For fast cooking, choose thin, boneless chops with grayish-pink color and a small amount of fat marbling. A 1/2-inch chop cooks more quickly than thicker cuts. If possible thaw frozen pork chops in the refrigerator, but in a pinch you can cook them from frozen, so long as you allow for longer cooking times.
Pan-frying in a small amount of hot cooking oil is the fastest method for cooking boneless pork chops. Season the chops with your favorite rub and place them in a pre-heated pan. A 1/2-inch chop requires only two to four minutes per side in a hot skillet.
Broil pork chops approximately 4 inches from the heat with the door cracked open. Allow 8 to 9 minutes total cooking time for a 3/4-inch chop, turning them halfway through the cooking time or when brown on top. Turn on the fan when broiling and expect a bit of smoke.
While grilling often requires more preparation and cleanup, it can be quick and easy if you have a gas or electric grill. Preheat the grill while you season the chops. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chop and resist the desire to peek -- a closed lid holds in the heat for faster cooking. Allow eight to nine minutes total grilling time for a 3/4-inch chop over medium heat.
Pork chops bake in approximately 25 minutes in a 325-degree Fahrenheit oven. While baking takes longer, they are mostly unattended. Simply set a timer so you don't forget them while you cook the rest of the meal. Prepare your chops for baking by marinating, breading or simply seasoning them with your favorite rub.
Safe Cooking Temperatures
The USDA has lowered its recommendations on safe cooking temperatures for pork. In the past, pork was only considered safe when cooked to well done; but new guidelines recommend cooking the chops to an internal temperature of at least 145 F and let them rest for at least 3 minutes before serving. The temperature continues to rise about 5 to 10 degrees while resting.
Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.