Figuring out the cooking time of pork can be challenging enough, but adding stuffing to the meat can further complicate matters. Stuffed pork chops are cuts of pork that are partially sliced horizontally to form a pocket. Ingredients like cornbread, apples or sausage are stuffed into the pocket. Baking is often the preferred cooking method because it is more hands-off than grilling.
The baking time for stuffed pork chops can vary depending on the preparation technique. If you are baking the pork chops directly without pan searing the outsides, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. If you’re using frozen stuffed pork chops, defrost them before baking. Place a cooking rack into a roasting pan and lay the stuffed pork chops onto the rack. Pour 1/2 cup of warm water into the bottom of the roasting pan, making sure it doesn’t touch the rack. The water bath will help the pork retain moisture. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Take off the foil and bake for another 45 minutes. The pork should be golden brown and tender to the touch; if not, bake an additional 10 minutes.
If you want to add a crispy coating to your stuffed pork chops by partially pan frying them first, the baking time will be drastically cut. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The higher heat will keep the outsides crispy, while cooking the insides through. While the oven is heating, add 2 tbsp. vegetable oil into a pan and turn the stove to medium high. Place the pork chops into the oil with the stuffed side down first. The stuffing pocket will become sealed when it’s heated, so the stuffing won’t fall out when you flip the chops. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn the pork chops over and cook for another 3 minutes. Place the pork chops onto a baking sheet and bake them for 10 minutes.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, pork must be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees to be safe for consumption. Cooking times can vary on ovens, so measure the internal temperature of the stuffed pork chops 5 to 10 minutes before the end of the recommended baking time. This can also prevent overcooking the chops or cutting into the center to check the doneness. Insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the pork chop, usually in the center. Avoid areas with fat, gristle or bone. If the thermometer reads less than 160 degrees, put the pork back into the oven for the remainder of the recommended time. Measure the temperature again after baking to ensure it is cooked through before serving.