Air-fried thick pork chops on a plate.

4 min read

Mireya Stracke, Vegetable Food Senior Writer


If you thought your air fryer was just for crispy fries and wings, think again. The humble kitchen gadget is actually a powerhouse for cooking up a storm, especially when it comes to juicy thick pork chops. Get ready to turn your weeknight dinners around with a dish that promises a delightful blend of succulence and flavor. Discover how to transform the simple pork chop from ordinary to extraordinary using your air fryer. With the right techniques and a touch of culinary magic, you can serve up mouth-watering thick pork chops that are sure to impress.

The Allure of Air-Fried Pork Chops

Air frying has become the darling of the culinary world, loved for its ability to produce healthier dishes without compromising on taste. When it comes to making thick pork chops in an air fryer, you’re in for a real treat. This cooking method not only cuts down on oil use but also envelopes the pork chops in a steady circulation of hot air, ensuring that each chop is cooked to perfection.

Why Choose the Air Fryer for Pork Chops?

  • Even Cooking: The air fryer’s rapid air technology cooks pork chops evenly, giving them a perfect exterior sear while keeping the inside juicy and tender.
  • Healthy Option: With less oil, air fryer pork chops are a healthier alternative for meat lovers looking to reduce fat without sacrificing flavor.
  • Convenient and Quick: Thick pork chops can be daunting due to their size, but air frying speeds up the process so you can enjoy a hearty meal in no time.

Selecting the Perfect Pork Chops

Not all pork chops are created equal, especially when air frying is involved. Thick pork chops—we’re talking at least 1 inch in thickness—are ideal. They provide enough substance to prevent overcooking while allowing the natural juices to work their magic within the meat.

  • Look for chops that are consistent in thickness to ensure even cooking.
  • Opt for bone-in chops when possible; they pack more flavor.
  • Choose chops with a nice marbling of fat; this ensures they’ll come out juicy.

Seasoning Tips for Maximum Flavor

Seasoning is key to transforming your pork chops from bland to grand. Here’s what you need to do to infuse those chops with irresistible flavors:

  • Dry Brine: Rub your chops with salt and let them sit for a while; this enhances the meat’s natural flavor and juiciness.
  • Herbs and Spices: Get creative with rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, smoked paprika, or any other favorites.
  • Marinades and Glazes: Consider a zesty marinade or a sweet glaze in the last few minutes of cooking to add an extra layer of tastiness.

Step-by-Step Guide to Air Frying Pork Chops

Cooking thick pork chops in an air fryer is not rocket science, but it does require some know-how to achieve that golden-brown crust without drying out the meat. Follow this guide to sizzle your pork chops to perfection.

Preparing the Air Fryer

cacio e pepe recipe authenticnsure your air fryer is clean and preheated to the right temperature; usually, around 375°F works well for pork chops. This step is crucial—it’s the high heat that gives the pork chops that desirable sizzle and sear.

Seasoning the Pork Chops

  • Pat the pork chops dry before seasoning to help the spices adhere better.
  • Apply your seasoning evenly on both sides of the chops.
  • Allow the seasoned chops to rest at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before cooking.

Air Frying the Pork Chops

  • Place the pork chops in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Avoid overcrowding to ensure proper air circulation.
  • Cook for about 7-9 minutes, then flip the chops and continue cooking until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F, which is the safe temperature for pork.
  • Let the chops rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute.

Pro Tip: Check the Temperature

Using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure your chops are cooked just right. Remember, the cooking time may vary based on the thickness of the chops and the specific air fryer model.

Pairing Pork Chops with Vegetables

Once your pork chops are sizzling in the air fryer, it’s time to think about side dishes. Vegetables are not just healthy; they are also a vibrant addition to your plate, making the meal colorful and complete.

Best Vegetables to Air Fry with Pork Chops

  • Sweet Potatoes: Slice them into wedges or cubes for a sweet and savory contrast.
  • Brussels Sprouts: Halved and tossed with a touch of oil and seasonings, they become crispy golden delights.
  • Green Beans: Quick and easy, they add a fresh crunch to your meal.

Cooking Vegetables in the Air Fryer

  • Cook vegetables in batches before or after the pork chops, so they don’t overcrowd.
  • Season with complementary flavors such as garlic, lemon zest, or balsamic vinegar.
  • Ensure they have a slight drizzle of oil for that irresistible crispy finish.
Mireya Stracke, Vegetable Food Senior Writer
Mireya Stracke

About the Author - Mireya Stracke Mission Statement Mireya Stracke, a Vegetable Food Senior Writer, is dedicated to promoting and