How to Tell if Pork Chops Are Done (4 Simple Ways)

Cooking the perfect pork chop is no easy task.

This piece of meat is likely to go dry if you aren’t equipped with a bit of knowledge.

Know the cook times or even the texture of undercooked pork.

It will help you understand when it is ready for eating.

So join me in how to get juicy pork chops.

Whether it’s for a minimal effort weeknight dinner ready meal.

Or with a special and delicious sauce at a dinner party.

Let’s get into it!


What Temperature Pork Chops Are Done At?

The ideal temperature of pork before consumption should be 145°F.

The Delicious Pork Chop

A pork chop is the most popular cut from pork.

It comes from the loin which runs from the shoulder to the hip on the top, above the ribcage.

The loin contains a great meat-to-fat ratio and has a rich and flavorsome pork taste.

Pork chops are versatile and can be flavored with fresh spices or a creamy sauce. See our smoked pork chop recipe, this one always turns out super juicy chops!

What Do We Mean by ‘Done’

The doneness of pork chops relies on controlled knowledge throughout the cooking process.

Whatever the pork chop recipe.

I have broken down the key stages below.

So we can all avoid a dry pork chop on the plate.

Preperation & Evaluation to Ensure Doneness

Eating juicy chops with your favorite combination of seasonings is heaven.

Prepare yourself with the below food for thought for a sensational taste every time.

Bone-in or Bone-Out?

First things first.

Before we even think about cooking, do you have boneless pork chops?

Or bone-in pork chops?

This affects the meat doneness when measuring the internal temperature.

Or when working out the cooking time.

This also applies to a thicker chop.

Knowing the Right Cooking Temperature

The right cooking temperature is important.

To understand when your pork chops are done!

If you are frying or grilling then make sure your heat source is on medium-high heat.

If you are smoking then set your smoker to around 225°F.

Tip: If you decide to fry then use a cast iron frying pan!


Monitoring the Internal Temperature

Monitoring the internal temperature with a meat thermometer is more accurate.

Then a rough cooking time.

The ideal temperature of pork before consumption should be 145°F.

Please make sure you have a calibrated thermometer probe for an accurate reading.

This is the most important and accurate stage to knowing when cuts of meat are done.

Visual Evaluation

Visual indicators on chops after cooking are the following;

– A golden brown crust on the outside.

– The internal color should have a hint of pink in the middle.

– If there is a bright pink color, it is not done.

– Poke a hole into the thickest part of the chop, if clear liquid runs out then it is done.

Tip: Common mistakes might occur if you cook your pork at a high temperature as the outside will look like it’s done. However, there will be raw meat in the center.

Texture Evaluation

The feel test is a good indicator of doneness.

– Springy to touch.

– There should be no cold meat on the chop.

– It should shred easily if you pull the meat away with a fork.

How to Get Tender Pork Chops – Done Right!

Get your paper towels and smoker ready!

If you follow the above and below instructions, it will guarantee tender chops.

Done right!

Choosing the Right Cut

– Ask for trimmed and even cut pork chops from your local butcher.

– Decide whether you want a bone-in chop or bone-out.

– Ask for the weight.

Brine the Pork Chops

– Brine the chops before cooking with a simple salt and water solution.

– The brining will help tenderize the pork through osmosis and give a more flavorful pork chop.

– The brine ratio should be 1 Tbsp per 1 cup of warm water.

– It is best to do this refrigerated overnight.

– Add some chili flakes for a flavorful kick.

– Or classic flavors like bay leaves and black pepper.

Season the Pork Chops

– Season with bright flavors and aromatics.

– Apply a herb rub with thyme and sage or some Italian seasoning.

– You could also make your dry rub spices with a spice grinder.

Infuse a delicious flavor and get creative!

The Correct Cooking Method

I recommend smoking your pork chops.

– Use light-tasting hardwood for a delicate flavor.

This will please guests around the dinner table!

– The smoke will also cause chemical reactions like the Milliard reaction to form a tasty crust.

– The slower smoking method will also help retain moisture within the proteins.


The Correct Cooking Temperature

– The correct cooking temperature is 225°F.

– You can accurately set this on your pellet grill, slow cooker, or conventional oven.

Monitor During the Cooking Process

Monitoring during the cooking process is so important.

As you will know exactly when the uncooked pork chops are done.

– Use a digital meat thermometer to measure.

You can buy one of these cheaply online.

Or they may have come with your wood pellet grill.

Resting the Pork Chops

– Rest the pork chops for at least 20 minutes.

Cover in aluminum foil.

Let the meat rest as it ensures the meat proteins are not constricting and losing moisture.

The residual heat will also further cook and provide a juicer meal.

Summary on How to Tell if Pork Chops Are Done

So there we are.

I hope that I have helped you understand how to tell your pork chops are done.

While also explaining the key processes on how to get them perfect every time.

Below I have highlighted the key factors when considering if your pork is done.

Monitoring the temperature of the meat is the best way to ensure it is cooked.

– Do not add your pork chops to a very high temperature.

– A little bit of pink pork is okay.

– Smoking is the most controlled and best cooking method.

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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