. This is so funny, because I just made this dish this past weekend! The smell of the bread crumbs made my mouth water! I didn’t have any white bread, so I used hot dog buns and the result was very good! I had left over bread crumbs so I breaded chicken thighs last night and it was just as delicious as the pork! I love my Cook’s Illustrated subscription!!

  29. I’m a totally unabashed carnivore (although I do love me some veg as well) and my husband is, if anything, worse. The other night he told me he’d eat more salad if only I’d deep-fry it — sigh.

    This looks great — I’ve done brined and breaded chops before, and they usually make for a pretty blissful meal at our house. But I like this recipe’s use of egg whites, especially since it answers a dilemma I found myself pondering since your last post. I was thinking about how much I absolutely need to make those Rose Levy B.’s lemon bars sometime soon, but they use four large egg yolks, and I already have a freezer full of egg whites. Well, here’s the answer. A meal of pork chops and lemon bars with some veg thrown in to round things out — what’s not to love?

  30. Maybe your current need for meat is a sign that you are anemic-go with it. I love meat and who doesn’t need some pork products now and then. I will vote for your blog cause you are very entertaining

  31. There are other food groups besides pasta? This doesn’t make any sense. Balance? If I can hold spaghetti on my nose, I’d call myself pretty darn balanced…

    Welcome to the world of meat. Whole chickens, by the way, are incredibly easy, and the naturally-raised ones are ridiculously yummy. This month’s Bon Appetit has a great prep school column on butterflying a whole chicken that easily reduces cooking time. Give it a shot! And the stock is a big bonus.

  32. Sara

    These look delicious.

    And just thought I’d throw out there that the last time this former veg could think of nothing but meat, I was pregnant… ;)

  33. Vu-Do Swing

    I made this just an hour ago for dinner and every speck of it is gone! My husband loves pork chops, but I have never been a fan… until now. Who knew they could be so good? I ended up using parsley and thyme out of a jar, but it seemed to be just fine. It probably helped that I used chops from our local butcher – worth the extra trip for sure. Thanks for pushing me into pork, Deb.

  34. elizabeth

    For Colleen, #14, using flour with the egg and mustard mixture makes it very thick, almost like a paste. I’m sure this contributes to what is the amazing deliciousness of the pork (I made this recipe on Christmas Eve).

    Cook’s also mentions a variation in which you wrap the chop in a slice prosciutto before breading (after mustard mix) and then top with a slice of asiago. **Heaven.**

  35. elysebeth tailer

    LOVE the black po-tah-toes, sweetie.
    have you heared anything about chinese silkie chickens?
    they’re BLACK! the skin, the meat the bones–
    everything but the feathers, hon.
    any-hoo, apparently they have TONS of antioxidants
    and they look cool
    and i was wondering if they were available in new york (i sure can’t find them here in south jersey!) and if you knew how they tasted.
    just wanted an opinion before i mail-ordered some.
    cancer runs rampant in my family, so i am packing myself FULL of antioxidants!

  36. Israel Moses

    you’re using a channuckah present to prepare pork?
    you rebel heathen, you.
    wish i was daring enough to eat such traif.
    i’d be having raw kittens for breakfast!

  37. deb

    Flood, Stacy, AJ — Whoops. My otherwise-perfect recipe typist (Alex) slipped; we fixed it.

    NuJoi — I quartered them, tossed them with olive oil and sea salt and roasted them until they were brown and crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside–just the way I like them.

    Leslie — I hope to try it this weekend. It looks like fun, and its been way too long since I’ve made bread. (It really just gets in the way of my meatfest, heh.)

    Sarah — I think that it must be because table salt would dissolve better.

  38. These look yummy. So yummy that I’m making these tonight, with the hopes that my children will finally eat pork chops! I never thought about the brine, so thank you for suggesting this method. The biggest gripe from my family about pork (in any manner) is how dry it typically turns out.

  39. Janna

    If my husband could have anything in the world as his last supper he might choose pork chops. Not grilled ones. Not fried. He would pick a crispy baked variety boasting with flavorful yumminess. He LOVES “shake and bake” and although I humor him from time to time with that crazily salty concoction, this was a much better (and tastier) alternative. I called my hubby on the way home from work and asked him if he would like pork chops or risotto for dinner and he (literally) yelled with excitement “Pork chops!”. I knew that would be his answer. They DID NOT disappoint and my pork chop loving hubby was in heaven. They were so flavorful and so crispy. I loved the shallots and garlic in the bread crumbs…mmmmMMmmmmm! I even caught him picking at the crust of the leftover porkchops after dinner. Thanks for posting this. I get enough magazines…but Cook’s Illustrated might be showing up on my doorstep soon.

  40. Karen

    Made these pork chops last night. They were wonderful! However, Thyme is not a flavor that I like very much and will leave it out next time, but except for that these were great! Family loved them too…felt like a special supper and I will never use the store bought bread crumbs again.

  41. Those crunchy baked pork chops look amazing.

    I think it is important to get balance in your meals. I understand the whole vegetarian thing, I really do. But still, I think you can be much healthier, much more easily, but balancing your diet. Sort of like diversifying your investment portfolio. You are diversifying your food.

    Well, it makes sense to me anyway. Love your blog – you have my vote for the bloggies.

  42. kristen

    Your blog is awesome. I’m making this tonight, and I hope I don’t screw it up. My mouth is watering just looking at the picture! I’m going to try to use a mixture of french bread crumbs and sweet hawaiian bread because I forgot to buy white bread and I hope this doesn’t make the crust taste weird.

    My fave whole chicken recipe is from and is surprisingly easy and different from all the typical thyme/lemon/garlic/butter type recipes. Of course, those are delicious too, but after doing Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Roast Chicken which took me about 90 minutes to prep (I’m weird about washing my hands often when dealing with raw chicken)…this one only uses dry spices. I add butter in tiny pats on top, and I roast at 500 degrees for 10 minutes, and I turn the heat down by 50 degree increments every 10-15 minutes until the top is evenly browned…then I reduce the heat to 275 until my thermometer tells me the chicken’s done. SCRUMPTIOUS…If you’ve never done a roasted chicken, this is a simple, easy way to start!

    Sorry, I don’t know how to link it but there’s always cut and paste :)

  43. cheryl

    These pork chops actually taste even better than I thought they would. I served them with a giant batch of the green beans with shallot and tomato from this site. It’s a totally great meal. Too bad I don’t have a dessert from this site tonight.

  44. Dwilah

    I hope I’m not the first fan to systematically create and make notes on a lot of your recipes–because if I’m the first, it might be weird.

    In any case, I made these tonight, and I find them lovely.

  45. Erin

    Dwilah–not just you! Whenever I make a Smitten Kitchen recipe, I go back and comment on the results. I love reading that someone else has made a recipe successfully–or unsuccessfully–and whether they made any changes, etc. Plus, it’s gotta be a good feeling for Deb! :) Anyway–just wanted to say–it’s not just you!

  46. Sunandfish

    Wonderful recipe. I’ve made this before and my family just loves it. Meat isn’t really a bad thing if you eat the proper portions and cook it properly. Hubby laughs at me when I cut the fat off. Be we really want the meat, not the fat. It still stays moist and yummy.

    I always bake my pork chops/loins. Slightly crunchy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside.

    Try this with a bit of slices almonds on top. Once baked, you’ll be in Hog Heaven.

  47. Jon

    Just made this for my girlfriend tonight. We made one change, we used whole wheat flower and 12 grain bread (due to allergies she has). Delicious. I’m sure even better with white (i’ll have to do it for myself one of these days). Nice work, first time I have cooked one of your ideas after over a year of watching you add.

  48. Jessica

    Any suggestions for making this recipe without the egg whites? I’m allergic to eggs but would love to make these delicious looking chops!

  49. Lizz

    thank you thank you! I just saw the America’s Test Kitchen episode for these chops & forgot to save it to the DVR!!! They look delicious & I couldn’t get the recipe from their website without a credit card (dangerous fellows, those cards). Maybe I’ll just have to subscribe to CI, but I hate killing trees for magazines.

  50. Gracie B

    I made this last night for my pork loving boyfriend. It was great. I need to get a meat thermometer, cause I over cooked them a bit, but they were still delish

  51. Loved these – -made a couple of modifications to “short cut” the process after a long week and selecting these for a Friday night dinner. Loved them and thanks a ton for sharing!

  52. Wow – these were fantastic! I had never breaded anything before either, and it was surprisingly easy and so so yummy! I used whole wheat bread and didn’t have a rack to cook it on – and it still came out crunchy and delicious. I ate them with your mustard roasted potatoes and it was a killer combo. Definitely gonna be two new standbys. Thanks for the recipes!

  53. I just made these and ate them about an hour ago and they were amazing! The breading stayed deliciously crispy, even the pieces that fell off. The meat melted in our mouths. So, so good. Thanks for the recipe.

  54. Brittany

    Okay, yes, They DO look as good as the picture! I am a VERY picky eater but these turned out absolutely amazing.. allow for an hour or 2 of prep time!

  55. corinna

    Great recipe. Our new one from now on. The brine really made a difference. We buy chops all the time from Costco and have had miserable results with numerous attempts. I used 1/3 milk instead of eggs. Also added 1/2 tsp to milk and mustard mixture to add a bit more flavor. Husband said the garlic was too strong in the breadcrumb mixture so next time i’ll use 2 cloves and mince them better.

  56. Heidi

    This was amazing! I don’t have a food processor so I just toasted some already homemade plain breadcrumbs with everything, and instead of tossing with oil I coated with cooking spray. No parsley, either. Just sage, rosemary and thyme (la la, la la, lal la la la laaaa NOM).

  57. Corinne

    I just wanted to say I have tried this recipe many times since it was Deb first posted it and it is AMAZING. Everyone loves it and it’s been the center of not one but two dinner parties- because it’s actually pretty simple once you have the steps down. I also currently have a house-guest who doesn’t eat pork, so I did the whole thing with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. It was just as awesome! You might not necessarily need the marinade for chicken I suppose, but I did it anyway and the chicken was to-die-for tender.

    So, if you aren’t a pork eater, don’t fear this recipe! I would pretty much trust this breading on anything…

  58. jen

    wow, these were amazing! those breadcrumbs are simply fantastic all by themselves, and i’ve decided that this breading would work w/a variety of meats, and can’t wait to try out the theory. i forwarded the link to pretty much everyone; just couldn’t wait to share this glorious find! thanks so much!

  59. jen

    as i browsed the comments i was pleasantly surprised to see that others have tried this w/chicken, w/great results, i knew it! my brother does not eat pork, but of course i forwarded this to his wife w/the hopes they would try it on chicken! i, too used whole wheat bread, and forgot to spray my cooking rack, but no worries! i loved this as is, but might just try the addition of horseradish next time! thanks to you all for the awesome input!

  60. amy

    These were fabulous! We love pork here & my husband deemed them the best pork chops he’s ever had. He who scarfs his food down, ate slowly (read: normal speed:) to make them to last forever. This is truly high praise! The crust was the most amazing-looking & tasting I’ve ever made. It wasn’t as time-consuming as I thought (see how long I’ve taken to try it?!). I used panko, whole-grain dijon & dried spices since they’re what I had and used the yolk to make life easier for me. I forgot to grease the rack but was not a big deal. Hubs also requested that I try with chicken & also glad to hear others had good results. Last but not least, you’ve made me a believer in taking the time to brine. Thank you Deb!!!

  61. Rachel G

    I really liked the breading on this, but not so much the pork chop. It is not my favorite meat, and even with the brining I found it on the tough side. I had to cook them for a looooong time to get to the correct temp. The chops I used were on the thick side, so maybe that made the difference. I think definitely I would try this coating on chicken breasts, loved the dijon flavor.

  62. leu2500

    I couldn’t believe that Ina’s lemon bars were such a dud, so I remade with the correct amount of lemon juice. What. A. Difference. A powerful jolt of lemon. I still believe that there is too much flour (I used 1 C sifted the 2nd time), so I’m going to up the egg and severely reduce the flour a la Lee Bailey’s. I’m also going to use powdered sugar in the crust, and vanilla & almond extract a la Patricia Well’s lemon lovers tart. Meanwhile, my friends are happy to eat the (failed) experiments.

  63. Robin

    This was a fantastic recipe! Great taste, great texture, my chops stayed moist and tender, this will be my new “go to” recipe for pork chops. Thank you.

  64. Great recipe. I don’t really like pork chops, but they were made for a friend who is a pork chop fiend. He gave the thumbs up and wouldn’t change anything about the recipe.

    I did use Panko (still toasted and followed the instructions provided) since I don’t have a working food processor presently.

    Very crunchy, very flavorful crust. I’m starting a healthier lifestyle, so I’ll remember this recipe with whole wheat panko. Thanks!

  65. Jil

    i made this tonight for dinner and they ROCKED!! another great recipe from your wonderful site, which has become a part of my daily life. thanks!!!

  66. We made this a few months back and really enjoyed it, and I just visited it again to remind myself how to brine! A few nights ago I seared some chops and served them with a bacon, maple, and black pepper reduction, and the sauce was to die for but the chops were dry as a bone! I redid it with the brine proportion and method listed here, except I subbed apple cider for the water, and it was amazing! Thanks for the original recipe and for the brining method.

  67. julia

    have you ever thought of adding a “healthy foods” section..this and your chicken meatballs could be there..the escarole soup is pretty healthy..i love your site but so many recipies are very indulgent but i know you must have more healthy ones in here somewhere…

    1. deb

      I haven’t. Healthy means different things to different people. For some, it’s low fat, others, low-carb or gluten free. And for a lot of people, it’s the same food in smaller portions. So I avoid the “healthy” tag and let people find recipes that suit them.

  68. I’ve always been skeptical about breaded baked meats. I adore fried foods and nothing I’ve made in the past has ever been crispy or moist enough.

    This, though, is amazing!! The brining keeps the meat moist (though next time I’ll add some acid, vinegar and/or mustard to the brine.) And pre-toasting the bread crumbs makes them extra crunchy.

    I used thin-cut boneless pork chops and they came out perfect at 17 minutes. Next time I won’t be so shy with the salt in the breadcrumbs.

  69. John

    Oh my, the toasted crumbs are SOOO good! I actually ended up using Panko as I had forgotten until the crumbs were baked that I had a loaf of bread. Besides the fresh thyme, I had fresh sage available to I added about a teaspoon of minced sage to the recipe. I used a good olive oil with the crumbs but later thought that butter would also have been good (to paraphrase Julia Child, everything is better with butter!) I’ll have pork chops tonight but this would also be great recipe for oven baked chicken!

  70. John

    In response to Rosalee (101), the Panko worked well and would be a definite time saver, not to mention having to mess up a food processor or other appliance to make the crumbs. Just skip the section about making the crumbs, picking up at the point where you combine Panko crumbs with the garlic, shallots, pepper and oil.

  71. KS

    Deb, I’m addicted to your “surprise me” button! And I love it when the recipe that pops up is just what I need. I bought chops with the intention of making sweet and sour pork, and I am totally changing my mind and doing this instead. I second everyone who has been drooling over the photos!

  72. Rhonda

    I made this last night and the breading was wonderfully crunchy, though I think I got the egg wash too thick as the breading separated from the meat when cutting. A couple of weeks ago I made chicken fried steak, like my grandmother always made it, in my once a year frying-thing (I really hate frying stuff, grew up on it but really there is NO need to fry everything) and my son loved it and keeps asking for it. Though his father said he needed to eat some broccoli to wash that ‘crap’ out of his system and immediately knew he’d said the wrong thing and is still groveling. And now I know what to do with the egg yolks. Go Sally Lunn.

  73. Morgan

    Hey Deb, will you marry me? Nothing against my husband, and no offence to yours. But seriously, these were the best pork chops I’ve ever had. And my husband agrees. :)

  74. Liz

    Hi Deb, Love your website, my daughter got me in to it. I came from a vegetarian household and could take or leave meat until I got pregnant with my first. He is almost 20 now and I am still quite carnivorous. Something snapped when I was pregnant.

    BTW I like to brine pork chops.

  75. jade bale

    While I looooved the flavors of the breadcrumb mixture, I feel disappointed with the chops. I followed the recipe step by step, and my pork took quite a long time to cook, and seemed a bit tough. BUT, I can’t wait to try it w/chicken breast! I will say, though, that those picture’s made me drool, too!

  76. Kevin In Albuquerque

    OMG !!!!!! I made this for dinner and everybody absolutely loved it, this is a great recipe that i recommend to my family and friends, it’s delicious with pork and chicken. Mmmmmmmmm

  77. Barbara

    I made these tonight and all four of our children liked it. When we try a new recipe, the children help me to decide if it goes into my “recipe box” to make again. It was a yes from all four of them! (That is rare!)

  78. Steph

    I often get the craving for shake-and-bake-esque chicken and pork, and honestly it never lives up to what I am hoping it will taste like. And then I found this. Made it. And then emailed everyone I know that cooks. thank you for an amazing late night wednesday dinner.

  79. vickie

    We love these chops! We normally fry, but the stovetop was busy so we used your recipe. So tasty and moist and crunchy. Best baked chops ever! I don’t see a need to fry pork chops any more!!!! Thanks so much! And please, I’ve bookmarked this page, so don’t change it!

  80. EllenR

    Made these last night and they were DELICIOUS – I couldn’t believe how they actually stayed crunchy!! Paired them with roasted potatoes and your roasted carrots with oliv oil/cumin…and of course wine;)

  81. Beth Lynch

    This was the best breading I’ve ever made (and my family agreed). I was hesitant to make pork chops as I always find them a tad tough (I’d rather just make pork tenderloin). I thought the brine would help, but honestly, we still found them to be too chewy. I think I will try again with chicken.

  82. Jenny

    Profoundly delicious meal. It was pretty time-consuming though, and I’m wondering if anyone made anything ahead of time. If the bread crumbs were made the day before, do you think they would keep?

    1. deb

      Hi Jenny — Glad you liked it. I think the breadcrumbs would definitely keep. Let them cool completely in the open air. If they seem soggy the next day, they can always be briefly re-crisped.

  83. Awesome Man!

    Had this stuff it tasted like heaven i cant belive i found this recipe it was totally delish but could i put some other stuff in it like panko or different seasonings!!! thanks for the recipe i am so amazed i will now eat it for the rest of my life it is that good!

  84. Sharon

    Had some chops in the freezer and I think this recipe was a perfect use for it! I used whole wheat bread and forgot the cheese and herbs (Darn Pregger Brain, >_< it still turned out great! Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  85. Carol

    I have made the Cooks Illustrated recipe many times but lost my notes on it so I searched again and found yours. This is definitely an improvement – thank you!

  86. Tara

    I love the homemade breadcrumbs, usually I just pulse up some bread, but baking them with the garlic and shallots took them to a whole new level. I used pork cutlets instead of chops b/c they were on sale and only had to cook them for about 10 minutes. I did skip the brining step b/c it was getting late for dinner, but next time I will def plan ahead to try the brining.

  87. InspectorJon

    I am on vacation and my CI mags are at home. I found your excellent site searching for the recipe. I use it for chicken breasts. The reason for the table salt is to get the right salinity. CI often recommends Kosher salt for seasoning but it is flaky and lighter than granulated table salt. Different brands of Kosher salt are not uniform. There is less salt in equal measures of kosher salt compared to table salt. Kosher salt actually dissolves easier. Specifying table salt produces a uniform, predictable outcome.

  88. Haley

    Made these 2 weeks ago for my mom’s bday. They were so so so good – my dad has requested them for his birthday dinner tonight. Thanks so much for another fantastic recipe!

  89. Norma J Simpson

    I’ve never had Pork chops taste so good! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I’ll never go back to the way I’ve made them before…

  90. Ash

    After making the amazing pork chops with this recipe, I had a lot of the breading mix left over. I didn’t want to throw it out, so I decided to try something. I repeated the same technique with dill pickle slices and made “oven-fried” pickles! Turned out amazingly!

  91. Sharon

    Have you ever prepared these ahead of time (say a few hours) up to the point of putting them in the oven and refrigerated them until time to bake them?

  92. Ginger

    These were delicious! I forgot to buy a shallot and skipped the thyme and parsley but they were delectable anyhow. I will make these again for sure!

  93. Kate

    These were the best pork chops that I’ve ever eaten in my life. I had to skip the first flour step because I was low on flour and I used shop bought bread crumbs but that didn’t seem to matter. I can’t wait to make the full recipe with all the ingredients so I can eat an even better pork chop.

  94. Darius

    Are all the recipes on your website in your book and vice versa?
    About to tuck into the pork chops…. made ’em tonight…. God’s food…!

  95. Beth

    Thoughts on when to freeze? I would love to make ahead. Freeze breaded but uncooked? Freeze fully cooked? Or poor idea all around and freeze pork seperate and defrost and go from there?

    1. deb

      Beth — I haven’t experimented with freezing these. I know store-bought breaded stuff freezes well, but lord knows what those crumbs are anchored on with. Since it’s not clear one way or another how to approach, I might just cook them almost in full, maybe a few minutes on the rare side and freeze them. Then they’re less likely to taste overcooked once reheated.

  96. Mariah

    Made these for my 2 younger children and husband. All picky eaters and my very first time with this recipe and ever making chops and nailed it! The first time that every person in my family of 4 all ate the same thing and LOVED it! Bragged about it even! And ask for it now! Thanx so much!

  97. Jennifer

    @Beth, I make these frequently, and, because they’re so messy to make, I always make extra and freeze them uncooked. To freeze, I open freeze them on the tray or plate with the bread crumbs. Then, I layer them in a ziplock bag with wax paper and pour in the extra crumbs at the end. To bake from frozen, I bake them at 425 for 40-45 minutes. It has worked well so far.

  98. Sonya

    Just wanted to vouch that this recipe is delicious! I made them earlier this year, and then today I tried the variation with Prosciutto and Asiago cheese, and both were awesome (I have the recipes from Cooking for Two 2009). I love Cook’s Illustrated! And hey meat is good for you, it’s all about balance with veggies and grains…and dessert ;)

  99. Alex

    I made this tonight with a few alterations. First, I used Panko instead of making my own breadcrumbs. I also used 5 bone in chops instead of 4 de-boned. I ran into a similar problem to others in that some (not all) of my chops came out tougher than I’d like, even after brining for 4+ hours. I’m wondering if doing so overnight would have been a benefit. I also wonder if cooking to a lower temp (140?) and letting sit would have been a better move.

    I really loved the breading, though even 2 cups of Panko was too much for five chops, and I sort of fudged the rest of the measurements of parsley, garlic, thyme, etc… just to my liking. The dijon adds a lot and was lovely! The whole recipe reminds me of an Ina Garten recipe but that calls for chicken, not pork. The only major difference is the usage of wine instead of egg yolks with the dijon, and not flavoring the breadcrumbs as much (Here it is:

    Bottom line: I’d really love to try this with chicken, even chicken wings! I think this could make a really fun appetizer – though I might just be in a Superbowl party planning mood :).

    As for the pork, I may just stick with my standby of brining + flash fry in a cast iron skillet for week day dinners. Somehow that alone gives us a really amazing, moist chop that is super simple to put together.

  100. KatieK

    I have CI Meat Cookbook, which also has the recipe in it. Only change between the two I could see was a slight difference in the brine–CI also said to brine up to an hour which is what I ended up doing.
    My crumbs got too dark when I toasted them–so I would reduce that cooking time to about 12 minutes. My chops needed 15 minutes to bake, not the 17.
    However, they were a HUGE hit with my husband and sons. It seemed a bit complicated at first but now that I have the sequence down, I think the next time will be easier. I agree with those who have said this would be good with chicken–thighs or wings. Great way to enliven low-fat meats.

  101. E

    These are fantastic. I made this following the recipe exactly and my son helped with most of the steps. All of my kids (all young and occasionally quite picky) ate them up! The adults thought they were terrific too. That’s a win! Probably the best way we have ever prepared pork chops.

  102. Jennifer

    Tried this tonight–I was skeptical about the three-step coating, but it is great–it stays crunchy though it’s nice and thick.

  103. CarolJ

    I used gluten-free “panko” (homemade from brown rice cereal) and baked the chops to 140 degrees. Excellent. Will make again.

  104. Andrea S

    I constantly find myself propped up against a grocery isle cruising your site on my phone trying to find something delicious for dinner. Yesterday was no exception. My husband is a huge fan of “shake n bake” style recipes especially when they include Parmesan. I had already worked a long day and I’m nearly 8 mos pregnant (If you’re wondering, my husband has been taking care of dinner lately so I wanted to return the favor.) So I saw this recipe and figured I would try my hand at shortening this, I already knew I could make it for under $10.
    To start with I wasn’t sure if the chops I bought were salted or not so I did skip the brine. (I have brined other recipes including tofu and it’s completely worth doing but for a crusted meat I wasn’t too worried about it drying out.) Then as for the bread crumbs I cheated and used Panko (with all the fish we eat its a staple ready to go in the cupboard.) I then wondered if I could literally shake n bake the ingredients and it worked perfectly. I added the Panko, shallots, garlic, parsley and thyme in a bag and squished it together to let the juices penetrate then dumped into a pie plate. My husband doesn’t think much of mustard so there was no Dijon in the fridge but I used Beaver Deli Mustard I had on hand and mixed it with mayo and used that as my paste. Following the rest of the directions at 425 the Panko browned quickly so after about 10 minutes brought it down to 400 and baked until they hit 150 which I believe was about 30 minutes. Served with rice pilaf and after a sprinkle of salt it was amazing and not dry at all. This does create a lot of wonderful breading but if you’re not big on breading coat the chops and then only dip the top into the bread crumb mixture. The paste helps keep the moisture and infuse flavor. We do something similar with halibut fillets but for the pork I would keep the whole thing coated in breading. Thank you again for a wonderful dish!

  105. vivian

    These were a hit with my son (I’m vegetarian). He is lactose intolerant, so I substituted nutritional yeast for the Parmesan, which seemed to work well. The breading method is interesting, and one I will try again – eggplant done this way or cauliflower steaks, might be really good. Thanks for a great recipe!

  106. Sofia

    Great recipe! Easy to follow, unfussy, and great results! I used sourdough bread for the crumbs; added an extra garlic clove abd finely minced yellow onion since I had no shallots; used corn starch instead of flour; used a combo of fresh and dried thyme; and used pecorino romano instead of parmesan. Everyone loved them, and I loved the easy cleanup since I just baked them on parchment paper. I highly recommend these and am adding this recipe to my rotation. I plan on changing the meat (pork, chicken, or turkey), and the spices each time. Thabks CI and brava, Deb!

  107. Diane

    Has anyone tried to do this with pork tenderloin? I made these a couple of times and we loved them. But, I am wondering if still provide the illusion of a meat centered meal but with crunchy medallions made in this manner.

  108. Isabel

    Made these last night, and they were absolutely delicious! Served them with my go-to roasted vegetables and rice. Which felt really dry and sad. Could you suggest something saucy and relatively easy to make? Thanks so much, you are the source of our happiest meals.

  109. Rose

    These were absolutely wonderful, made exactly as written. She’s right about it not being the absolute fastest pork chop recipe out there, but it is still a dinner I can throw out in around an hour. I turned the oven up directly after taking the crumbs out, in order to make sure the oven was ready by the time they’d cooled. Also important is making really sure the meat is dry before trying to get the pretty thick eggwhite/dijon mix to stick. I had to spread mine with a knife, no dripping possible. It all worked great, better than most breading experiences I’ve had, and the pork was amazing.

  110. Gina J

    Here’s how this went down: I pulled out frozen pork loin chops. Head for Deb’s blog for a delicious way to cook them. Follow the directions. Viola! Delicious chops—> happy hubby. Almost 14 years after it was published. Bam! And that is why you’ve become my first source for delectable food. For the record, I enjoy your expressive narrative just as much as the end result. Thanks for sharing your sheer joy and passion with us all out here! The love comes through on the plate. Thank you, Deb

  111. Liz

    Good recipe, especially for a do-ahead as I think crumbed food seem to fare better when allowed to set for a few hours. Pork is moist and flavorful. I always brine pork chops and usually a tablespoon of dark brown sugar. I have made this a few times and this is what I have learned: Panko works, and is almost but not quite as good as the homemade crumbs. I used about a cup and a half and stirred the oil into the Panko but did not toast. I’ve also used the whole egg instead of whites- not as good. Save the yolks and have creme brulee for dessert. :-D
    I think this recipes calls for a creamy side – either cole slaw ( or SK’s broccoli slaw -yum!) , creamed spinach or whipped potatoes, something like that.

  112. Jenevieve

    I made these a couple times when Deb 1st posted this, but we almost never make chops so I forgot about them. This month we came into possession of an entire pig’s worth of fabulous heirloom organic pork (238lb!) so I knew I needed to pull out some good recipes. I did this with some enormous (1” thick, salad plate sized) chops and wish I’d doubled the coating ingredients since it was a bit sparse. Otherwise they cooked up beautifully and we ate them with salad, green beans, and smashed potatoes!

  113. Deb Otto

    I made this last night with some beautiful pork chops I got at the farmers market. It was amazing! I am not much of a fan of plain pork (I’m all over the cured stuff, though!) but I couldn’t resist these beauties at the market. I needed the perfect recipe for them, and I found it. My chops were huge, and I live alone, so I prepared both, froze one for later, and baked the other. I could only eat half, so I have another meal in the fridge.