As a chef and BBQ master who likes to get experimental, I’ve tried five different ways to reheat pork chops – on the stove, in the air fryer, microwave oven, instant pot, and even the steamer. And guess what? They all turned out tender, juicy, and flavorful like it was the first time making them.
Having a freezer stash of pork chops is a complete lifesaver when life gets hectic. You simply grab those cooked pork chops, reheat them, and you’re like, “Yes, dinner sorted!” But how do you reheat pork chops exactly? Is there any rule or particular procedure? Stick around, and I’ll show you the secrets of the perfect pork chop reheating methods.
How to Reheat Pork Chops Without Drying Them Out?
1. On the Stove
Reheating leftover pork chops using the stove is one of the quickest and most common methods for sizzling results. Here’s how to do it for juicy results:
- Prepare the chops for reheating: Take those pork chops out of the fridge and let them stay at room temp for 15-30 minutes. I do this to make sure they heat up evenly!
- Pick a skillet and oil it up: Get a big skillet or frying pan. Drizzle some oil or slap a butter pat in there to keep things from sticking and add some taste.
- Heat the pan: Pop that pan on the stove over medium heat. Don’t make them get too hot, or those chops will turn into jerky.
- Reheat: Place the pork chops in the pan and let them warm up for 2-3 minutes on each side. We’re aiming for warm and juicy, not dried-out disaster. For better chops, pour in some chicken broth, water, or marinade to keep the pork chops moist and mouthwatering.
- Check the temp: Grab a food thermometer and make sure those chops hit 165 degrees inside. That’s the minimum safe internal temp for reheating leftovers (of any type) as recommended by the CDC. Watch them closely to avoid overcooking. Nobody likes dry pork chops.
2. Using the Instant Pot
Instant pots like the Rio, formerly known as Duo, provide excellent ways to heat pork chops. Here’s the lowdown on how to do it while using an instant pot.
- Gather the chops: Retrieve those cold or frozen pork chops from the fridge/freezer. Let them rest at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.
- Set up the instant pot: Place a trivet inside your Instant Pot and pour about a cup of water or broth. This liquid will create steam and give you moist pork chops.
- Stack ’em up: Now, stack each pork chop on the trivet one after the other.
- Lock the pot: Lock the Instant Pot lid in place and set the pressure valve to the “Sealing” position.
- Time to cook: Hit that “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” button and set the timer for 1-2 minutes. Yep, that’s all it takes to reheat these babies! The exact time depends on the thickness of the chops, though. So use your judgment.
- Quick release: Once the timer’s up, quickly release the pressure by carefully turning the valve to “Venting.” It’s safe to open the lid when that steam’s all gone.
- Serve and enjoy: Gently take out those tender, reheated chops and plate them.
3. Using the Air Fryer
Another way to reheat pork chops is in the air fryer. This method is similar to that of convection ovens. So this is great for heating hamburgers, meat chops, or crab legs. This is a good method to reheat breaded pork chops. Here’s the easy-peasy way to reheat those pork chops in the air fryer until they get crispy and juicy:
- Preheat and prep: Fire your air fryer and set the temperature to 375°F (190°C). While warming up, take the leftover pork chops from the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Lightly oil them: Give those chops a little love by brushing or spraying them with olive oil on both sides. This will help them get that irresistible crispy texture.
- Air fry time: Place the pork chops in a single layer inside the air fryer basket. No overcrowding, please! Let ’em have their space to get crispy all around. Place the chops in the oven. Reheat for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on them halfway through, and give them a gentle flip.
- Check the temp: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chops’ internal temperature hits 165 degrees
4. In the Microwave
Microwaving might not crisp the pork chops, but it’s quick and tasty. Keep an eye on the time, and you’ll nail it. Here’s the super easy, no-fuss way to do it:
- Rest and add moisture: Take the chops out of the fridge, place them on a microwave-safe plate, and rest them. Now, add some moisture to keep ’em juicy. Drizzle water, broth, or even BBQ sauce on them. Cover the plate with a damp paper towel or a microwave-safe lid or wrap.
- Microwave time: Set your microwave to medium power, around 50-70%. We don’t want rubbery chops, right? Zap each chop for 1-2 mins, depending on their thickness.
- Check the temp: Don’t forget the meat thermometer! Make sure those chops hit the right internal temperature for safe eating.
- Let them rest: Give the delicious pork chops a minute to chillax and distribute the heat evenly.
5. In a Steamer
You can also reheat pork chops in a steamer. By the way, a steamer is a kitchen appliance or cooking tool used to cook food with steam. There are various types of food steamers – from stovetop steamers to electric steamers. But the process works a bit the same for the most common ones.
- Get your steamer ready: Fill the steamer up with water, just like the manufacturer tells you.
- Time for the pork chops: Toss those leftover pork chops inside the steamer basket. But don’t go piling them up. Keep them in a single layer.
- Steaming time: Flip the steaming switch and let the steamer work. The steam will gently warm up those pork chops without drying them out. Keep an eye on ’em, though!
- Let it steam: The heating time will vary, usually around 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how thick those pork chops are. As usual, check the temp with a thermometer to see if it’s done.
What You Should Know About Reheating Pork Chops?
- Safety comes first! So, ensure to heat those pork chops to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees. That’s the sweet spot to kill harmful bacteria and keep your tummy happy.
- Anything below 165°F is a no-go! Heating pork chops below this temperature can lead to some serious health issues.
- Reheating can sometimes make your pork chops dry and sad. To prevent this, add a splash of broth or water while heating, or even cover them with foil to keep the moisture locked in.
1. Can I Freeze Leftover Pork Chops?
Absolutely! However, to store pork chops in the freezer, take each pork chop and wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Then store the wrapped pork chops in an airtight freezer-safe bag. You can use your pork chops within four months as long as they’re properly stored in a freezer.
2. How Long Can I Store Leftover Pork Chops in the Refrigerator?
According to the USDA, leftover pork stored in the fridge should be used within four days. Always wrap it securely in aluminum foil or plastic wrap or put it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.
So, there you have it! Reheating pork chops is a breeze, no matter which method you use – stove, instant pot, air fryer, steamer, or microwave. Trust me, the effort is worth it!
Keep an eye on the heat to avoid any dry disappointment. And hey, remember the meat thermometer – it’s a way to know when your pork chops hit that safe 165 degrees mark.