- Let the pork chops sit at room temperature 30 minutes before they're cooked. Food that's at room temperature cooks more evenly than cold food.
- Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Food that's wet steams rather than sautes.
- Don't overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding prevents food from browning. I cook four pork chops at a time in a 12-inch skillet. If you're using a smaller pan or cooking more pork chops, use a second pan or cook the pork chops in batches, reheating the pan and adding more oil as needed.
- Don't turn the pork chops over with a fork. Piercing meat with a fork lets the juices escape. Use tongs instead.
The oil will start to shimmer which indicates it's just below the smoke point. As the oil heats, periodically place your hand a few inches over the hot oil. When you can't leave your hand over the oil for very long, the oil is ready.
When you cook pork chops or any piece of meat, cook the nicest looking side -- known in the culinary world as the presentation side -- first. In other words, when you put the meat in the skillet, put the presentation side down. The coloring is more attractive on the presentation side which makes the food look nicer when it is plated.