Discover a new way to enjoy pork chops with this mouthwatering marinated thick cut pork chops recipe. This dish uses a simple but flavorful marinade made from soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic that is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. And shows you how to cook thick cut pork chops that are tender (not tough).
Thick pork chops are one of my favorite meals to serve for a dinner party.
They’re less expensive than steak (and healthier).
But taste just as good when you know how to cook them.
And we’re going to show you how. (No tough, dried out pork chops here!)
It’s actually really easy to get a tender, delicious meal out of thick cut pork chops when you combine cooking them properly with our simple but tasty marinade.
This recipe is great for weeknight dinners, as it requires only a few ingredients and minimal preparation time.
However, its rich flavors make it impressive enough for special occasions, too.
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This recipe makes 6 thick pork chops.
Here is your shopping list:
- fresh pork – 6 pork chops that are between ½-inch and 2 inches thick. I usually buy them from Costco and they’re about 1½-inches thick. But you can also get a butcher to cut them for you.
- fresh fruit and vegetables – 1 lime, 3 cloves fresh garlic
- marinade liquids – ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar – the soy sauce provides the salt that pork needs to bring out its flavor while the cider vinegar helps to keep it tender.
- oil – 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- sugar – 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- spices – ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- I like to substitute boneless pork chops for bone-in pork chops when I’m serving this recipe for a dinner party. Not having a bone makes them easier for people to eat. And with our marinade, they still taste delicious.
- A lemon can be used instead of the lime.
- You can use 3 teaspoons of jarred, minced garlic instead of the fresh garlic.
- If you want to make this gluten free, use coco aminos instead of soy sauce.
How to cook marinated thick cut pork chops
Cut slits in both sides of each of the pork chops. This helps the marinade to sink into the meat better.
Arrange the pork chops in a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish.
Pre-heat the oven to 400℉.
Marinate the pork chops
Juice the lime into a small bowl.
Mince 3 cloves of garlic and add them to the bowl as well.
Mix in ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes.
Pour the marinade over the pork chops in the baking dish. Turn the pork chops over to coat both sides with the marinade.
Cover the dish with foil or plastic cling wrap.
Let them sit for 20 minutes at room temperature, turning once.
Leaving them out at room temperature lets the pork chops warm up, which makes it easier for the thick cuts to cook evenly.
You can marinade the pork chops for up to 24 hours if you want to make them ahead of time. In this case, store them in the refrigerator and take them out 20 to 30 minutes before you are ready to cook them so they have time to warm to room temperature.
Sear the pork chops
First we are going to brown the outside of the pork chops on the stove. This will help lock in the juices and make the meat tender.
Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the pork chops to the pan without the marinade.
Don’t discard the marinade. We’ll be using it later to make a sauce.
Sear the pork chops for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they are browned. Using a cast iron pan is the best way to do this.
I like to use a splatter screen during this step to reduce the amount of oil splatter.
Put the pork chops on a baking sheet and bake at 400℉ until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F or are just barely pink inside.
This can take between 7 minutes and 15 minutes depending on how thick they are cut.
Don’t overcook or they will get tough.
Make the sauce
Meanwhile, pour the reserved marinade into the pan that you seared the pork chops in.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the marinade to a boil while stirring occasionally.
It is important that the marinade is boiling since this will kill any potential bacteria left over from the marinading process.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce some of the liquid.
Then keep on low heat until the pork chops are finished baking.
Return the pork chops to the pan and coat with the sauce.
I like to serve them on rice and spoon some of the sauce over the top so that the rice soaks up the extra flavor.
Pasta or mashed potatoes would also work well for this purpose.
Cooked pork chops can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days. Then reheat in the microwave.
How to make ahead of time
You can make these up to 24 hours in advance.
Prepare everything up to putting the pork chops in the baking dish with the marinade.
Then store the covered pork chops in the refrigerator until 20 to 30 minutes before you are ready to cook.
Take them out of the fridge and let them warm to room temperature before cooking.
Frequently asked questions
To cook thick pork chops that are juicy and tender, sear on the stove for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Then bake in the oven at 400℉ until they are no longer pink inside, between 7 and 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat.
Other main course recipes you might like
Marinated Thick Pork Chops
- 1 small mixing bowl
- 1 9" x 13" glass baking dish for marinating
- 1 frying pan
- 6 ½-inch to 2-inch thick pork chops
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pre-heat the oven to 400℉.
- Cut slits in both sides of the pork chops.
- Place the pork chops in a single layer in the shallow glass dish.
- Mix the soy sauce, lime juice, 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and red pepper flakes in the bowl.
- Pour the marinade over the top of the pork chops. Turn to make sure both sides are coated.
- Cover and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, turning once.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in the frying pan over medium high heat.
- Add the pork chops to the pan, reserving the marinade for a later step.
- Sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until the pork is browned.
- Bake the pork chops on a baking sheet at 400℉ for 7 to 15 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 145℉ or are just barely pink inside.
- Meanwhile, add the marinade to the frying pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid.
- When the pork chops are finished baking, add them to the pan and coat with the sauce.
- Pour some of the extra sauce over the pork chops while serving.
- Searing the pork chops on the stove before baking will lock in the juices and help the meat to stay tender.
- Make sure the marinade is brought to a boil. This will ensure that any bacteria in it is killed.
- The pork chops can be marinated in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Take them out of the fridge 20 to 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to warm to room temperature.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
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This post was originally published on November 9, 2016 but was updated with new content on July 19, 2023.