Are you in a rush and can’t wait for your pork chops to defrost? Fortunately, you can cook your chops frozen. Even though I would rather allow the pork chops to thaw before cooking them, it’s useful to know how to cook them frozen when you don’t have enough time.
Over the years, I have prepared frozen pork chops on various devices (like grills, ovens, air fryers, pressure cookers, stoves.) Personally, I prefer the smoky flavor I get when I use a grill. Bear in mind that you might need to cook the meat a bit longer. But the increased cooking isn’t as much as waiting for the meat to thaw completely before cooking. Continue reading to find out how to cook frozen pork chops using five different methods.
Can You Cook Frozen Pork Chops?
Fortunately, it is possible to cook frozen pork chops. That said, I would always recommend you thaw the meat before cooking. Bear in mind that you can’t always cook frozen meat. The reason is because of uneven cooking that results in the meat’s exterior cook while the inside doesn’t. This method only works for pork chops because they are small meat cuts.
Therefore, it is easier to fully cook the meat while it is frozen. The heat from the fire source will easily cut through the frost and reach all parts of the meat. It’s important to remember that you can’t just use any method to cook frozen pork. I’ll show you the only methods you should use below.
How to Cook Frozen Pork Chops?
Let’s look at five effective methods for cooking frozen pork chops. Always be mindful of the cooking time and ensure the pork chops are fully cooked.
First, fire up your grill. If you have a gas grill, set the burners on the grill to medium. On a charcoal grill, set up two sides for direct and indirect heat (Remember, you will smoke the pork chops on the indirect heat section and finish them up on direct heat). If you own a pellet grill, simply set the dial to 350 degrees.
Next, place the frozen pork chops on the grill and let it defrost under the heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the meat defrosts, sprinkle rosemary, salt, and pepper on the meat.
Now, place the pork chops back on the grill. For boneless chops, cook each side for about 10 minutes. If the chops have a bone, you’ll need to cook them for approximately 5 minutes longer. Once you’ve cooked both sides, stick in a meat thermometer to read the internal temperature. The temperature should be above 145 °F. Remember, to let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Next, break an egg into a bowl, mix with 1/2 cup of milk, and set aside.
Properly space your frozen pork chops on a baking tray and place them in the oven.
Bring the pork chops out of the oven after 15 minutes and drizzle them with some olive oil. The ice on the meat should’ve melted by this time. Now, slather the egg and milk mixture all over the chops. You can use tongs to flip the meat and rub the other side. Don’t forget to sprinkle salt and pepper on the meat for more flavor. Note that you can add the spices before or after slathering the pork with eggs and milk.
Bake frozen pork chops for about 40 minutes and remove them when the thermometer reads over 145 degrees.
Set the stove to medium heat and add canola oil or butter to the pan. Heat it for 3-5 minutes. Place the frozen pork chops in the pan and let them thaw.
Once the frost is off the meat, lightly season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Feel free to experiment with your favorite spices at this point. That said, I find salt and pepper to be just fine.
Make sure the chops are not touching when you arrange them in the pan. After five minutes on one side, flip the chops to the other. Cook pork chops for an additional five minutes, or until the meat’s exterior is crusty and brown.
Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and continue cooking for a further 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and serve when the internal temperature reads 145 degrees or above.
First, set the fryer to 300 degrees and drizzle some oil on the frozen meat.
Arrange your frozen chops in the fryer in a way that they would cook effectively. Add your spices after the meat defrosts. This way, your chops will properly absorb the flavor of your spices. Allow the pork chops to cook in the air fryer for around 20 minutes.
Another method for cooking frozen pork chops is in a pressure cooker. The method is good if you don’t have much time. So, place the frozen pork chop in the cooker and add your spices after 5 minutes.
The overall cooking process will take around 20 minutes, but you must cut the meat into smaller chunks beforehand. I found that this technique doesn’t produce great flavor like the other techniques, but you can always prepare them with another cooking method and finish them up in the pressure cooker.
Extra Cooking Tips
- Consider using barbecue rub when seasoning the pork chop. A generous sprinkle of BBQ rub will give your chops a punchier flavor. Drizzling the pork chop with sweet barbecue sauce after it’s out of the cooker also elevates the taste.
- Bear in mind that the overall cooking time for your pork chop will depend on the thickness of the cut. The thicker the chop, the longer it will take to fully cook. Pay attention to the cut while cooking and make sure you don’t overcook it. Overcooked meat is less juicy and tends to be chewy.
- The recommended internal temperature for pork chops is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. But you can continue cooking to a 160-degree internal temperature. Any longer, and you may overcook the meat.
How to Thaw Frozen Pork Chops?
Even though it is possible to cook frozen chops, I always advise defrosting them first. Thawing the meat beforehand ensures it cooks evenly. Your spices will also work better on thawed meat. That said, here’s how to thaw your chop, if need be:
My favorite method is thawing the chops in the fridge. Take the chops out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator for around 12 hours, or overnight. The meat should have sufficiently thawed by morning.
Another quick way to thaw your pork chops is by submerging them in water. Wrap the chops in a water-proof bag or leave them in their packaging. Place the frozen chops in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes, and change the water after 30 minutes. Continue changing the water every 30 minutes until the meat completely thaws.
The quickest way to thaw your pork chops is in the microwave. The issue with this method is that the meat might not thaw all the way through. So, you may end up with a cooked exterior and a frozen interior.
Regardless of the method you use, make sure you don’t leave the thawed pork chops on your kitchen counter for too long. The longer the meat stays out, the higher the risk of bacteria growing on the meat’s surface. Especially with the microwave method where it would be best to cook the meat immediately after thawing.
How to Store Pork Chops?
You can store your leftover pork chops in a freezer or refrigerator. Make sure you allow the pork chops to cool to room temperature before placing them in the fridge or freezer. You can store your leftover chops in the fridge for up to five days. In a freezer, the chops can be stored for up to six months.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Are the Best Pork Chops to Use?
Pork chops come in various cuts, including thin, thick, bone-in, and boneless. Remember that the overall cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your pork. Bone-in pork chops are my favorite because I prefer the taste. On the other hand, boneless pork chops are easier to make and also taste delicious.
2. How Do I Tell if Pork Chops Are Cooked Without Using a Thermometer?
You can tell your meat is done by looking at it and checking the texture. Cooked pork chops should feel springy but slightly firm. Moreover, the color of the pork chops should be light pink all through, and there shouldn’t be any pink juices oozing out.
3. Why do pork chops taste dry?
The main reason your chops are dry is because they have been overcooked. So, make sure you regularly check the meat’s temperature and remove it from the cooker once it reaches 145°F internal temperature. Remember to let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Doing this will allow the meat’s juices to circulate through the cut.
Now you know that you can prepare frozen pork chops even if you don’t have enough time. Remember to cook the meat to the recommended temperature and ensure it is cooked all the way through. Also, feel free to play around with the spices you use; you may just come up with a unique recipe your family loves. Simply follow my instructions, and you’ll have delicious pork chops in no time!