Cocoa & Chili Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (2024)

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Cocoa & Chili Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (1)

I don’t know about other grocery stores across the country, but I feel like ours in Kansas City are always running sales on pork! While it’s not something I’d say I usually crave, I definitely enjoy “the other white meat” every now and then. (I owe this to being the daughter of my dad, who gets ridiculously excited about pork chops!) So since they were yet again on sale this week, day five of Cheap Eats Week here on the blog is an ode to the chop. :)

I think this may also be my first recipe on the blog featuring my favorite chocolate+chili combination! For those of you who’ve never tried it (and if this is the case, you must before you raise a skeptical eyebrow!), trust me that this doesn’t taste like pork with a Hershey’s bar on top. Rather, the cocoa just adds a subtle, yet delicious depth of flavor beneath the zing of the chili powder. I absolutely love the combination — in chilis, in truffles, cupcakes…you name it!

I ended up using ancho chili powder (subtle heat, but with a nice smokey flavor) for this recipe, but feel free to experiment with regular chili powder, chipotle chili powder, paprika, or whatever other favorites you have on hand. Also, while I made these in a skillet on the stove, I’m sure they would be even better cooked on a grill! Whatever your method, would encourage you to give these a try. Too simple, and way too yummy to pass up. :)

Cocoa & Chili Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (2)


Cocoa & Chili Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (3)

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  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 pork chops 1x
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You’ll love this Cocoa & Chili Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe! So flavorful!



  • 2 boneless pork loin chops
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a bowl, mix the cocoa, brown sugar, and chili powder together until well-blended. Sprinkle a little less than 1 tsp. on the tops of each pork chop, and pat/rub in. Flip over and do the same on the other sides. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-heat. Test to see if the oil is ready by dripping a drop or two of water in the skillet. (No sound – pan is too cold. Splatter – too hot. Sizzle – perfect!) Add pork chops and cover for about 5 minutes. (Mine were not super-thick, so only left then in for 4 minutes.) Then uncover and flip, and cook for a few more minutes until thoroughly cooked (between 145-160 degrees). If juices start to form on top of the chops, they’re definitely done!


Recipe adapted from Food and Wine

Cocoa & Chili Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (4)

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23 comments on “Cocoa and Chili Rubbed Pork Chops”

  1. rita November 13, 2009 @ 8:22 pm Reply

    love the top pic. never tried the chili/cocoa combo, but maybe i should!

  2. Aggie November 14, 2009 @ 6:00 am Reply

    Wow, great recipe!! I am totally going to try this!! Great blog you have here!

  3. grace November 14, 2009 @ 7:48 am Reply

    spicy chocolate truffles are something i eat obsessively, so i know i love the combination of cocoa and chili. using it with pork, which i also love, is inspired and looks delicious!

  4. Anne November 14, 2009 @ 1:53 pm Reply

    Oh this looks yummy! I can’t wait to try it.

  5. Jane November 14, 2009 @ 7:50 pm Reply

    This looks really good. I’m not one who typically craves pork either, but I can see craving this particular dish. Love your blog!

  6. robin November 15, 2009 @ 2:13 am Reply

    This recipe looks so different from what i usually make with pork chops. I am doing these tomorrow, they look so good!! Thanks for sending it.

  7. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction November 16, 2009 @ 7:06 pm Reply

    Yum… I love the combination of cocoa and chiles… Sounds tasty on pork chops! Love the pictures, too.

  8. Susan April 12, 2010 @ 12:11 pm Reply

    Love this! I was looking for a rub (via foodgawker) to put on my pork chops tonight. :-) I’m happy I found your blog. Oh, and I’m a native Leawood-er, transplanted to East Texas.

  9. Christa September 22, 2010 @ 9:00 pm Reply

    I just wanted to let you know that I love this recipie. Even my husband and oldest daughter who normaly hate pork chops have ate ever bite of theirs both times I made them like this. This is one going in my file to be made a lot because I love pork chops and now my family will eat them. Thanks

  10. Virginia R February 11, 2011 @ 5:06 pm Reply

    My bf and i jsut made these for supper, and they were soooo tasty! thanks:)

  11. Jodi September 29, 2011 @ 1:32 pm Reply

    Absolutely delightful! I tried a little cocoa on chops a month back. I could not believe how fabulous it was. I will have to try cocoa and chili now.

  12. Candice March 3, 2014 @ 1:49 pm Reply

    This looks absolutely amazing and I’m sure it tastes delicious too!!

  13. Dana March 26, 2014 @ 5:35 pm Reply

    I found this on Pinterest and decided to cook it for me and my children. It was a great flavor! Thank you so much for sharing! I posted it on Pinterest and on Facebook ;)

  14. Trina Tilson March 5, 2015 @ 12:43 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I am thawing pork chops now and I am excited to try this!

  15. Susan Marleau April 26, 2015 @ 7:41 pm Reply

    Panicked when my hubby grabbed pork loin chops instead of the top sirloin he thought he grabbed (don’t ask!) TG for this recipe! Super easy, had everything on hand, and said hubby loved it! :)

    One note – having worked under professional chefs, I would caution against heating the pan with oil in it, it could burn the oil. Heat your pan, then add the oil. It doesn’t take long for it to get to the proper temperature.

    Thanks again!

    • Ali April 30, 2015 @ 8:24 pm

      Oh no, haha! So glad it worked out, and thanks for sharing that tip on the oil, very good to know! : )

  16. Megan August 30, 2015 @ 8:06 pm Reply

    I just made these, and they are delicious! Now that I’ve tasted them, I have no idea what to serve them with! What vegetable and starch do you normally choose?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven September 2, 2015 @ 10:43 am

      Thank you Megan, we’re glad to hear you liked them! We like eating these with risotto or roasted butternut squash/sweet potato and asparagus —we hope that helps! :)

  17. Kelly September 12, 2015 @ 6:52 pm Reply

    I used this recipe but grilled instead and it came out very smokey flavored. AMAZING! Not sure what it was supposed to taste like since I have never cooked with this combo, but it turned out good either way :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven September 15, 2015 @ 11:28 am

      Yep, that’s about right! We’re happy you liked it! :)

  18. Noelle January 12, 2016 @ 8:22 pm Reply

    Tried the pork chops and they are delicious! I used a dried ancho chili, “baked” for ten minutes at 400 degrees to puff it back up and then ground in my spice/coffee grinder.

    With the leftover rub, I made ice cream!!! One avocado, one banana, half cup almond milk and about four teaspoons rub mix. Blended in my nutribullet and frozen for one hour!

    Heav-en-ly!!! Thanks for a great rub recipe that’s pretty versatile!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven January 13, 2016 @ 10:24 am

      We’re so glad you liked these Noelle, and that ice cream sounds brilliant – what a yummy idea! :D

  19. Missy July 14, 2022 @ 1:06 pm Reply

    Yummy.. added a 1/4 tsp cayenne 🌶 pepper

Cocoa & Chili Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe | Gimme Some Oven (2024)


Should you cover pork chops when you re baking them in the oven? ›

Some baked pork chop recipes do require that the pan is covered with either foil or a lid. It creates steam and ensures that the meat is tender and juicy. Those recipes typically require a long cook time and may add vegetables to the pan, and some uncover the chops to finish browning them at a higher temperature.

Is it better to bake pork chops at 350 or 400? ›

Is It Better to Bake Pork Chops at 350 or 400? The best temperature for baking pork chops depends on how thick they are, how you've prepared them and your personal preferences. Baking pork chops at 350 degrees F will result in more gently cooked and tender pork chops, but it will take more time.

Are pork chops better in the oven or on the stove? ›

Because one of the best ways to bake pork chops is to start in an oven-safe skillet on the stove and then transfer them into a hot oven. High-heat frying sears them to a golden brown; and a moderately hot oven (400 degrees F) bakes the pork chops gently enough to keep them from drying out.

What is the secret to moist pork chops? ›

To cook moist pork chops, try brining them beforehand in a solution of water, salt, and sugar for at least 30 minutes. Then, sear them on high heat to lock in juices, and finish cooking them on lower heat until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

How do you keep pork chops from drying out in the oven? ›

Brine the pork to maintain moisture by soaking it in a mixture of salt and water, baking soda, vinegar or even milk. You can also pour hot water over the loin to shrink the rind, which can enable better absorption of brine, milk, oil or marinade.

Do pork chops have to be browned before baking? ›

To bake pork chops without breading, sear them in a cast iron skillet before baking. The brown crust that develops when searing is where the great flavor comes from. Sear on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. For easy clean-up you can bake your chops right in the pan you used for searing.

How many minutes do you cook pork chops at 350? ›

Bake pork chops that are about 1¼-inch thick at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 to 17 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long does it take to cook a pork chop in the oven at 350 degrees? ›

How Long to Bake Bone-in Pork Chops
Pork Chop Oven TempBone In Pork Chop Bake Time
350°F / 175°C16-18 min25-30 min
375°F / 190°C14-16 min23-25 min
400°F / 205°C12-14 min20-22 min
425°F / 220°C8-10 min18-20 min
1 more row

How many minutes do you cook pork chops at 400? ›

The temperature for pork chops is 145 degrees F with a three minute rest which takes about 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees with the bone-in. Remember that cook time will depend on thickness of the chops.

What should I season pork chops with? ›

Pork Chop Seasoning Recipe
  1. 3 tablespoons paprika.
  2. 2 tablespoons kosher salt.
  3. 3 teaspoons pepper.
  4. 2 teaspoons brown sugar.
  5. 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
  6. 2 teaspoons onion powder.
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  8. 1/2 teaspoon sage (optional)
Jul 31, 2023

What cooking method is best for pork chops? ›

A quick turn in a hot pan followed by a little time in the oven is another great way to cook pork chops. You build color and flavor in the skillet, then hand the cooking over to the oven, which gives you time to prep the rest of the meal.

What makes pork chops better? ›

Brining pork chops is one of the best ways way to guarantee a juicy cooked pork chop. Even a quick 30-minute brine (or up to four hours) makes a big difference. It's not strictly necessary — you can still use this method to make great pork chops even without brining — but if you have some extra time, I recommend it.

Do you use oil or butter for pork chops? ›

I use both! At the same time! The butter helps achieve that golden brown color and adds more flavor, but you need the oil, too, because it has a higher smoke point and keeps the butter from burning. How long do you cook pork chops in a frying pan?

Should I oil my pork chops? ›

We prefer bone-in pork chops because the bone adds flavor and moisture to the finished pork chop. Olive Oil – to keep the chops from sticking, you'll need about 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Sea Salt – we're keeping the seasoning really simple here. All you'll need is 1 teaspoon of coarse or flaky sea salt.

How can I tenderize pork chops quickly? ›

Cuts of pork are at their toughest when the muscle fibers making up the meat are long and intact. To begin tenderizing the pork before seasoning or cooking it, try breaking up the muscle fibers using a meat mallet (sometimes called a "meat tenderizer").

How long does it take to cook a pork chop in the oven at 350? ›

Bake pork chops that are about 1¼-inch thick at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 to 17 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're concerned about the bake time varying because the chops are boneless or bone-in, stop worrying.

How long do you cook pork chops in the oven at 400? ›

To ensure you have a juicy, tender piece of pork you want want to cook your bone-in pork chops to the correct temperature. The temperature for pork chops is 145 degrees F with a three minute rest which takes about 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees with the bone-in.

How do you keep pork chops tender when cooking? ›

5 tips for cooking juicy pork chops quickly
  1. 1Choose the right pork chop cut.
  2. 2Brining pork chops is not necessary.
  3. 3Rest the meat on the counter before cooking.
  4. 4Fat is key to keeping pork chops moist.
  5. 5Don't overcook the pork chops — and let them rest.
Oct 7, 2022

What is the rule for cooking pork chops? ›

Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a three-minute rest time before carving or consuming. This will result in a product that is both safe and at its best quality—juicy and tender.


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