It seems pointless to keep leftover meat like pork chops if they’re just going to end up dried out and rubbery tasting when you try to reheat them. If you typically reheat your leftovers in the microwave, that is most likely the biggest issue. Typically, meat doesn’t do well in the microwave. Even the oven can dry meat out if you don’t use it properly. Your best bet for moist leftover pork chops is to reheat them on the stove in a cast-iron skillet or by flash reheating in the oven, a method that requires reheating food quickly at a high temperature.
Things You'll Need
On the Stove
Place a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of vegetable oil as it heats up. Cast iron is ideal for reheating, as it is the best for evenly distributing heat and will give the pork chop a nice crust, sealing in the remaining juices in the pork chop.
Place the pork chops into the hot skillet. Only add enough that will comfortably fit in the skillet. Allow the pork chops to sear for a few minutes on each side.
Lower the heat slightly and cover with a lid. Covering the skillet will create steam that will infuse the pork chops with more moisture. Cook until the chop has reached an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as the USDA recommends. Use a food thermometer to get an accurate temperature.
In the Oven
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and let the leftover pork chops come to room temperature, essential for flash reheating. Commonly used by professional restaurant chefs, flashing requires you to reheat room temperature, cooked food at high temperatures in the oven for a short amount of time, allowing the food to quickly reheat without actually starting to cook, as it’s only in the oven briefly. This method only works for basic, individual portions of food such as sliced meat and poultry.
Wrap pork chops loosely in foil. If you are heating up multiple pork chops, they all should be in their own separate foil packets. The foil will help keep them moist as they reheat.
Place the foil-wrapped pork chops in the oven to reheat. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes for them to fully reheat. Check the temperature of the pork chops to make sure they have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.
For breaded pork chops, remove the lid on the cast-iron skillet when they’re almost fully reheated and flip over a few times to crisp up the coating in the hot oil. If you are reheating in the oven, open the foil packet in the last few minutes to allow the heat from the oven to crisp the breading.
References and ResourcesThe Kitchn: Tip: Reheat Meat in a Cast Iron Skillet
CD Kitchen: Cooking Food in a Flash: How to Reheat Food Without Overcooking It
D'artagnan.com: Reheating Guide
USDA Food and Safety Inspection Service: Leftovers and Food Safety