The Only Thing You Need to Know About Pork Chop Temperatures

updated Jun 3, 2022
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How do you like your pork chops cooked? Grilled, crispy-cheese coated, pan-fried, or roasted? In the last decade, the USDA guidelines for the internal doneness temperature of pork has changed, leading to a bit of confusion on what temperature is safe for cooked pork.

Regardless of your preferred method, all chops should be cooked to 145°F. Once you know it by heart, you’ll be able to cook juicy pork chops with confidence no matter the cooking method.

Always cook pork chops to 145°F.

The once-held notion that all pork should be cooked to 160°F until it’s beige throughout has pretty much disappeared.

Before 2010, USDA guidelines urged home cooks to cook all pork products all the way through, which left the resulting pork free from any potentially harmful bacteria but also pretty dry and tough. Modern home cooks know that 145°F is the sweet spot of doneness and tender, juicy perfection.

Use a probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork chop to check the temperature. Most recipes for pork chops will also include a five-minute rest before serving, where some carryover cooking will occur. When sliced, the interior of your pork chops should be mostly beige with a pale pink in the center and plenty of moisture still inside.

By the way, this doneness temperature holds true for all cuts of pork (with the lone exception of ground pork, which should be cooked to 160°F), so whether you’re grilling bone-in loin chops or oven-roasting pork tenderloin, 145°F is the temperature sweet spot.

Don’t stop with pork — here are more tips on cooking meat safely.

Chances are, if you eat pork you probably enjoy other kinds of meat and poultry as well. In all cases a probe thermometer is your best friend; it’s the most reliable way to know when you dinner has reached a safe (and delicious) temperature.