You can reheat pork chops via the oven, stovetop, and microwave.
I have realized a lot of people don't know how to reheat pork chops properly and keeping ending up with a soggy mess. So I, as a professional chef, am here to help.
In this post, I will show you all the methods you can use and throw in some tips for good measure. Let's get started!
The first thing that I want to impress upon you about reheating leftover pork chops is safety. It is important to ensure that the pork chops are heated to a safe internal temperature of 165°F. This temperature must register for at least fifteen seconds.
So, why do you need to be so careful about reheating pork chops to this particular point? Well, any temperature below 145°F is known as the danger zone - a temp range at which bacteria can multiply very quickly.
If you don't heat the food to above this temperature, you are at risk of incurring food poisoning.
Now, you may be trying to figure out how to know that your pork chops have reached the appropriate temp. Well, this is what a food thermometer is for. Use this to check the middle portion of the pork chops.
Another reason that I like to use food thermometers is because they ensure that my pork chops are reheated to the exact right point - lowers the chance of me burning them or overheating them.
Shortly after I moved out on my own, I found myself having to reheat leftover food more often. And whenever I had to reheat leftover pork chops, I was faced with a big problem:
How do you reheat pork and keep it moist?
It didn't matter how tender and juicy my initial dish had been, when it came to heating them up again, I was left with dry pork chops.
Slowly, I began to realize that the key to juicy pork chops is to go slow and to add plenty of moisture into the mix!
There are three main ways to reheat pork chops. Here is an in-depth explanation of each of them:
I would argue this is the best way to reheat pork chops. What I like about it is that heat surrounds the pork chops, heating all surfaces at once. Thus, not only is the meat thoroughly heated up, there is also less of a chance of the pork chops burning.
Here is what you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator and place the pork chops inside a glass pan - oven safe pan - or a glass baking dish. Place the pork chops as closely together as you can without having them overlap.
Add a tablespoon of liquid per pork chop. You can use water or broth. Either chicken broth or meat broth will be fine.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil tightly. Place in the oven. Reheat for between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pork chops. Check the internal temperature to make sure they are heated all the way through.
What if you are hungry or just want to reheat pork chops quickly, but still have the benefits of the oven method? In this case, you can resort to flash heating:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wrap the pork chops in aluminum foil. Only place about two pork chops per one sheet.
Place the pork chops on the top rack and heat pork chops for between 5 to 7 minutes or until the internal temperature registers at the right temperature.
When I am in a rush, I like to reheat pork chops on the stove. The only issue with this method is that it is to go overboard and dry out the cooked pork chops. You also have to keep a close watch on them or there is a chance that they may burn.
Use a cast iron skillet that is large enough to heat up a large batch at one time. Add some olive oil to the pan and turn the flame to medium heat. When it has heated up, add a tablespoon or two of broth - it all depends on how many pork chops there are in the pan.
Add the pork chops in a single layer. Cover and heat - let the liquid come to a simmer. Cook each side for about 3 minutes or until the internal temperature is at the right point.
If most of the liquid has evaporated before the pork chops are heated all the way through, add more - little by little just enough to keep the meat moist.
If you are wondering:
Can you reheat pork in the microwave?
Yes, you can. I am telling you about this method rather reluctantly, though - this is my least favorite way to reheat pork chops. First off all, the risk of uneven heating is high. This means that you end up with some parts that are too hot while others are still stuck in cold spots.
The meat also tends to be pretty limp. It is the easiest way and works in a pinch but beyond this I can't think of any advantages.
I would also recommend only using this method with thin slices of leftover pork chops. The thicker pieces may not heat all the way through.
To start with, change the power setting to half the power. This makes it easier to heat the meat evenly.
On a microwave safe plate, arrange the pork chops in a single layer. Place a damp paper towel on top. Place the pork chops inside the microwave and heat for 30 seconds in a time. Make sure that each side of each pork chop is hot to the touch before serving it.
Serve hot as it can taste a bit odd if left to cool again.
Reheating pork chops that have been breaded can be tricky business. For one thing, the coating is at risk of peeling or falling off. The other issue is that you need to restore the coating back to its former, crunchy glory.
Here is how you can manage this:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
On a baking pan or tray, place aluminum foil. Coat the foil with a thin layer of neutral oil. Don't skip this step as it is what will prevent the coating from sticking to the foil and being ripped away when you try to remove the pork chops.
Carefully arrange the pork chops on the foil. Place the chops in the oven and heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Take them out and flip them over. Heat for another 7 to 8 minutes. Check the internal temperature. If they aren't ready, pop them in the oven again for up to 10 minutes, checking the temp every few minutes.
Eat while the coating is nice and crispy.
I was a bit skeptical about air fryers in the beginning but I eventually came around enough to use one every now and then. I have found them especially great for reheating breaded meat.
Set the temperature setting to 175 degrees. Brush a layer of oil on each side of the pork chops. Place them in the machine. Heat for 10 minutes, check the temperature in the middle of the pork chops. If they aren't done, flip them over and cook until ready.
Got leftover pork tenderloin instead and wondering if the above methods will work for you? Well, the thing is, pork tenderloin doesn't have nearly as much fat as the chops - it is a lean meat. As such, the risk of it drying out is high.
I would suggest using the flash cooking method to reheat pork tenderloin. The process is quicker and the meat isn't exposed to heat for as long.
You can reheat frozen pork chops using all the methods mentioned above. Before you do, though, make sure that the pork chops are already defrosted completely.
If the pork chops are thin enough, then leave them out on the counter - avoid doing this for longer than an hour, though. If you aren't short on time, keep the pork chops in the refrigerator until they are thawed out.
OK, so maybe your pork chops end up a tad bit too dry the first time around. No worries, they can still be salvaged. The key here is to slice the meat so that it is easier to rehydrate.
Next up, heat it up in a fatty liquid like butter. I would also suggest adding in a healthy dose of broth, soy sauce, or even some kind of thicker sauce. This will help to hide the fact that the meat was dry to begin with.
First and foremost, make sure that you store pork chops well. If it is in a refrigerator, keep it in airtight container so that other odors or tastes can invade it. Make sure to reheat this meat two or three days after refrigerating it. Otherwise, it will not taste as good.
If the chops are being stored in the freezer, they should be kept in Ziploc bags. The air should be pressed out of the bag before being sealed. This will help to avoid freezer burn. Always reheat the pork before it loses taste or texture.
So, there is quite a bit to know about reheating pork chops. Well, the good news is that you are all caught up now! You can easily reheat your leftovers like a pro!