If you’re looking for PERFECTLY COOKED pork chops, then this cast iron skillet recipe is for you. Bone-in chops are pan seared until caramelized on the outside and juicy in the center. A five minute pan sauce takes them over the top. This is a recipe that anybody can master.

A cast iron pork chop on a plate, topped with shallot caper sauce, with a salad alongside.

Cast iron skillet pork chops

I’m a minimalist when it comes to kitchen equipment, but I couldn’t live without my cast iron skillet. I use it for everything from warm dips, to chili bakes, to cornbread, to fruit cobblers. But I especially love it for cooking meat. The consistent, hot heat of cast iron perfectly caramelizes pork chops, creating incredible depth of flavor. (But don’t worry, if you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can use any heavy duty pan—see the Tips below!) 

What kind of pork chops are best?

Shop for bone-in rib chops that are 1-to 1 1/2-inches thick. Cooking a thicker cut on the bone ensures that the pork chops stays moist during cooking (thin cuts tend to dry out easily). You can make this recipe using boneless pork chops if you prefer, but they will cook faster, so adjust the timing as needed. 

Two bone in pork chops on a plate, sprinkled with fresh thyme.

It’s worth seeking out pasture-raised pork chops if they’re available, as they have an incomparable flavor compared to supermarket chops and also have more marbling, making them more tender.

How to cook cast iron pork chops:

  • Season two bone-in pork chops with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Let them come to room temperature. Heat ghee or vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (I love the flavor of ghee, but you can use oil if you don’t have it).
  • Arrange two seasoned bone-in pork chops in the pan. Cook the chops until they are browned on both sides, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 145˚F (63˚C). Transfer the chops to a plate and tent them lightly with foil. Let them rest while you make a quick and easy pan sauce.
Process shot showing two pork chops cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Caper shallot pan sauce:

  • In the same skillet, sauté minced shallots and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add capers and white wine. Simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Swirl in a tablespoon of butter, along with fresh parsley. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops, and serve!
Process shot showing shallot caper sauce cooking in a cast iron skillet.

FAQ

How do you cook pork chops without drying them out?

The best way to ensure your pork chops are perfectly cooked and juicy is to cook them to the right temperature. Take their internal temperature with an instant-read meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat—it should read 140-145˚F (60-63˚C). You can also cut into the meat to make sure it’s cooked through—it should look sightly rosy but not red in the center. 

How long does it take to cook 1 inch pork chops?

It will take about 10-12 minutes (give or take) to cook 1 inch pork chops in a cast iron skillet on the stove.

What should I serve with pork chops?

These pork chops are delicious with creamy potato puree, polenta and/or herbed oven fries. A simple green salad rounds out the meal.

Pan seared pork chops in a cast iron skillet, topped with a caper sauce.

Tips for cooking pan seared pork chops:

  • You’ll need a 10- to 12-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe. If you don’t have one, you can use a stainless steel skillet (it’s best to use a heavy pan that will maintain even heat–avoid aluminum pans or lightweight non-stick pans). 
  • An instant read meat thermometer is one of my must-have kitchen tools and will ensure that your chops are perfectly cooked. This Thermapen is my favorite—it takes the temperature instantly and is incredibly accurate.
  • You can make this recipe using boneless pork chops if you prefer, but they will cook faster, so adjust the timing as needed (check them early!).
  • To clean your cast iron skillet, wash it (never soak it), then dry it immediately. It’s okay to use a bit of soap. Rub the surface of the skillet with neutral vegetable oil, then place the pan over medium heat and let it warm up (this will allow the oil to absorb into the pan, creating a non-stick surface). Remove the pan from the heat, wipe out any excess oil, then let it cool before storing.
  • Looking to grill your pork chops? Don’t miss this recipe for Perfect Grilled Pork Chops!
Close up of a pan seared pork chop on a plate, topped with shallot caper sauce.

Side dishes to pair with the pork chops:

Other cast iron skillet recipes to try:

Get the recipe!

Pan Seared Cast Iron Pork Chops with Shallot Caper Sauce

These cast iron skillet pork chops are so simple but SO DELICIOUS. They’re topped with an intensely flavorful pan sauce made with shallots, garlic, capers, white wine and parsley. It’s a restaurant-worthy meal that comes together in just 30 minutes. I love to serve the chops with a creamy potato puree, polenta or herbed oven fries (see more side dish ideas above!). It’s worth seeking out pasture-raised pork chops if they're available, as they have an incomparable flavor compared to supermarket chops. This recipe will also work with 4 smallish chops (just be sure they’re still 1 to 1 1/2” thick).
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cast iron pork chops, cast iron skillet pork chops, pan seared pork chops
Servings: 2 people

Equipment

  • Cast iron skillet

Ingredients

Pork chops

  • 2 (1- to 1 1/2” thick) bone-in pork chops
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil

Shallot caper pan sauce

  • 1/3 cup minced shallots (about 1 large shallot)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup drained capers
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

Pan sear the pork chops

  • Pat the pork chops dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme on both sides. Let sit at room temperature for least 15 minutes or for up to an hour.
  • Heat the ghee or olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, arrange the pork chops in a single layer. Sear the pork chops until they’re golden brown on the bottom, about 5-7 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Keep cooking, flipping and turning the chops as needed, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 140˚F (60˚C)—the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chops. Transfer the chops to a plate and tent lightly with foil to keep warm (the temperature will climb to 145˚F as it rests).

Make the shallot caper pan sauce

  • Pour off most of the fat in the skillet. Put the skillet over medium heat and add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the capers and cook 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine and simmer until reduced by half (there won’t be much liquid left). Remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter and parsley. If any juices have accumulated under the pork, pour them into the sauce as well. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops and serve.

Notes

Tips:
  • You’ll need a 10- to 12-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe. If you don’t have one, you can use a stainless steel skillet (it’s best to use a heavy pan that will maintain even heat–avoid aluminum pans or lightweight non-stick pans). 
  • An instant read meat thermometer is one of my must-have kitchen tools and will ensure that your chops are perfectly cooked. This Thermapen is my favorite—it takes the temperature instantly and is incredibly accurate.
  • You can make this recipe using boneless pork chops if you prefer, but they will cook faster, so adjust the timing as needed (check them early!).
  • To clean your cast iron skillet, wash it (never soak it), then dry it immediately. It’s okay to use a bit of soap. Rub the surface of the skillet with neutral vegetable oil, then place the pan over medium heat and let it warm up (this will allow the oil to absorb into the pan, creating a non-stick surface). Remove the pan from the heat, wipe out any excess oil, then let it cool before storing.
  • Looking to grill your pork chops? Don’t miss this recipe for Perfect Grilled Pork Chops!

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