Quick weeknight dinner, anyone? I got yer honey bbq pork chops right here! These guys cook up lovely and brown in the pan and then get smothered in a super-quick, sweet and tangy bbq sauce. They have a ton of flavor and stay super juicy inside, and look how shiny and glossy they are! 😍 Don’t be intimidated by pan-searing – resign yourself to wiping off the stove afterwards (or, you know, noticing 2 days later that the cleaning fairies have been neglecting their duties, darn them) and try it. I love a crockpot meal now and then, but for speed and flavor, a hot skillet is your friend!
So: mix up the honey bbq sauce. You want equal parts ketchup and apple cider vinegar, a couple big squeezes of honey, a dollop of molasses for some smoky depth, and a little Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and smoked paprika (this is the secret ingredient that makes it taste like bbq). If you don’t have molasses, you can sub in brown sugar or more honey (but you’re missing out on my fave Christmas cookie and this amazing gingerbread cake that I kinda want to make rightthissecond, so I recommend that you make it a pantry staple.) You could also add some hot sauce or cayenne for heat if you like it like dat (my kids Don’t).
The pork chops cook pretty quickly in a hot skillet on the stove. I like to turn my pan on low so it starts heating up while I mix up the sauce, and then crank it up to medium-high and add the oil for a minute or two before adding the pork chops. They brown for a couple of minutes on each side – something about the flatness of pork chops helps them get a really nice crust, and that crust = great flavor.
Turn the heat down and pour on the sauce. The pork chops will need a few more minutes to cook all the way through, so let the sauce bubble around them. You can spoon sauce over them as they cook, but they don’t really need babysitting if you’re
barely preventing your toddler from eating a large pawful of butter off the table #truestory getting other parts of the meal ready! Just set a timer so you remember to check them after a few minutes.
I love cooking pork chops for dinner – they’re fast and economical (I bought a whole pork loin on sale for $1.50 a pound and we sliced it into nice thick chops!), and they’re not chicken (although this sauce would be killer on pan-seared chicken, too). I think they’re kinda begging for a side of squash casserole…and maybe some kind of cornbread situation?? But your average baked potato and steam-in-the-bag green beans gets the job done, too.
I ended up drizzling the honey bbq sauce over everything on my plate! Gosh, it’s good.Print
For the honey bbq sauce:
3 Tablespoons ketchup
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon molasses (can sub more honey or brown sugar; see notes)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (please note that this is teaspoons, not tablespoons!)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
For the pork chops:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless pork chops (about 1 inch thick)
salt and pepper, to taste
thinly sliced green onions (optional, for garnish!)
- To make the honey bbq sauce, mix the ketchup, vinegar, honey, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, and garlic powder in a bowl. (You can do this ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook the pork chops.)
- To cook the pork chops, pat them dry with paper towels and sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large (12″) skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers and smokes a bit.
- Carefully add the pork chops to the skillet and let them brown (3-4 minutes). Don’t move them at all for the first couple of minutes; you can turn them 90 degrees toward the end of the searing process to help them get evenly brown.
- When they are nicely browned on the first side, flip them over and let them brown on the second side, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the honey bbq sauce. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the skillet and stir the sauce around.
- Allow the chops to simmer until cooked through, about 4-8 minutes, depending on their thickness.
- When the chops are done (see notes below on temperature), remove them to a plate and let them rest for a couple of minutes before serving (this helps them stay juicy and finish cooking all the way).
- Check the consistency of the honey bbq sauce in the pan. If the sauce is thick enough for a spatula to leave a momentary trail if you scrape the bottom of the pan, you can pour it over the pork chops or put it in a separate dish for serving. If not, let it simmer for a minute or two until it’s thickened.
If you don’t have molasses on hand, you can use more honey or brown sugar instead. The sauce will be slightly sweeter and won’t have quite the same personality, but it will still be delicious! I always have a jar on hand because of gingersnaps and this amazing gingerbread cake. You won’t regret having it around!
Pork needs to be cooked to 145 degrees, but the pork chops will continue to cook a bit after they’ve been removed from the pan, so if they’re around 130 when you take their temperature (pick up chop with tongs and insert a meat thermometer through the side of the chop), it’s safe to take them out of the pan. Or, cut into one of the chops – I look for the center to be barely pink so they cook the rest of the way as they rest.