Celebrate Pork Month with easy air fryer pork chops: A tasty and healthy dinner solution
I’m always hesitant to add another kitchen gadget to my already cluttered countertops.
It took years to give away my dusty waffle iron, stored away in a high cupboard only reachable with a step stool.
However, there's one appliance my husband and I now can’t live without: our beloved air fryer. We use it daily to whip up quick meals and snacks for our picky young daughter.
Our air fryer isn’t just for chicken nuggets, frozen pizza and tater tots. We also quickly roast broccoli or sweet potatoes on busy weeknights. My husband even used it to cook catfish he caught himself.
And we aren’t the only ones who love our air fryer. Recently, influential marketing expert Seth Godin recommended buying an air fryer and said he rarely uses his oven anymore.
Sales of air fryers have soared, increasing 76% over the past two years, according to NPD. Nearly 60% of U.S. households now own an air fryer, and major food companies are putting air fryer cooking instructions on their packages.
But the air fryer’s usefulness goes beyond the expected. October is Pork Month, so if you’re looking for a break from the same-old chicken dinner, consider tender, juicy pork chops in the air fryer.
Yes, you can cook perfect pork chops in an air fryer. The key is to cook to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, as measured by a food thermometer, plus a 5-minute rest before slicing to retain the moisture.
Modern farming practices have made today's pork safer than ever, which is why the USDA has reduced the recommended cooking temperature to 145 degrees.
In addition, pork is a nutritious, lean protein source. A 3-ounce serving offers 25% of the daily recommended value of zinc, which is essential for a robust immune system. Pork also packs iron, protein, and B vitamins, vital for metabolism and muscle maintenance.
And thanks to farmers’ efforts, pork today has 30% less fat and 27% less saturated fat as compared to 30 years ago.
If you’re eager to give it a try, follow this easy step-by-step recipe for cooking perfect pork chops in the air fryer:
Juicy Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes.
- Rinse the pork chops with cool water and pat them dry completely with a paper towel. (Boneless pork chops work best, but you can also try thin bone-in pork chops – adjust cooking time accordingly.)
- Coat the pork chops with olive oil and rub with salt, pepper and/or your preferred seasonings.
- Place the pork chops in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Leave room for air circulation between each pork chop.
- Cook at 400 degrees for 6 minutes. Flip the pork chops and continue to cook for an additional 8-10 minutes.
- Using a food thermometer, test to make sure the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the pork chops from the air fryer, and place them on a plate. Let them rest for a couple minutes before serving.
Remember, air fryers may vary in temperature settings, so use a meat thermometer for the best results in keeping your pork chops tender and safe.
Additional recipe suggestions
Explore more air fryer pork recipes and instructional videos online for culinary inspiration:
- Breaded air fryer pork chops
- Air fryer pork tenderloin
- Juicy air fried pork (video)
- Air fryer pork bites (video)
To learn more about how farmers work to ensure meat quality, food safety and animal well-being, visit the “Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Meat” website.