When you're in the mood for boneless center cut pork chops, the last thing you want to hassle with is hours of prep work and baking time just to dig your teeth into this juicy cut of meat. The good news? If you keep the cooking method simple, you'll have a pork chop dinner on the table in no time.
Boneless Center Cut Pork Chops
Did you know that pork chops are the most popular cut of pork? According to the National Pork Board, this flavorful and juicy cut of pork tastes good as a thin-cut and thick-cut chop. Boneless center cut pork chops also require minimal seasoning and they cook up quickly on the grill, sautéed and in the oven.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service says pork is safe to eat once it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, as measured by a food thermometer. Cooking meats to a minimum recommended internal temperature helps kill harmful bacteria and reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you plan on marinating your boneless center cut pork chops, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service says you can keep marinated pork in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to five days. Before baking, discard any leftover marinade or boil it before using it.
Read more: The Best Ways to Bake Thin Pork Chops
Baking Center Cut Pork Chops
Baking boneless center-cut pork chops is simple when you use the oven method. It's important to note that cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the chop. For thicker pork chops you may need to add five minutes to the total cooking time. When in doubt, use the internal temperature to tell you when the pork is safe to serve.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature while the oven preheats.
- Brush both sides of the pork with a combination of olive oil and seasonings such as sage, rosemary, black pepper or steak seasoning. You can skip this step if you're baking marinated pork chops.
- Place the pork chops in an oven-safe baking dish and cover with foil.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Check the pork at the halfway point.
- When the timer goes off, remove from the oven and let the pork chops rest for three minutes before you check the temperature with a food thermometer. They are ready to serve when the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 145 F.
Read more: Is Pork Better Than Beef?
Pork Chop Dinner
Once you perfect the baking method for boneless center cut pork chops, it's time to complete the picture with a delicious pork chop dinner. There are several sides you can serve with pork chops that not only complement the taste but also balance out the meal.
Since pork chops are high in protein, you can fill the rest of your plate with complex carbohydrates and fibrous veggies. According to the USDA, a 5.5-ounce medium pork chop has approximately 24 grams of protein. Plus, there are countless baked boneless pork chop recipes, so you'll never be without ideas for dinner.
If you spread your protein intake throughout the day, this should help you meet the minimum protein requirement of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. That leaves the rest of your plate open for some delicious sides, such as these three LIVESTRONG.com recipes:
- National Pork Board, Pork Checkoff: "Pork Chops"
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Fresh Pork From Farm to Table"
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Key Facts About Food Poisoning"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Pork Chop, NS as to Cooking Method, Lean and Fat Eaten"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Protein"
- Food Network: Homemade Applesauce Recipe