The Only Thing You Need to Know About Pork Chop Temperatures

The Only Thing You Need to Know About Pork Chop Temperatures

Meghan Splawn
May 23, 2018

How do you like your pork chops cooked: grilled, crispy-cheese coated, pan-fried, or roasted? Regardless of your preferred method, all chops have the same final temperature destination. Once you know it by heart, you'll be able to cook juicy pork chops with confidence no matter the cooking method.

In the last decade, the USDA guideline for the internal doneness temperature of pork has changed, leading to a bit of confusion on what temperature is safe for cooked pork. Here's the single number you need to know for cooking pork chops.

Always Cook Pork Chops to 145°F

The once-held notion that all pork should be cooked to 160°F until it it's beige throughout has pretty much disappeared. Before 2010, the USDA guidelines urged home cooks to cook all pork products all the way through, leaving them 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 sweet spot of tender, juicy pork perfection.

Juicy Pork Chops, Every Time

Read more: Everything About Pork Chops: How to Buy It and Cook It to Perfection

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