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Reverse-Seared Pork Chops With Apple Cider Pan Sauce

Reverse-Seared Pork Chops With Apple Cider Pan Sauce 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Sep 19, 2018

Slow-roasting in the oven at a low temperature before a final, quick sear in the skillet keeps these boneless chops juicy. The reverse-sear method promoted by cookbook author J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats means you'll evenly cook the interior while drying the exterior so that when the chops hit the pan, you quickly get a lovely, browned crust.

López-Alt's recipe originally called for thick, bone-in chops, but we found the method worked just as well with thick boneless cuts, which were easier to find. Feel free to use bone-in chops (we tried both blade and center-cut) if you prefer, though the timing may be slightly different. Thinner chops are more likely to overcook in this strategy, so see the related recipe for an alternate method that uses the same addictive pan sauce.

You'll need an instant-read thermometer for monitoring the meat.

To read the accompanying story, see: How to cook the best pork chops, through thick and thin.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the pork
  • Four 6- to 8-ounce boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • For the sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple cider
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Related Recipes


For the pork: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.

Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels, then season them lightly with salt and pepper on both sides; place them on the wire rack. Slow-roast (middle oven rack) for about 25 to 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the chops registers 100 to 110 degrees (medium-rare) or 110 to 120 degrees (medium). To prevent overcooking, start checking temperature 5 to 10 minutes before the suggested time.

Heat the oil in a large skillet (stainless-steel or cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and sear for 2 to 3 minutes, turning occasionally, until they start to brown.

Add the butter, shallot and thyme; continue cooking, spooning shallots and thyme on top of the chops and basting the meat with butter until golden brown on both sides. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes; an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 135 degrees (for medium doneness). Use tongs to hold the pork chops on their sides so those get seared as well, and their fat caps crisp up a bit; this should take about 1 minute. (If your chops are very thick, you may need to do this on other sides as well to finish cooking the edges.) Remove the pan from heat. Transfer the chops to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes.

For the sauce: Whisk together the cider vinegar, apple cider, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl.

Return the skillet to the stove top, over medium heat; add the butter and diced apples. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the apples are browned and softened. Add the vinegar mixture; cook for about 4 minutes, to form a syrupy sauce. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

Cut the pork chops into slices (as thick or thin as you wish) and transfer to a platter. Pour the apples and sauce over them, and serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by López-Alt posted on

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 450

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 18g 28%

Saturated Fat: 8g 40%

Cholesterol: 110mg 37%

Sodium: 510mg 21%

Total Carbohydrates: 31g 10%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 30g

Protein: 42g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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