Here's What You Can Do To Keep Pork Chops From Drying Out

When pork chops are cooked to juicy perfection, they're hard to beat. When pork chops come out of the oven dry and leathery, however, you might as well toss them to the dog. So let's talk about what causes pork chops to dry out, and how you can make sure it never happens again.

The biggest reason, and simplest answer, to why pork chops dry out is because they are overcooked. We get it. The thought of consuming raw or undercooked pork is scary, but cooking every last drop of juice out of a gorgeous, succulent pork chop may be scarier. Pork chops only need to be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe for consumption. If you're using a reliable meat thermometer, you can even take pork chops out of the oven a couple of minutes early, and let them reach optimal temperature outside of that blazing, parching heat (via Fearless Fresh). But, a thermometer isn't your only ammo against dried-out pork chops. There are several prep steps you can take to ensure lip-smacking chops.

How to make sure your pork chops are juicy

Pork chops are already lean meat, so don't be afraid to choose chops that have a bit of fat on them. Fat helps with moisture, and you can always cut off the excess fat after cooking. Choosing thicker pork chops with bones that will help conduct the heat away from the meat will also help to keep the meat juicier, according to HuffPost.

Don't be shy with your seasonings when it comes to pork, either. Salt is pork's friend and will help tenderize the meat before and during your cook. Letting the meat come to room temperature before you drop it in a hot pan for a quick sear will help retain moisture and help it cook evenly after it's popped into the oven to finish. If you're still stressing about your pork chops drying out, toss a splash of chicken stock over the chops before they take their trip into the oven, and give them a 10-minute rest when they emerge.