Rubbed with a blend of brown sugar and spices, then air-fried to delicious perfection, these juicy Pork Chops are ready in just minutes! They’re a sizzling, satisfying weeknight dinner idea!
Thick and Juicy Air Fryer Pork Chops Made Easy!
Have you ever had pork chops turn out dry? That’s a common issue with cooking pork chops at home. But, I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way! My secret weapon for no-fail juicy pork chops? Air frying! Using your Air Fryer, it’s easy to make thick, juicy pork chops, every time.
Why does air frying pork chops work so well? The short answer is convection heating. Essentially, air fryers are mini convection ovens, which bake much more effectively than normal ovens. With convection heat, pork chops cook quickly, developing a crispy exterior while staying juicy inside.
This recipe for air-fried pork chops uses a seasoning rub, but no breading, so the finished chops are also low carb and keto-friendly. 🍽
The spicy rub is full of flavor and slightly sweet to complement the natural sweetness of the pork, and there’s no need for excess oil! Air frying uses a minimum amount for maximum results!
What You’ll Need
When you taste the blend of spices in this recipe, you’ll want to use it for everything! Ground mustard is not as common as prepared mustard, but it’s a great way to add tangy, deep flavor to lots of dishes. I recommend making a double or even triple batch of the rub, and saving the extra to sprinkle over chicken, pork, steak, etc…
- Pork Chops: Bone-in, center cut pork chops, about one-and-a-half inches thick.
- Olive Oil: For rubbing on the pork chops. You can also use avocado oil here.
- Brown Sugar: A little brown sugar makes the spice rub extra flavorful. Light or dark brown sugar is fine.
- Chili Powder, Paprika, and Ground Mustard: The perfect spice trio for pork! I use sweet paprika, but hot is fine if you want a bit of a kick.
- Salt and Pepper
- Garlic and Onion Powder: These two powders add intensity of flavor with no chopping or mincing.
Can I use boneless pork chops in the air fryer?
- Yes, you can! This recipe is great with thick-cut boneless pork chops, but you will not need to air-fry them quite as long, so be sure to check for doneness a bit earlier using an instant read meat thermometer.
Can I use thin pork chops in the air fryer?
- You can, but they will cook much more quickly and are easy to overcook. Depending on just how thin they are, they might take only a minute or two per side (for quarter-inch chops) to maybe four minutes per side (half-inch chops). Again, it’s best to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
How to Make Pork Chops in the Air Fryer
Making these pork chops is so easy. That, combined with the speed of air frying, makes this one of my favorite recipes to pull together on a busy weeknight! There’s nothing like bringing a really good square meal to the table, without having to stand over a hot stove at the end of a long day.
- Preheat the Air Fryer. You should preheat your air fryer to 375˚F. Don’t skip the preheating step – it makes all the difference.
- Season the Pork Chops. While the air fryer preheats, rub oil into the pork chops. Then, in a small bowl, make the spice rub by combining the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, ground mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Season both sides of the pork chops with the rub.
- Air Fry! Arrange the seasoned pork chops in the air fryer basket. Cook them for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for 4 to 6 more minutes. The internal temperature of the pork chops should register at 145˚F.
- Enjoy! Transfer the pork chops to a plate and let stand for 5 minutes before serving with your favorite sides.
Tips for Success
- Don’t Use Aerosol: While spritzing a little oil on your food or air fryer basket is good, avoid aerosol-powered spray oils. They are known to damage the air fryer basket over time.
- Make More: You can easily double this recipe and make four pork chops, but make sure not to overlap the pork chops in the air fryer. If needed, you can cook the chops in batches.
- Dry Brine: If you have time, take your pork chops out of the refrigerator early, season them, and then allow to sit, covered, at room temperature for up to 30 minutes before cooking. They’ll be even more flavorful and tender!
To serve these crispy pork chops, I recommend making a couple of classic veggie side dishes. Green salad is always a good option, as is buttered rice or pasta. Here are some easy recipes that go well with pork chops!
- Kale Salad: This Crunchy Kale Quinoa Salad is a hearty, superfood side that tastes like autumn! The apples, kale, grapes, and quinoa all go perfectly with pork, while the homemade vinaigrette adds a tangy finish.
- Roasted Veggies: I particularly like this sheet pan recipe for Roasted Green Beans with Squash and Tomatoes. It’s a colorful and quick roasted veggie dish that’s full of vitamins and flavor, and low in carbs.
- Smashed Potatoes: Tender and meltingly flavorful inside, crispy and well-roasted outside, these Crispy Parmesan Smashed Potatoes are made on a cast-iron grill pan for a side dish you won’t forget!
Juicy Air Fryer Pork Chops
- 2 bone-in center cut pork chops, about 1 to 1-½ inch thick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Preheat Air Fryer to 375˚F.
- Grease the pork chops with olive oil.
- In a small mixing bowl combine brown sugar, chili powder, sweet paprika, ground mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder; mix until well incorporated.
- Season both sides of the pork chops with the prepared rub.
- Transfer pork chops to the air fryer basket.
- Cook for 5 minutes.
- Flip over and continue to cook for 4 to 6 more minutes, or until internal temperature of the pork chops registers at 145˚F. I don’t recommend using thinner pork chops, but if you do, the cooking time will be less. For best and most accurate results, use an instant read meat thermometer to check for doneness.
- Remove pork chops from the Air Fryer basket and transfer to a plate; let stand 5 minutes before cutting.
- Doubling the Recipe: You can easily double this recipe and make four pork chops, but make sure not to overlap the pork chops in the air fryer. If needed, cook the pork chops in batches.
- Dry Brine: If time permits, take the pork chops out of the refrigerator, season them, and then allow them to sit, covered, at room temperature for up to 30 minutes before cooking. They’ll be more flavorful.
- Refrigerate leftover pork chops in airtight containers for 3-4 days.
- Freeze leftover pork chops in freezer bags for 2-3 months, pressing out all the air from the bags before sealing.
- Reheat the pork chops in the oven at 325˚F. Place them in a baking dish with just a splash of water, cover, and bake for 10 minutes or so until hot.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.