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Pork Chops - Crunchy Baked

Cook's Illustrated
2 servings
Prep info
1 hr brine & [10 min prep + 15 min bake breadcrumbs] + 20 min prep + 30 min cook
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
1 hour, 50 minutes
Time required
1 hour, 50 minutes
Oven preheat
Mains - Misc
Not tried


  • For brining:
  • 2 T table salt
  • 2 c water
  • 2 pork chops (center-cut boneless, 6 to 8 oz (170 to 225g) each, 3/4" to 1" thick, trimmed of excess fat)
  • For breadcrumb mix:
  • 2 oz bread (hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1" pieces)
  • 1 T minced shallot
  • 1/2 T minced garlic
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1/8 t table salt
  • 1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T grated parmesan
  • 1/4 t minced thyme leaves (fresh)
  • 1 T minced parsley leaves (fresh)
  • For dredging:
  • 5 T Flour - plain (divided: 2T and 3T)
  • 1 egg white (jumbo size, or 2 large/medium egg whites)
  • 1.5 T Dijon mustard
  • Also:
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges (to garnish, optional)


Make brine:

1. Dissolve salt in warm water, then let cool to 40F.  Place in a container or ziplock bag; submerge the pork chops.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Rinse chops under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350F.

3. Oil or butter a wire rack and place it in a rimmed baking sheet.

Make breadcrumbs:

4. Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about eight 1-second pulses (you should have aobut 1.75 cups of crumbs).  Transfer crumbs to a rimmbed baking sheet.  Add shallot, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.  Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. 

5. Bake until golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time.  Cool to room temperature.  Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.

6. Increase oven temperature to 425F.



7. Place 2T flour on a pie plate.  In a second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add 3T flour and whisk until almost smooth, with pea-sized lumps remaining.

8. Season chops with pepper.  Dredge one pork chop in flour; shake off excess.  Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off.  Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that a thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop.  Transfer breaded chop to wire rack.  Repeat with other chop.

Cook chops:

9. Bake until chops are 160F inside, 20 to 30 minutes.  Let rest on rack 5 minutes before serving. 

10. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.


Notes from Source: Why this recipe works: For a pork chop recipe with a thick coating that wouldn't fall off in the oven, we had to make a quick, batterlike egg wash by whisking enough flour into an egg white and mustard mixture to give it the consistency of mayonnaise.  Once the chops were coated in this powerful glue, they held on to our flavorful mixture of toasted bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan, and herbs.

Coating the chops with fresh, well-toasted bread crumbs results in a crust with flavor and crunch.  Baking the chops on a rack allows greater air circulation and prevents the bottoms from turning soggy.

SJ Note: This was for four chops originally.  I've halved it.